Following rumours that professionals are secretively using motorised bicycles, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) will meet on Monday at its headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland.

UCI President Pat McQuaid told La Gazzetta dello Sport that the UCI’s experts and representatives from some bike manufacturers will discuss the plausibility that battery-powered bicycles are in use.

An article in Italian newspaper Il Giornale on May 18 brought the case to public attention. One week later, May 26, Rai television commentator and ex-professional Davide Cassani showed a motorised bicycle after Giro d’Italia stage 18. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaVcb0iTRFo)

“I tried it and I can say that if I raced with this bike I could win a stage of the Giro d’Italia, even if I am 50 years old,” said Cassani. “It is impressive. I could go 50km/h without any fatigue.”

Cassani helped bust Michael Rasmussen in a whereabouts case when he identified the Danish cyclist training in Italy prior to the 2007 Tour de France. McQuaid also thinks Cassani may be helpful in the UCI’s investigation and he asked Cassani to join the meeting on Monday.

Since the article and Rai’s television coverage, YouTube videos have appeared online that point to Fabian Cancellara’s wins in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Cancellara, according to the author, makes strange finger movements prior to his attacks to engage the motor. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nd13ARuvVE)

“The story is completely mad and stupid that I can’t find the words to respond. I have never had a battery on my bike,” Cancellara told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I go that strong because I work hard, there is nothing else to say.”

McQuaid denied to La Gazzetta dello Sport that there is an investigation into Cancellara’s wins.

“We have a materials department, which is working with Lausanne University, which is experienced in new technology. We will continue to monitor these situations as they develop,” McQuaid said at a press conference during the Giro d’Italia.

“Unlike with doping, it would take a team level effort. If someone in a team starts to use a motor, it has to be done at a team-level. If that is the case, there would be serious consequences in the team.”

German company Gruber Assist (http://www.gruberassist.com/) has been making the motor for some time. Its version is completely concealed in the seat tube and engaged by a button on the handlebars. La Gazzetta dello Sport said that it weighs 900g, provides 100 watts over a 60 to 90 minute period.

  • HOWIE BOLT

    THE MOMENT WHEN CANCELLARA ACCELERATED IN ROUBAIS, AND FLANDERS, I WAS ????
    NOW WE KNOW EH?

  • carl fulthorpe

    How gullible Is Simon Alexander. He could have said that about Floyd Landis a while ago!

  • OLATUNDE IGE

    When we fisrt heard of EPO, remember most of us said no, how can the riders take such risks with their health, it`s impossible, now we have a form of cheating that carrys no risk to the riders health, so why not, in this age of huge financial reward for the winner. We all have to accept the facts that some human beings are capable of doing anything in exchange of huge financial rewards.

  • catherine Smith

    Great can i get one for Christmas please!!

  • Ted black

    Wow. I bet it happens across triathlon also. It would appear to me to be absolutley possible for this to be happening but if it is prooved by a raid on the teams the sport is dead.

  • Simon Alexander

    Ridiculous. Fabu is a god. He would never cheat.

  • george

    Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where can I get one from?

  • Darb

    Oh Lord…….. What next? A 2 wheeled object ridden by Man?

  • Simon

    Is it April 1st? Surely there’s no way battery technology has advanced enough to allow a sufficiently strong power-pack to be concealed within the frame of a bike. And the wiring would be impossible to hide, unless the on / off button is on the saddle and activated by the rider clenching his butt-cheeks.

  • Matthew

    Aren’t most of the bikes checked before starting, wouldn’t an official notice?

    Wouldn’t a fellow pro hear this motor?

    And finally, the battery is a huge issue.

    I don’t doubt teams have looked into it (they seemed to have explored all other areas of “rule manipulation” aka cheating), but I’m sceptical Fabian used this to cheat at Flanders and Roubaix.

    We know he’s tremendously powerful anyway. It’s not like he has come out of the blue with a series of magnificent performances way above what he has offered previously.