• Belgian Femke Van Den Driessche during the women's under 23 race at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The International Cycling Union (UCI) said they are investigating a case of “technological fraud” after seizing a bike at the Cyclo-cross world championships in Zolder, Belgium.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Cycling Central
31 Jan 2016 - 7:32 AM  UPDATED 31 Jan 2016 - 8:04 PM

The bike is alleged to belong to Belgian women’s under 23 rider Femke Van den Driessche, the European champion for that category, with suspicions raised after it was found in the pits and checked.

Van den Driessche did not complete the first ever women’s under 23 Cyclo-cross world championship race, withdrawing after mechanical issues with a different bike.

Van den Driessche's father was later interviewed by Belgian publication Sport Wereld but he denied the bike belonged to his daughter.

"It is not one of Femke's bikes. Someone from her entourage, who sometimes trains with her, took the bike down into the pit," he said. "It was never the intention that they would ride it. That man has it in the meantime apologised a thousand times. Femke definitely did not ride the bike. Femke is distraught by this."

The UCI released the following statement after the seizure:

“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirms that pursuant to the UCI's Regulations on technological fraud a bike has been detained for further investigation following checks at the Women's Under 23 race of the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.”

The world governing body has been concerned by rumours of riders using mechanical assistance in events for several years, and in addition to the regular scrutinising bikes for signs of technological assistance, recently introduced penalties for any possible offence.

Technological fraud
12.1.013 Technological fraud is an infringement to article 1.3.010.

Technological fraud is materialised by:

  • The presence, within or on the margins of a cycling competition, of a bicycle that does not comply with the provisions of article 1.3.010.
  • The use by a rider, within or on the margins of a cycling competition, of a bicycle that does not comply with the provisions of article 1.3.010.

All teams must ensure that all their bicycles are in compliance with the provisions of article 1.3.010.

Any presence of a bicycle that does not comply with the provisions of article 1.3.010, within or on the margins of a cycling competition, constitutes a technological fraud by the team and the rider.

All riders must ensure that any bicycle that they use is in compliance with the provisions of article 1.3.010. Any use by a rider of a bicycle that does not comply with the provisions of article 1.3.010, within or on the margins of a cycling competition, constitutes a technological fraud by the team and the rider.

Any technological fraud shall be sanctioned as follows:

  1. Rider: disqualification, suspension of a minimum of six months and a fine of between CHF 20000 and CHF 200000.
  2. Team: disqualification, suspension of a minimum of six months and a fine of between CHF 100000 and CHF 1000000.

The under 23 women's race was won by Evie Richards of Great Britain followed by Nikola Noskova (CZE) and Maud Kaptheijns (NED).