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Two amateur riders flee race after being suspected of using concealed motors

Chris Froome bike is checked for a motor on Stage 9 of the 2016 Tour de France
Joe Robinson
15 Jul 2019

Organisers called the police after duo refused to have bikes checked

Two amateur bike riders fled a race in Italy after organisers attempted to check their bikes for motors. During the third round of the Portogruarese Criterium in Veneto, race officials requested to check the bikes of the duo who refused to allow the checks to take place.

When the Italian police were called to intervene, both made off in a van before any checks could take place. Race organisers took to searching the pair's bikes after complaints from others within the race and spectators in the crowd.

One of the alledged culprits, Alessandro Fantin of the GS Vinal team, managed to finish eighth on the day while the other rider is yet to be identified.

The story was reported by Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport over the weekend and quoted the race organiser Lorenzo De Luca, who apologised for the incident calling it a 'shame' referring to the fact that fellow competitors could see a button on the rider's handlebar.

'At the end of the race, we stopped the two and asked to check their bikes. They refused. At that point we called the Carabinieri so that the checks could be carried out by competent authorities,' said De Luca.

'We couldn’t do anything else, so these two quickly jumped in their van and although the other cyclists had done everything to keep them, so as not to let them get away, they fled just before the arrival of the police.'

De Luca finished by saying, 'I’m sorry, but the only thing we could do is take them off the finishing line.'

Proven incidents of motor doping are quite limited in cycling, especially in the professional ranks. While there have been a fair few accusations of motorised doping in the pro peloton, there has only been one proven incident with that being Femke van den Driessche.

Van den Driessche was handed a six-year ban after using a concealed motor at the U23 cyclocross World Championships in 2016.

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