World cycling body moves to combat motorised doping

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By Euronews
World cycling body moves to combat motorised doping

The International Cycling Union (UCI) will use X-ray equipped trucks on Grand Tour stages and leading classic races this season following an increase in concerns about riders using motors inside their bikes.

The X-ray cameras will check bikes after stages of the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta and the five biggest one-day races.

The UCI says the machines form part of an action plan in the fight against 'technological fraud', which the ruling body has made one of its top priorities under new president David Lappartient.

Frenchman Lappartient was elected in September, beating outgoing president Brian Cookson.

Under Cookson, the UCI had used a tablet device to scan bikes, a technique that was widely criticised by riders and some team staff for being ineffective.

In the last two Tours de France, thermal imaging cameras were also used to detect the potential use of motors in bikes.

In 2016, Belgian rider Femke van den Driessche was banned for six years by the UCI in the first case of 'motorised doping' in cycling.

Van den Driessche, who was caught at the cyclo-cross world championships in Belgium, denied knowing that the bike broke the rules, and said it belonged to her friend.

As well as the Grand Tours, the races affected by the new UCI measures are the Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour of Lombardy.