Ryder Hesjedal accused of 'bike doping' in Spain

Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal has been accused of bike doping. (REUTERS)

Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal has been accused of bike doping. (REUTERS)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:45 AM ET

Like a CCR song, Ryder Hesjedal’s big wheel kept on turnin’ during Stage 7 of the Vuelta a Espana.

And that has some in the cycling community questioning whether the Canadian is using a motorized bike to gain an advantage over fellow racers.

Hesjedal, who races for Garmin-Sharp, lost his edge whilst rounding a corner in an escape group Friday – a common occurrence in the world of cycling.

But when the 33-year-old’s back wheel kept rotating, even appearing to spin out of control, prominent publications like L’Equipe were quick to question whether Hesjedal, an admitted doper, is up to something nefarious.

Hesjedal has yet to respond but did retweet one of his supporters who denied the allegation.

Reports of cyclists using motors kicked up a decade ago and have lingered ever since.

Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara was accused of using a motorized bike when he won the 2010 Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, according to Cycling Weekly.

Suspicious, indeed.

But cycling aficionado Dan Dakin, a QMI Agency reporter and the founding editor of Canadian Cycling Magazine, “highly doubts” Hesjedal is using a motorized bike.

“I think the video is far from conclusive evidence that Ryder's bike is ‘doped,’” Dakin said. “If anything, I think the spinning bike is likely related to the grade of the hill.

“Rumours about motors in bicycles aren't anything new, but I'm pretty skeptical that anyone would try it. It would take some incredibly complex technology to have any kind of motor that would be completely silent and completely hidden inside the tubes of the bike.

“Anything external would be way too noticeable. The amount of people and companies that would have to be involved to pull off cheating in that form would be enormous.”

The Union Cycliste Internationale routinely uses x-ray machines to monitor for abnormalities in bikes.

 



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