Vincenzo Nibali: I hope riders can make fans talk about something other than mechanical doping

Astana's Vincenzo Nibali says there is nothing substantial in the rumours about motorised doping in the pro peloton

Vincenzo Nibali on stage one of the Tour of Oman (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Vincenzo Nibali insists that rumours of mechanical doping are nothing new, but believes there is not enough evidence to prove it is a problem in the sport of cycling.

The Italian was asked about motorised bikes in an interview with AS, following the discovery of a motor in a bike of an U23 rider at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in January.

While rumours have been around for years about motors in road racing, no rider has ever been caught with one in their bike, and Nibali hopes the chatter among the fans can return to the positive aspects of the sport.

"I understand that the issue becomes topical, but not new. There are already several years that has sounded and the truth is that I believe that there are insufficient grounds to make the noise being made," he said.

"I hope that riders are able to make the fans talk about something else."

Vincenzo Nibali's pro bike

Nibali has started his season strongly, winning the queen stage and the overall title at the Tour of Oman, as he builds up to the Giro d'Italia in May, where he counts Alejandro Valverde, Mikel Landa and Esteban Chaves as his main rivals.

He didn't perform as he would have wanted in his defence of the Tour de France in 2015 and last year's Vuelta a España winner Fabio Aru will lead Astana there this year, with Nibali a willing domestique.

"I wanted to try to win the Giro d'Italia again for the fans, because it is the race of my land and is an incredible test," he said.

"The Tour is not ruled out, I'll probably go, but rather to help Fabio Aru and prepare for the Olympic Games in Rio. Astana has two leaders for the Grand Tours and it is normal that we divide the goals."

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.