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UCI checked Froome's bike six times for motor at Giro d'Italia

Joe Robinson
1 Jun 2018

Over 1,400 checks for technological fraud performed at recent Giro as UCI uses new x-ray box

The new x-ray box introduced by the UCI earlier this season to increase checks on technological fraud in professional cycling was used six times on Chris Froome's bike as he rode to the pink jersey at the recent Giro d'Italia.

Reported by L'Equipe, the UCI confirmed that it had checked Froome's bike for a concealed motor on six occasions during the race and most notably at the end of Stage 19 to Bardonecchia.

This was the day in which Froome now famously attacked from 80km out on the Colle dell Finestre, gaining a gap of three minutes on Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), managing to hold off the chase solo to ride into the race lead.

UCI president David Lappartient outlined a tougher stance on technological fraud at the beginning of his presidency before introducing new rules and checks this March.

Among those was the introduction of a portable x-ray box that can check entire bikes at the finish line for motors, the exact method used on Froome's bike.

The UCI also stated that it checked the bike of long time pink jersey wearer Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 11 times during the race.

In total, 58 riders had their bikes checked using the new x-ray box while 1,440 checks were made using the older method of a computer tablet.

Performances during Froome's career have often caused some to suggest the rider has used a motor due to his high cadence and ability to accelerate on steep climbs.

However, no proof has ever been provided to suggest this is the case.

Currently, there has only been one confirmed used of motor doping in professional cycling, that of Belgian cyclocross rider Femke Van den Driessche who was caught using a motor at the 2016 UCI cyclocross World Championships.