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UCI tested bikes for motors more than 3,000 times during Tour de France

Dan Alexander
30 Jul 2018

Twice as many tests were done at the Tour than at the Giro d’Italia yet less than 2016

The UCI revealed that it carried out 3,016 checks for technological fraud at the recent Tour de France, with all returning negative. The tests carried out involved three different technologies: magnetic scanning, X-rays and thermal imaging.

A total of 2,852 tests were done before the start of stages using the magnetic scanning method which suggests a large majority of the peloton were tested for motors before the start of every stage.

Added to that, 164 tests were then conducted at the end of stages using X-ray technology that was introduced earlier this season.

Between 5-10 bikes were tested each day including the winner of the stage and yellow jersey holder, meaning Team Sky's Geraint Thomas would have been checked at least 11 times.

A new addition to the UCI’s programme to combat motor doping, the X-ray tests were first implemented in March by new UCI president David Lappartient.

In addition to the magnetic scanning and X-ray tests the UCI also conducted thermal imaging tests during the stages. All 3,000 tests at the Tour came back negative.

It represents a significant increase in testing compared to the Giro d’Italia where 1,500 tests were taken using the same technology as used at the Tour.

However, this total was less than the 3,773 tests that were taken at the 2016 Tour.

The UCI has committed to further testing in future races and are currently working with the Department of Technological Research at CEA Tech (French Atomic and Alternative Energies Commission) to develop a tracker that can be placed on all bikes in the peloton, capable of detecting hidden motors at any point during a race.

In a statement, UCI president Lappartient said: 'We have also worked on developing new technologies, and I would like to express my thanks to CEA Tech for their expertise and commitment alongside us, but also to the teams for their precious collaboration.

'The objective is to eliminate suspicion, and to show the public and all of cycling's stakeholders, including investors, that our sport is credible.'

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