Fabian Cancellara, the defending champion at the Tour de Suisse, gave a press conference on the eve of this year's race and dismissed speculation that he used a hidden motor to help him take his recent major victories.
"I know how I achieved my wins. I have an engine, but it's in my body. This is the strongest one you can imagine. Over the last decade I've shown that I don't need any other motor," Sporza reported Cancellara as saying.
"It's frustrating that these stories keep popping up about me, but that's life."
After winning both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, each time powering away from his rivals while sat in the saddle, the Swiss star was the first name to spark suspicion when Italian journalist Davide Cassani demonstrated what he said was a motorized bike that has been used in the peloton on Italian television during th Giro d'Italia.
A video purportedly showing Cancellara making usual hand movements, perhaps to activate a motor, during his two wins, was published on Youtube.com that spread like wildfire across the internet, drawing the attention of the main-stream media to the story.
Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis reacted angrily according to Sporza: "That video on Youtube was fake, it was a fabrication. The reaction of the media has been absurd."
“It's ridiculous and really not fair,” Cancellara said of the accusations, adding that he would not take legal action, preferring instead to focus on his racing at the Tour de Suisse.
“It will be difficult to repeat last year’s victory. This year’s race is more mountainous than last year’s," he said.
Cancellara, the current time trial world champion, is expected to target the opening prologue in Lugano tomorrow evening and the final stage's test in Liestal on June 20.
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.