Giro d'Italia

Viviani: ‘The more they test us the better’

Saying that his bike has been checked multiple times for a hidden motor, sprinter Viviani is entirely supportive of the UCI's controls.

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ISEO, Italy (VN) — Italian sprinter Elia Viviani (Quick-Step) said the more controls the better for the pro peloton.

And that also includes increased monitoring to detect possible technological fraud. The UCI is pushing its new motor-cheating checks during this Giro d’Italia by using new X-ray technology.

Viviani said he welcomes the increased vigilance.

“The more checks we have the better,” Viviani said after sprinting to his fourth stage win Wednesday. “From anti-doping control and bike check, I think we can demonstrate we are a really clean sport.”

Riders throughout the Giro have seen their bikes not only scanned before the start of stages but also checked new X-ray technology introduced this spring by the UCI.

Several bikes are being X-rayed after key stages. The top finishers saw their bikes X-rayed on the Zoncolan summit over the weekend. Viviani confirmed that his bike has been scanned as well as X-rayed throughout this Giro.

“They checked my bike also before climber stage,” Viviani said. “It makes sense [because] I’m leading the point classification in the Giro and it’s right they control me.”

The UCI under new president David Lappartient has taken a harder line against the threat of so-called “technological fraud,” and has stepped up controls by using a newly developed mobile X-ray machine.

There have been long-held rumors that pros have used motors hidden in bikes in the past. The UCI found a motorized bicycle at a cyclocross bike in early 2016, but there’s never been a confirmed case in elite men’s road racing.

Viviani has his doubts that anyone’s dared to use a cheating technique that some consider even more egregious than doping.

“From my point of view, nobody in the pro has used it,” Viviani said of motors. “All the speaking around these guys having the motor in the bike, blah, blah, blah, all the research they do, no name comes out, nothing is confirmed, so for me, at the moment nobody has used the motor in the pros.

“But it’s better to check this because for sure you don’t want any rider to use a motor in the bike.”

Viviani also pointed out how many times he was controlled by anti-doping testers before and during the Giro.

“We are the sport with the most anti-doping controls and people need to know that,” said Viviani, answering the question in English. “I think nobody is controlled like us. I think I’m tested [for] blood and urine before the Giro a minimum of four or five times in the two weeks before the Giro.”