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132 motorised doping checks at Tour Down Under, FDJ celebrate 20th anniversary - News Shorts

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The UCI check for mechanical doping ahead of the race start

The UCI check for mechanical doping ahead of the race start
(Image credit: Josh Evans)
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The UCI uses its magnetic resonance tablet to check for motors at the Tour de France

The UCI uses its magnetic resonance tablet to check for motors at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Downing brothers, Russell and Dean

The Downing brothers, Russell and Dean
(Image credit: SWpix.com)
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New French champion Arthur Vichot with boss Marc Madiot and teammate Thibaut Pinot

New French champion Arthur Vichot with boss Marc Madiot and teammate Thibaut Pinot
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Thibaut Pinot and his FDJ teammates

Thibaut Pinot and his FDJ teammates
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Baden Cooke with Brad McGee after winning Stage 2 of the 2003 Tour de France

Baden Cooke with Brad McGee after winning Stage 2 of the 2003 Tour de France
(Image credit: Sirotti)

132 bike checks by the UCI at Tour Down Under

The UCI have continued to check bicycles for mechanical doping in 2017 with the governing body carrying out 132 tests across the six stages of the Tour Down Under. In the 2016 season, the governing body carried out over 10,000 bike checks for hidden motors and magnets.

Since the discovery of a motor in the bike of Femke Van den Driessche at last year's 'Cross Worlds, the UCI have developed its testing method, deciding upon a 'tablet device' to detect magnetic flux density of hidden motors or magnetic wheels.

Dean Downing awarded damages following 2015 training accident

During a training ride in July 2015, Dean Downing was hit by a van near Blyth, Notts, suffering injuries to his left-knee. Despite being unable to identify the driver of the van, Downing has now received a five figure sum in damages.

"British Cycling membership is an absolute must in my eyes, I have always had the Gold licence," Downing said in a statement. "Even though I don't race anymore, I still get out on my bike on the open roads. I also work in the cycling industry doing lots of varied roles. Being a member covers me as you never know what's around the next corner."

Downing most recently rode for the NFTO Pro Cycling Continental team and was a regular winner on the British circuit during his career. In retirement, Downing has worked as a director sportif for the Polypipe Cycling Team, and JLT Condor squad.

FDJ celebrate 20th anniversary

The FDJ team celebrated its 20th anniversary at a special event in Paris on Thursday night, with the French team’s current and former personnel recalling the success of the state lottery funded team.

Team manager Marc Madiot's passion for the sport is well known and he was understandably proud of what he and the team has achieved.

“Time goes quickly but I’m proud to have built the FDJ team with continuity,” Madiot said in an interview on the team’s website, confirming that it is now possible for a French rider and so an FDJ rider to win the Tour de France.

“It’s possible. We need things to go our way but we need that anyway. For a long time it was said that the French did not train, that they were worthless and then we understood what they really meant. Since 2014 and Thibaut’s podium at the Tour, we know that winning the Tour is possible. I do not know if we're going to get there, but it's possible.”

Velon to produce data and on-bike videos at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

The Velon group of teams has agreed a deal with the organisers of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race to produce real-time rider data during the race and on-bike highlights post race.

The race data will also be shown during live television coverage of the race thanks to V-Box data sensors fitted to several the bikes of select riders. Viewers will be able to see the power, cadence, heart rate and speed the riders produce and follow them throughout the race in the special Velon app.

Riders in action in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race include three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), Tour Down Under winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott).

Velon will produce highlights taken from GoPro cameras fitted to riders’ bikes.

Brajkovic: I'm judged because of the shady teams I've raced on - Podcast

Cyclingnews sat down with Janez Brajkovic at the recent Tour Down Under. It was supposed to be a routine interview about his new team, Bahrain-Merida, and his goals for the season but it turned into so much more.

Brajkovic turned professional in 2005. During his long career he has ridden for what he admits are a number of shady teams. He has raced alongside Lance Armstrong at US Postal, Astana and RadioShack, all under the tutelage of Johan Bruyneel. After two years away from the WorldTour Brajkovic is back with Bahrain-Merida.

Both Bruyneel and Armstrong are currently serving life-time bans from the sport but at 33, Brajkovic is still here and still racing his bike. A veteran from a generation that has gone through the mill; it didn't take long for the Slovenian to open up about the sport and how doping has altered cycling.