FDJ manager Marc Madiot is never short of a few words on the important issues in cycling, so it is no surprise that he has been rather frank in his response to the news that a 43-year-old amateur was caught using a motor in a third-category race in France.
On Monday it was revealed that the man had been apprehended following a car chase, being pursued and chased down by former professional and current anti-doping representative Christophe Bassons, having apparently pulled out of the race after seeing that he was being watched by officials.
Bassons and other officials then discovered a motor in the man’s bike, and, in an interview with Le Parisien, Madiot did not hide his dismay at the news.
“It’s pathetic,” Madiot said. “In my opinion this is not worth the gain. All this to win three sausages and a packet of crisps. He just wanted to be the champion of his street!”
Madiot went on to say how he was glad that the police were on hand when the motor was discovered, rather than just a race commissaire, hoping that this would send a stronger message to others who may be tempted to use a motor in their bikes.
Watch: How the UCI tests for hidden motors
The 58-year-old Frenchman, a former professional rider who has been at the head of the FDJ team since 1997, was also quizzed about whether he was worried that motors could be being used in the professional ranks.
“Among the pros we must give ourselves the means to do controls,” Madiot replied. “[New UCI president] David Lappartient is committed to that.
“It’s fairly easy to regulate. It seems to me essential to train commissaires to do the checks. It has to become an actual job.”
However Madiot also implied that motors may have been used in the professional peloton in the past, saying that he had seen fewer changes of bikes since questions began to be raised about the possibility of so-called mechanical doping.
There has only been one confirmed case of doping in the professional ranks, when Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche was found to be using a bike with a motor at the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships.
Van den Driessche was given a six-year ban by the UCI, with the then 19-year-old rider announcing her retirement from the sport.