27 Apr 2016

Cyclist banned for using hidden motor

11:30 am on 27 April 2016

The Belgian rider Femke van den Driessche has been banned for six years for using a hidden motor at the cyclo-cross world championships.

Femke van den Driessche

Femke van den Driessche Photo: Velonews

It is the International Cycling Union's first sanction using its rules on technological fraud.

Brian Cookson, the UCI president, called it "a major victory" to help "keep this form of cheating out of our sport".

The UCI banned Van den Driessche until October 2021, stripped her of her European under-23 title and fined her $30,000.

The 19-year-old rider had said she would skip her disciplinary hearing and retire from racing.

Cyclo-cross for the most part is off-road, but races sometimes include paved sections.

The UCI says inspectors found a motor "concealed along with a battery in the seat-tube" at the world under-23 race in Belgium in January.

The motor "was controlled by a Bluetooth switch installed underneath the handlebar tape".