There’s a new rule in men’s professional bike racing. Beginning with this past summer’s Tour de France, UCI-sanctioned races now x-ray scan bicycles for electric motors. The reason? A silly internet rumor that went viral claiming that Spartacus used a motor in his Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flander’s wins. This is what happens when a rider this powerful doesn’t so much attack as simply rides away from the strongest bike racers on the planet.
Consider what had to happen for him to even be in the position in this video from De Ronde: all 200 or so riders at the start are looking at him (and Tom Boonen). The leash was as tight as it ever could be on a single rider. And yet, there he was with only 16k to go at the base of the decisive climb with just one other rider (Boonen, the other favorite). After a bike scan following his prologue win at the Tour, FC replied, “It’s a sad and really outrageous story. Believe me, my feats are the result of hard work. After the race, they scanned my bike, and I said to them, ‘You better scan me, because I am the motor, not my bike.’”