Jumbo-Visma GC riders Steven Kruijswijk, Laurens De Plus and George Bennett underwent anti-doping blood tests on their team bus just 45 minutes before the start of stage 18 of the Tour de France after a late surprise visit from CADF (Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation) officials.
"This is my 23rd Tour and I have never experienced this before. That is not nice. Deceuninck-QuickStep has had a check-up early this morning. It is also not nice if you wake up riders at 6:30 am but this is the other extreme," Maassen was reported as saying by Sporza.
De Plus and Bennett emerged from the bus with small plasters on their arm, perhaps where their blood had been drawn for the tests. Both welcomed the surprise tests.
"It's a new one for me, a real new one. I'm still carrying the bandages," Bennett said.
"It felt a bit like: what the hell are they doing one hour before the start? But I'd rather do this and know that cycling is the cleanest sport in the world. I'd rather have this and a little inconvenience and ride in a largely very clean, competitive sport.
"If we all knew they're never going to come, who knows what people would do? So the element that they can come, I hope, is enough to deter people so they can never cheat. It's good that people know they can come an hour before. It's a little hectic and little stress before one of the major stages but I'm not going to complain too much about it."
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.