Motorhead

Motherfucker.

I honestly don’t like swearing in an Article, much less using such a word to open an article, but seriously. Motherfucker. A motor discovered in an U23 rider’s bike at the Cyclocross World Championships has to be the lowest of the low that anyone can go. I’m so pissed off, I’m rhyming. Which itself makes me madder than a hatter.

I have a pretty lenient stance on doping, which I hold to fairly wide criticism. I believe that the path towards doping is full of shadows and gradual steps towards the darkness. It is easy for me to imagine a young, ambitious rider who has sacrificed education and other vocations for the chance to become a Pro Cyclist, who is taken under the wing of an older, more experienced rider and to whom is explained the ways of the sport. If I was 18 and following that path, I cannot say with certainty what choice I would make, given the limited perspective one would have under those circumstances. While I hate doping and wish for clean sport, I hold limited judgement over those who have strayed down that path.

But we ride bicycles for the pleasure of propelling ourselves along the road under our own power. We push the pedals and we go faster, it is as simple as that; the motor resides in our heads and in our hearts. Performance enhancing drugs will, to various degrees, fine-tune and modify that motor, but there remains alive a notion that even a doped rider is holding true to this basic notion.

Competition is about finding out who is the superior athlete, it is as simple as that. We train, we fine-tune our equipment, we learn the strategy and tactics required to rise to the top. Doping certainly obscures that concept, but that a rider would abandon this fundamental principle of our sport by utilizing a motor in their bike seems to me an order of magnitude removed. It is gratuitous to the extent that there is no possible justification apart from an unabashed desire to win over all else.

This is bike racing, not motorcycle racing. For fucks sake.

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179 Replies to “Motorhead”

  1. I have always joked about Downhill MTB bikes being motorcycles without the motors given the frame design and brakes, suspension, etc…so, so repulsed at the notion of adding motors to skinny tire bikes…

  2. I’m not sure I hold that doping the bike is somehow worse than doping the body, but I do hold that it’s bullshit that it’s come to this sorry state where motors are being fitted…

     

    Having done a small amount of work on teams, the mechanic absolutely had to have known about the motor – that fucker should be banned too, along with her dad.

  3. @Oli

    I’m not sure I hold that doping the bike is somehow worse than doping the body, but I do hold that it’s bullshit that it’s come to this sorry state where motors are being fitted…

    Having done a small amount of work on teams, the mechanic absolutely had to have known about the motor – that fucker should be banned too, along with her dad.

    The only, ONLY thing that makes the motor worse in my mind is this…even doped…the rider still has to put in the actual effort. YES..they are enhanced, and that is totally wrong, but they are still 100% making the effort. With a motor in the bike..that is no longer the case. They are making less effort than every other rider around them.

  4. I had the same knee jerk reaction, but everyone is innocent until proven otherwise. If Femke is speaking the truth about this being a friend’s bike the only thing you can blame her and her team with is really bad PR and damage control. Everyone else has to eat crow – and her “friend” has a lot of explaining to do…

  5. hmmm, one is not worse or more worse than the other, both are cheating. If I was a boxer and used HGH to develop bigger muscles or put a horseshoe in my glove the fella on his back getting a 10 count would just call me a cheat.

  6. The “friend’s bike” excuse probably tops Gibi Simoni’s cocaine double positive coming from a dentist’s injection and then from Peruvian lollies from his mum. But he got off, so maybe Femke does too!

    It makes perfect sense to me that:

    1. A male buddy could saunter into the pits at the cyclocross worlds with his bike;

    2.Said male’s bike has the same measurements as hers, and a ladies seat (my guess – if it was set up differently, that might be another story – which I reckon we might have heard by now);

    3. The friend’s bike used to be Femke’s but then the guy bought it and must’ve put a motor in it – and I guess that means he put the ladies seat back on?

    3. He left it there and disappeared.

    That sort of thing happens all the time.

  7. Cheating of any kind is low down shit. I don’t rank one over the other but this is just as bad and deserves a lifetime ban

    Her brother apparently is serving as ban for Epo. Do agree with the above though that when it comes to riders not even riding their bikes the whole sport is damaged… Christ is a bad as virtually climbing Alpe D”huez in your living room on the trainer and claiming a strava segment time!  What’s wrong with actually working hard and being jacoby with your best effort.

  8. @Marcus

    Correction – now a fella has claimed the bike – we have a fall guy!

    Be interesting to see the two of them side by side……..

  9. I got dropped on Turn 4 of  Alpe d’Huez  by a 60 year old fat broad on a E bike. I ain’t been right ever since (Send EVERY doper/cheater a lifetime ban or this sport is dead).

  10. @Haldy

    @Oli

    I’m not sure I hold that doping the bike is somehow worse than doping the body, but I do hold that it’s bullshit that it’s come to this sorry state where motors are being fitted…

    Having done a small amount of work on teams, the mechanic absolutely had to have known about the motor – that fucker should be banned too, along with her dad.

    The only, ONLY thing that makes the motor worse in my mind is this…even doped…the rider still has to put in the actual effort. YES..they are enhanced, and that is totally wrong, but they are still 100% making the effort. With a motor in the bike..that is no longer the case. They are making less effort than every other rider around them.

    Seconded. The rider – culpable. The owner of the bike – culpable. The mechanic – culpable. The parents – don’t even get me started on the misguided path that must have led to two, TWO, of their children heading down this path.

  11. If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying…  But putting a motor in your bike is a pretty dumb way to cheat. Way too easy to get caught.

  12. @Ben

    “If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.”

     

    What utter bullshit. There are plenty of people trying and succeeding without resorting to cheating.

  13. Why is the UCI is calling it “technological doping”?  Why are we PC’ing this to death already?

    A cheat is a cheat.  If you’re going to accuse her of cheating, fucking do it.  Call her ass out, and don’t pussyfoot around it.

    But if you aren’t sure, say nothing until you have an indictable accusation.

    The middle ground is the domain of the coward, the ‘allegedly,’ and of the witch hunt.

    If you suspect wrongdoing, make sure.  Then burn the motherfucker down.

  14. If there is any bright side, at least we gotten a new heinously bad excuse…

    I have this one friend who is always storing his extra cash in my wallet. It’s kinda nice.

  15. @Gopha

    Other articles keep mentioning Froome and Cancellara(I won’t accept that) but I couldn’t stop watching this video then and I can’t stop watching it now;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ideiS-6gBAc

    I watched it several times. I’m no mechanical engineer, but if the rear wheel was being driven by a motor, wouldn’t the bike have swung in the opposite direction?

  16. @Ben

    If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying… But putting a motor in your bike is a pretty dumb way to cheat. Way too easy to get caught.

    Maybe you should watch a race or two. Then go up to a rider at the end who might very well be exhausted and say what you just said. Then prepare to try and stop the bleeding from your shattered nose.

  17. @wiscot

    @Gopha

    Other articles keep mentioning Froome and Cancellara(I won’t accept that) but I couldn’t stop watching this video then and I can’t stop watching it now;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ideiS-6gBAc

    I watched it several times. I’m no mechanical engineer, but if the rear wheel was being driven by a motor, wouldn’t the bike have swung in the opposite direction?

    The thing about those motors and the way they work is that you have to pedal they don’t spin up the wheel on it’s own but rather give your pedalling more oomph (or should that be ookph).  So if he’d had the same sort of system the pedals would have needed to be going round too.

  18. Cheating is cheating and she should be banned for the usual 2 years. Unbelieveable that it has come to this. I really thought the UCI was overdoing it with all the x-ray machines. Really, motherfucker. And the women’s race was such a fantastic race, better than the men’s in terms of bad conditions and Rule V riding.

  19. Frank, rarely does a journalist express personal opinion in such a raw and unguarded manner. I love that you threw all poetry and correctness out the window in favor of saying what all of us who care about the sport are saying at home.

    Bravo.

  20. @brett

    @frank

    “I honestly don’t like swearing in an Article…”

    This is as big a joke as “it’s my friend’s bike”!

    I generally save it for the posts, mate. You’re the one with the potty mouth in the Articles.

    @Ray Dillman

    Did you just call me a journalist? That’s as bad as calling me a doper!

    (Not really, thanks!)

  21. @brett

    @Gianni

    Inconclusive. I ride up the Koppenberg at that same pace!

    (Ok, I’m comment doping there…)

    OK, besides Brett, people don’t ride away from such powerful cyclists on that kind of grade. To my eye it looks totally evident she has an assist.

  22. @wiscot

    @Gopha

    Other articles keep mentioning Froome and Cancellara(I won’t accept that) but I couldn’t stop watching this video then and I can’t stop watching it now;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ideiS-6gBAc

    I watched it several times. I’m no mechanical engineer, but if the rear wheel was being driven by a motor, wouldn’t the bike have swung in the opposite direction?

    seems like the right direction to me, if the rearmost part of the wheel moves up, toward the saddle… no?

  23. @Teocalli

    The thing about those motors and the way they work is that you have to pedal they don’t spin up the wheel on it’s own but rather give your pedalling more oomph (or should that be ookph). So if he’d had the same sort of system the pedals would have needed to be going round too.

    “the thing about those motors” is no one is *supposed* to know they are even there, so how they work is a secret, by tautological inference.  If Hesjedal’s bike had some kind of flywheel or similar device to preserve energy it would make sense the rear wheel – relieved of the rider’s weight (and most rolling resistance) – would keep spinning with enough inertia to turn the bike around a little.  Like the workings in a self-propelled toy car.  You know, the kind you roll forward a few times and it takes off on its own. You probably wouldn’t get much of an assist from the small-scale version of those workings you could fit into a downtube or seat tube, but it would be enough to help through little bumps, saddle adjustments, etc.  The obvious downside is that some of your energy during a acceleration is channeled into the workings and stored for those moments you let off the pedals, making quick jump-offs that much harder, but if you are freight training it up long mountain passes, the benefit would outweigh that drawback.

  24. @litvi

    I’d suggest that the flywheel effect of the rim would far outweigh any type of flywheel that could be concealed within a frame and it would have to be in the hub anyway otherwise the chain would have to be driving the wheel and back to the pedals needing to be turning.

    The only other method of driving it would be with the magnetic drive being in the wheel rim.

     

  25. @Teocalli

    good point about the chain driving… can’t really tell from the video what all is going on, aside from the motard driving over the rear wheel and putting an end to that caper!

    And speaking of Motos… anyone else notice @frank picked a motocross rider shaded in the color of the V for his lead photo?  He’s not just a journalist, he’s a sneaky little fucker too.  That’s some cryptic irony right there.

  26. UCI has to give lifetime ban. They has to be real consequences for this garbage. These asshats are ruining the sport with this BS. It disgusts and angers me. I saw Eddy spoke out today about a lifetime ban is justified. A-Merckx.

  27. @Marcus

    The “friend’s bike” excuse probably tops Gibi Simoni’s cocaine double positive coming from a dentist’s injection and then from Peruvian lollies from his mum. But he got off, so maybe Femke does too!

    It makes perfect sense to me that:

    1. A male buddy could saunter into the pits at the cyclocross worlds with his bike;

    2.Said male’s bike has the same measurements as hers, and a ladies seat (my guess – if it was set up differently, that might be another story – which I reckon we might have heard by now);

    3. The friend’s bike used to be Femke’s but then the guy bought it and must’ve put a motor in it – and I guess that means he put the ladies seat back on?

    3. He left it there and disappeared.

    That sort of thing happens all the time.

    Maybe it was Tyler’s Disappearing Twin?

  28. @Haldy

    @Oli

    I’m not sure I hold that doping the bike is somehow worse than doping the body, but I do hold that it’s bullshit that it’s come to this sorry state where motors are being fitted…

    Having done a small amount of work on teams, the mechanic absolutely had to have known about the motor – that fucker should be banned too, along with her dad.

    The only, ONLY thing that makes the motor worse in my mind is this…even doped…the rider still has to put in the actual effort. YES..they are enhanced, and that is totally wrong, but they are still 100% making the effort. With a motor in the bike..that is no longer the case. They are making less effort than every other rider around them.

    That’s what I’m saying. In black and white, cheating is cheating. But nothing is black and white. Once you add a motor, it’s a different kind of betrayal.

    @edwin

    I had the same knee jerk reaction, but everyone is innocent until proven otherwise. If Femke is speaking the truth about this being a friend’s bike the only thing you can blame her and her team with is really bad PR and damage control. Everyone else has to eat crow – and her “friend” has a lot of explaining to do…

    What is an amateur rider doing installing an expensive motor in his bike, I wonder? Seems like the perfect cover.

    Hey mate! Remember that bike you bought from me? Leave it in the pit and I’ll have a backup story!

  29. @Ben

    If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying… But putting a motor in your bike is a pretty dumb way to cheat. Way too easy to get caught.

    Did you rehearse that one? That is the simultaneously the best, funniest, and stupidest post on the interwebs about this whole affair. Assuming you ignore the article in the first place.

  30. Well fuck me. It wasn’t that long ago everybody was laughing at the UCI doing bike checks for motors and now this happens.

    This sport has a long history of cheating (as well as doping).

    Riders taking trains, riders being towed by cars by a fine wire, riders drafting cars and motorbikes, riders hanging on to cars and motorbikes, riders taking short cuts to the finish line, riders hiding somewhere out on the course then jumping back into the race… fucking etc etc.

    Even last year in the Vuelta a supposed Champion of the sport cheated by hanging on to a motorbike.

    Tennis has a problem with match fixing… but we consider that part of our sport, money changing hands, “favours” doled out then recalled later. Sure it’s not supposed to happen but everybody knows it does at all levels of the sport.

    It sure is fucked that it happened but it was going to happen one day by somebody.

    It started a cheats sport and nothing has changed. Why is anybody surprised?

    I just wonder who dobbed her in

     

     

  31. @litvi

    Why is the UCI is calling it “technological doping”? Why are we PC’ing this to death already?

    A cheat is a cheat. If you’re going to accuse her of cheating, fucking do it. Call her ass out, and don’t pussyfoot around it.

    But if you aren’t sure, say nothing until you have an indictable accusation.

    The middle ground is the domain of the coward, the ‘allegedly,’ and of the witch hunt.

    If you suspect wrongdoing, make sure. Then burn the motherfucker down.

    Yeah, you can’t “accidentally” put a motor in your bike, but you can certainly “accidentally” eat some tainted beef. The ban should be the same or higher. “Lifetime” has a good ring to it.

  32. @brett

    @Gianni

    Inconclusive. I ride up the Koppenberg at that same pace!

    (Ok, I’m comment doping there…)

    To be fair, they pull off before the steep bit on the cobbles. So what @Brett rides at that speed is actually the steeper, harder part that Geipel rides at that speed.

  33. @litvi

    @wiscot

    @Gopha

    Other articles keep mentioning Froome and Cancellara(I won’t accept that) but I couldn’t stop watching this video then and I can’t stop watching it now;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ideiS-6gBAc

    I watched it several times. I’m no mechanical engineer, but if the rear wheel was being driven by a motor, wouldn’t the bike have swung in the opposite direction?

    seems like the right direction to me, if the rearmost part of the wheel moves up, toward the saddle… no?

    Agreed. But maybe @wiscot is confused about how he descends verses how a Pro descends?

  34. @Chris

    I got dropped on Turn 4 of Alpe d’Huez by a 60 year old fat broad on a E bike. I ain’t been right ever since (Send EVERY doper/cheater a lifetime ban or this sport is dead).

    Yes, but neither she nor your were racing. I’d suggest you should be able to get over that one quite handily.

  35. @litvi

    @Teocalli

    The thing about those motors and the way they work is that you have to pedal they don’t spin up the wheel on it’s own but rather give your pedalling more oomph (or should that be ookph). So if he’d had the same sort of system the pedals would have needed to be going round too.

    “the thing about those motors” is no one is *supposed* to know they are even there, so how they work is a secret, by tautological inference. If Hesjedal’s bike had some kind of flywheel or similar device to preserve energy it would make sense the rear wheel – relieved of the rider’s weight (and most rolling resistance) – would keep spinning with enough inertia to turn the bike around a little. Like the workings in a self-propelled toy car. You know, the kind you roll forward a few times and it takes off on its own. You probably wouldn’t get much of an assist from the small-scale version of those workings you could fit into a downtube or seat tube, but it would be enough to help through little bumps, saddle adjustments, etc. The obvious downside is that some of your energy during a acceleration is channeled into the workings and stored for those moments you let off the pedals, making quick jump-offs that much harder, but if you are freight training it up long mountain passes, the benefit would outweigh that drawback.

    Or an electromagnetic wheel?

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/electromagnetic-wheels-are-the-new-frontier-of-mechanical-doping-claims-gazzetta-dello-sport/

    But more to your point, I wonder if a dynamo powered only by the rider themselves is different from a motor. At least it is all energy that the rider put into the machine themselves. There was a guy I ski raced with that used poles with springs in them. They were heavy and ineffective, but even if they worked, it would just be an exaggerated version of using steel’s flex to propel the bike during acceleration.

  36. @frank

    I guess one way of policing this may be via power data.  If all riders had to supply power data then presumably anomalies would show if someone was generating a pace that their power at a could not support?

  37. This will not end well for anyone who touched, looked at or even knew a hint of that bike.

    The UCI will load both barrels and not think twice about pulling the triggers, her brother and rest of family make them easy to not like in the first place, now this motor “thing” will not find too many ears that will listen to her “story” of how this happened which we all know is BS, just look at the her jamming up the hill in the video and how her upper body is very still and at ease while the rest of the riders are dogging it and upper bodies swaying all over the place.

    But I feel the UCI is doing this also as a “here you go guys- here is your one fucking warning” to the road pros before Spring, to let them know with the hitting of an app on a smart phone they can “see” your motors; no telling how many motors/frames that were going to be used this Spring are heading to the dumps this afternoon. This was done with a purpose by the UCI, if they wanted bigger fish they could have kept the evidence on this girl and held onto the technology that busted her and gone hog wild and caught a larger fish come Spring, gone back and stripped her of titles, winnings and other crap. But we know that would not have done cycling any good in John Q Public’s eye  although we would have applauded it here.

     

     

  38. @brett

    @Gianni

    Inconclusive. I ride up the Koppenberg at that same pace!

    (Ok, I’m comment doping there…)

    The fact that she wasn’t pedaling up the Koppenberg may have been an issue.

  39. What night of the week was The Fall Guy on? I have very special memories of certain awesome shows from when I was a kid and anticipating them as part of my weekly rhythm. I think the Fall Guy was in syndication but….

    I can still recall eagerly awaiting Simpsons on Thursdays, then Sundays. And Miami Vice on Fridays.

    Do we have proof that Femke was pretty good well before her cheating or did she shoot to the top via a spare motor? Imagine those family meals? Son is doping his blood, daughter is doping her bike. What the hell are Ma & Pa like?

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