The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has given an update on its rigorous testing for technological fraud carried out so far in the 2021 Tour de France.
A total of 720 tests have been conducted before and after every stage. All tests have come back negative.
Of the tests carried out, 606 were conducted on bikes before the start of each stage using magnetic scanning tablets. Meanwhile X-ray technology was used to test another 114 bikes at the end of each stage.
The UCI underlines that the post-stage testing pool always includes the bike ridden by the winner of that day’s stage as well as the leader of the general classification. The remainder of the post-stage testing pool is decided on a two-pronged approach: bikes selected by the UCI based on its information and intelligence, and bikes ridden by athletes selected for targeted anti-doping controls by the International Testing Agency (ITA), the independent body in charge of the UCI’s anti-doping activities.
The UCI continues to strengthen its arsenal in the fight against technological fraud, which constitutes an important element in the Federation’s roadmap, Agenda 2022. After the introduction of magnetic tablets in 2016 and mobile X-ray technology in 2018, a new backscatter technology will be used to test bikes at the Tokyo Olympic Games. This relatively compact and light hand-held device provides instant images of the interior of the bike that can be shared in real-time to anywhere in the world via a secure platform. It will be used in Tokyo at the road, mountain bike and track cycling events.
Bikes at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy (25-29 August), and the UCI Road World Championships in Flanders, Belgium (19-26 September), will also be tested using this latest technology.
The fight against technological fraud is one of the remits of UCI Innovation Manager Michael Rogers: “Our testing programme at the Tour de France is thorough and extensive, in line with the UCI’s desire to ensure the integrity of the sport of cycling,” he said.
“The UCI takes the fight against technological fraud very seriously, which is why we continue to innovate to further enhance the effectiveness of our testing. Our new backscatter technology that will be used in Tokyo is an important step forward in our bid to be sure we have the trust of cycling’s fans and stakeholders.”
Michael Rogers confirmed that the bike tests at the 2021 Tour de France would continue at the same rhythm for the final six stages as for the first two weeks of competition.