The UCI commissaires at the Tour de France have confirmed that checks were carried on the bikes of race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) and five other riders after the stage 18 finish in Saint-Jean-de-Maurine, as they continue to look for hidden motors that could give riders a significant power boost during races.
Cyclingnews understands that it is the fourth time that selected bikes have been checked after stages in this year’s Tour de France. Other checks were carried out in the spring and at the Giro d’Italia but no motors have ever been found despite suspicion that they may be in use.
UCI technical staff checked the bikes of Froome along with stage winner Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar).
Froome confirmed during the post-stage press conference that his bike was amongst those checked by the UCI. He said he welcomed the checks.
“Yes my bike was checked but I’m happy they’re doing the checks. They’re probably needed considering all the rumours out there,” Froome said when asked by Cyclingnews. “I think most of the suspicion is on social media but they don’t come from nowhere, the technology exists.”
Cyclingnews saw the UCI technical staff with several bikes in the compound area of the anti-doping truck close to the finish. Bikes were checked in a white tent behind the truck with team mechanics asked to take out the bottom brackets of the bikes
The Katusha press officer Philippe Maertens published a photo on Twitter as the UCI officials used a tiny camera attached to a mobile phone to look inside the bottom bracket and up into the tubes of the bikes.