It’s a sad commentary on the state of pro cycling that a competitor in a sanctioned race using an electric motor is termed “mechanical doping”.
The technology has been around for years, of course, and recent advances in batteries bring us to the point of packing 100W of power into a water bottle-sized package. That actually makes it a worthwhile trade-off for the added weight over, say, a 250km Tour de France stage.
The busted rider, Femke Van den Driessche, says the bike belonged to a friend, and mistakenly found its way into her race-day bike lineup. To which we say, with respect, *cough* *cough* Bullshit! *cough*
Bikes with hidden electric motors are commercially available, and apparently difficult to distinguish from the genuine article.
Look, if someone disadvantaged wants to join L2P on a motorized bicycle, as far as I’m concerned they’re welcome and I’ll shout the celebratory champers on the Champs
Élysées. But as for those of us who are only handicapped by age and (over)weight, it’s strictly hominid vs the elements.
That’s the whole point, innit?