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The ICU is dressed in CSI to investigate hidden engines on bicycles

The ICU is dressed in CSI to investigate hidden engines on bicycles

After discovering that in the last Ciclocross World Cup a broker hid a small electric motor on its bike, the international cycling union has been serious to prevent this type of technological doping from extending to the great squad. The maximum world cycling body does not want this type of traps to extend on a professional level and has launched a research protocol to analyze the bicycles of the runners. This inspection system is based on a scanner that detects any type of magnetic alteration produced by an electric motor, a magnet or a battery. The scanner collects the data and sends them to software that inspectors can control from a tablet. If the program detects an out of the normal sign, the bicycle is shown for a thorough inspection. In this way it is possible to analyze a large number of bicycles in a short time. This new anti -technological fraud method of the UCI is designed to analyze pictures, change groups and wheels and has been put into practice during the recent Romandía Tour, where 347 of the 507 participating bicycles were passed through the UCI scanner. None of them found indications of technological fraud.


Thermal cameras, X -rays and ultrasound

The magnetic scanner is the last of a long list of hidden engines detection methods in which the ICU has worked lately, among which are the use of thermal cameras and X -rays. One of the first systems tested by the ICU was the use of thermal cameras that emitted heat images. On paper the idea was to detect temperature variations inside the painting, the pedalier or the change group that revealed a possible electric motor. However, this method is only effective when the engine is in operation or has been stopped recently, so it is not valid in inspections prior or subsequent to a race. "The case of technological fraud detected in the 2016 Ciclocross World Championship would not have been found by thermal image, since the engine was not working when the entrance record was made," acknowledges the UCI itself in a statement. cyclist On the other hand, the use of X -rays was also discarded by the ICU due to the logistics costs involved in the transfer of the machinara to different tests. In addition, radiography analysis is slow when what is intended is to analyze dozens of bicycles. The last method of anti -fraud detection discarded by the ICU are ultrasound, which are used in other industrial sectors to analyze the density of the materials. Because manufacturers use different carbon thicknesses in the elaboration of their paintings, the ultrasound test is not easy to calibrate to analyze bicycles. Brian Cookson, president of the UCI, is confident that the new magnetic system to avoid technological doping will be effective: "We are going to ensure that no one is tempting to deceive knowing that they will be very likely to be caught."    
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