Phil Gaimon issues statement on Fabian Cancellara motor doping allegation

American former pro rider Phil Gaimon issues statement relating to the passage in his book 'Draft Animals' that alleges Fabian Cancellara could have used an electric motor in 2010

Phil Gaimon
(Image credit: Andy Jones)

Phil Gaimon has issued a statement regarding the allegation made in his book Draft Animals that retired Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara could have used a hidden electric motor in his bike during his successful 2010 Classics campaign.

Gaimon published the statement online on Tuesday. Previously, Cancellara's lawyers had demanded that the publisher of Draft Animals remove it from sale and that Gaimon should issue an apology.

American former pro rider Gaimon said that he was merely repeating a 'well-documented' rumour relating to Cancellara's victories in the 2010 editions of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix and that it was not an 'accusation'.

Cancellara has always denied that he ever used an electric motor.

>>> Fabian Cancellara’s lawyers demand book that alleges motor doping be withdrawn from sale

The full statement published on Gaimon's website is as follows:

In “Draft Animals,” I repeated a rumor that’s well-documented and many years old, and I presented it as such. I stand by my opinion, but it’s exactly that, and anyone who actually opened the book would know that what I said was far from an “accusation.”

Put a gun to my head and that’s what I believe so I’d be a liar if I left it out, but I claim no revelations or proof, so I don’t see it being “taken off the shelves” except by the folks buying it. Ironically, that part in the book is dismissing conspiracy theories about motors today as clickbait, and it’s now been turned into clickbait.

My friendship with Tom Danielson is a big part of the story, so usually when I get hate mail, it’s calling me a hypocrite for not being enough of a “doper hater.” I didn’t expect this to be pulled out of context or turned into mudslinging, and I’m sorry for anyone who’s wasted time or energy on it. That’s not how I wanted to sell books, and it’s not worth this headache.

There were some things I had to get off my chest and some tough times to share to give a picture of the sport as I experienced it, but if a juicy tell-all is what you’re looking for, don’t bother buying it. I don’t reference any scandal you haven’t heard before, and I’ll probably show empathy towards dopers that you want me to hate. I expect that type of reader will be disappointed.


The story I want to tell is about what it means to follow a dream to the bitter end–how hard I worked, how good I had to get and what I chose to put myself through, ultimately to suck at the highest level of cycling and make peace with it. It’s my truth and it’s the best I could do and I put a lot of time and emotion into it, but my opinions aren’t always popular, which I understand will make some people angry. I hope a few of you will read past the noise and enjoy “Draft Animals” for what it is.

As always, shoutout to everyone who gets it, everyone who takes the time to read the book (instead of a sentence that someone tweeted) before they judge, and I’m going for a bike ride.

The sport’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), said last week that it could launch an investigation into the claim that Cancellara used a motor if there was new information, although Gaimon's statement now makes it appear as though there is no fresh evidence.

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Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, an exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.