After Fabian Cancellara was suspected of having a motor in his bike during his victory in the 2010 Tour of Flanders, the rumors about mechanical doping in the peloton are back.
Three anonymous riders are said to have independently complained about strange noises from the rear wheels of the bicycles of some top teams, the Swiss newspaper Le Temps reported.
This specifically concerns four teams: UAE Team Emirates, Deceunick-Quick-Step, Bahrain Victorious and Jumbo-Visma.
An anonymous rider told the newspaper: “It’s a strange noise I hear in the peloton during the stages. A metal-like noise, similar to the sound of an incorrectly adjusted chain.”
The anonymous riders say that the rumors in the peloton are not about an engine this time, but about a kind of energy-saving system like the one used in Formula 1. According to the riders, the system is in the hub or works via the disc brake system.
The raid on Bahrain Victorious team hotel would also have been related to this rumor.
“Who will dare to speak out? We’re not doing anything, and the situation is serious,” one of the riders said. “Usually, we have a team that dominates. Or a team that is weaker than the others. That’s sport… This year, four teams are far above the rest. The smallest rider who signs with them becomes very strong. If he changes team, he becomes average again. How can you explain that?”
“I don’t know. We don’t hear any noise,” Tadej Pogacar responded. “We don’t use anything illegal. It’s all Campagnolo materials, Bora. I don’t know what to say.”