The UCI confirmed Friday that it carried out unannounced bike checks at the start of stage 2 at La Méditerranéenne and that no mechanical doping was detected. The sport governing body checked 90 bikes from six teams for concealed motors, it stated in a press release.
Reporters from the Directvelo.com website initially spotted UCI officials carrying out the checks before the start of the stage in the holiday town of Banyuls-sur-Mer. And the UCI later confirmed it had checked a large number of bikes.
According to the statement from the UCI, it used the same type of equipment that the UCI trialled at the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, to check the 90 bikes at La Méditerranéenne.
That test, which appeared to use a blue tablet detector, found a concealed motor inside a bike alleged belonging to Femke Van den Driessche during the under-23 women’s race. She denied that the bike was hers, saying that it belonged to a friend, Nico Van Muylder.
Van Muylder later claimed ownership of the bike. The case has been referred to the UCI’s independent Disciplinary Commission.
“This equipment enables those performing the tests to investigate large numbers of bikes, both frames and wheels, in a short period of time,” the UCI stated.
“The UCI has invested considerable time and financial resources in this area and trialling new methods of detection is part of its commitment to ensuring its tests are as robust as possible. Intelligence has also been gained from active engagement with the industry and other information given to us, which has enabled us to refine and improve our testing.”
The UCI said it will continue to test large numbers of bikes in “unannounced tests in all disciplines throughout 2016 and beyone.”