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ANDORRA (VN) — There are no motors in the Tour de France peloton, at least that’s according to the UCI.
Cycling’s governing body carried out 720 controls in the opening two weeks of racing, and the UCI said “all tests have come back negative.”
The UCI said it used magnetic scanning tablets on 606 bikes before the start of stages, and put 114 bikes through its mobile X-ray lab after stages.
The UCI continues to work to push back against the idea that illicit motors and other banned mechanized assistance might be taking place during the Tour.
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In a press note Monday, the UCI outlined its testing protocol, saying that each day’s winner, as well as the GC leader, have their bikes X-rayed after each stage, along with other random controls throughout the race.
“The remainder of the post-stage testing pool is decided on a two-pronged approach: bikes selected by the UCI based on its information and intelligence, and bikes ridden by athletes selected for targeted anti-doping controls by the International Testing Agency (ITA), the independent body in charge of the UCI’s anti-doping activities,” a press release stated.
The UCI rolled out its scanning tablets in 2016, designed to detect batteries hidden inside of a frame, as well as X-rays in 2018.
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The UCI said new devices to better control technological fraud will be introduced for the Tokyo Olympic Games next month at the road, mountain bike, and track cycling events.
“A new backscatter technology will be used to test bikes at the Tokyo Olympic Games,” a statement read. “This relatively compact and light hand-held device provides instant images of the interior of the bike that can be shared in real-time to anywhere in the world via a secure platform.”
Bikes at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy (25-29 August), and the UCI Road World Championships in Flanders, Belgium (19-26 September), will also be tested using this latest technology.
“The UCI takes the fight against technological fraud very seriously, which is why we continue to innovate to further enhance the effectiveness of our testing,” said ex-pro Michael Rogers, who works as the UCI’s innovation manager. “Our new backscatter technology that will be used in Tokyo is an important step forward in our bid to be sure we have the trust of cycling’s fans and stakeholders.”
The UCI said bike tests at the 2021 Tour de France would continue at the “same rhythm for the final six stages as for the first two weeks of competition.”