An Italian amateur rider apparently detected with a motor in his bike after a race has denied any wrongdoing, suggesting that no motor was found in his bike and that he had to leave the race quickly – therefore preventing further checks – as he had to get to a wedding.
According to local press, race commissaires acted on a tip-off to use a thermal camera to spot what appeared to be a motor in 53-year-old Alessandro Andreoli’s bike during a race in Bedizzole on Saturday.
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After he finished third in the race, Andreoli was apparently asked to bring his bike to be inspected, refusing to have his bike disassembled to look for a hidden motor and leaving the race.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Andreoli denied that he had been using a hidden motor in his bike, and that he declined to have his bike disassembled by a mechanic as he had to leave for a wedding.
“They wanted to control my bike, the judges kept it for an hour and a half while I was getting changed, I had things to do,” Andreoli said.
“They claimed there was a hidden motor but they didn’t find anything, the wheels didn’t turn.
“They say I had a hidden motor. If that’s true then the riders who finished ahead of me had motors too. I’ve seen a lot of people finish ahead of me while not suffering.
“I had to go to a wedding and it was getting late. I didn’t admit anything. They said there was a motor but didn’t find anything, the only buttons I have are to change gears.”
Watch: What’s it like to ride a motorised bike?
The race commissaires reportedly decided to use thermal cameras after a tip-off by some of Andreoli’s rivals, with Andreoli saying that they were motivated by envy.
“I had a back problem and couldn’t move. I’ve solved the problem and I’ve been training well. It seems I’ve annoyed someone. They’re envious of my excellent lifestyle. I’ve been a tiler for a long time and earn a lot.”
So far there has been only one previous reported incident of a rider being caught with a concealed motor in a top-level race, that of Belgian under-23 cyclo-cross rider Femke Van den Driessche.
Van den Driessche’s bike was discovered to contain a hidden motor at the 2016 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships. She was subsequently suspended by the UCI for six years and handed a £14,000 fine.