UCI to test thousands of race bicycles for hidden motors

AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) The International Cycling Union plans to test thousands of bicycles for hidden motors, including at the Tour de France and Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

UCI technical manager Mark Barfield says around 2,500 bikes have been scanned since tests started in January, and the total could reach 12,000 this year.

Barfield says riders who switch bikes mid-race could be targeted.

Demonstrating its testing technology on Tuesday, the UCI says the one hidden motor found – at the cyclo-cross world championships in January – was at the first event where magnetic resistance scans were used.

Rumors of riders using motors have circulated for several years, and were fueled by a French broadcaster last month using thermal imagery.

The UCI insists its test detecting motors, magnets, and batteries is more effective than ''flawed'' heat-seeking cameras.