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Will Tour de France Cyclists Seek an Electric Boost?

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Zippy
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Platinum
Equipment check
Zippy   6/29/2016 10:00:13 AM
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Time to consider a pre-and post-race equipment check, a la NASCAR.  Violators to receive a lifetime ban for what amounts to a different type of doping.

DwightLarson
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Silver
Re: Equipment check
DwightLarson   6/30/2016 11:23:32 AM
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Well, no surprise... equipment checks have ALWAYS been a part of pro cycling. There are minimum weight restrictions, etc., and now they are looking at x-ray and thermal imaging to check bikes for motors hidden in the seat tube.

FinnickyFinn
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Platinum
Re: Equipment check
FinnickyFinn   7/3/2016 7:51:01 AM
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Pro cyclists already do not get banned enough for cheating. Pro cycling had years to effectively clean up that sport and they blew all their chances. First time offenders need to be taken off the competition for a long time, repeat offenders are out forever. And with long time I mean three or four years.

Testing also needs to be done more and unannounced, during competition all participants are checked. The labs conducting the tests are selected from a large pool at random so that it becomes way too costly to bribe them all.

But as with most pro spots, the organizers and associations do not care as long as cash flow is positive. If that means looking the other way they will look the other way.

mjmahon
User Rank
Silver
Sport
mjmahon   7/2/2016 12:26:15 PM
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When winning or losing can mean millions of dollars, sportsmanship becomes just a consideration.

William K.
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Platinum
Not that easy to hide, I wouldn't think.
William K.   7/3/2016 7:01:28 PM
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A motor that big would not fit in a lot of bike seat tubes that I am familiar with.  And a battery in a seat bag should not be that easy to hide. But the quick and simple way to check is to weigh the bikes just before starting out, and then immediately after crossing the line. Since most riders strive for the lightest possible weight, which is common knowledge, bikes with a couple extra pounds should not be hard to catch. And a five-year disqualification for those caught should make cheating not worth the risk. And any failures in the field might be quite spectacular! Just imagine sitting on a lithium battery pack as it goes into cobustion mode while riding 20MPH . No way to hide what's going on then. Instant DQ and fireworks two.

Jeff_in_TX
User Rank
Platinum
Equipment Check
Jeff_in_TX   7/5/2016 10:34:39 AM
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The first pro cyclist has already been caught with a motor in her seat tube. Belgian pro Femke van den Driessche was caught at the cyclocross world championships with a motor assist after she had a mechanical failure which required her to walk the last lap of the course.  Anyone who watches pro cycling would agree with the statement "...a battery in a seat bag should not be that easy to hide" -- but only because there are no seat bags.

Note too that cyclocross bikes are heavier than road bikes because they have to take a beating (although not the beating that mountain bikes do) so a motor assist would not be that large a weight burden in a cross bike.  The Vivax Assist only weighs 1.8kg (including battery) and comes in versions where the battery is contained in a seat bag or in a water bottle.  And yes, the motor is in the seat tube. I have a friend who I helped hide 2x 18650 batteries for lighting in his seat tube, including the charging/battery protection system.

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