Techno Doping at 2016 Cyclocross World Championships! Oops, is that a motor in my seat tube?

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
As a former road racer, I appreciate the benefits that my BionX kit provide me now but it would never have occurred to me to cheat at a race. The very clever downtube motor & lithium battery system, like a Gruber/Vivax Assist have been around for several years, a 3.9 lb system according to the Vivax website.
There is an excellent article published in Treehugger with links to the original Cycling Weekly post that you folks should read.

techno doping at UCI 2016.jpg Vivax-Gruber motor.jpg

With all of the thousands of miles riding and training, my bike became an extension of my body; I knew the feel of the flex of the cranks climbing a hill and my balance over the frame. So I cringe to think this woman rider couldn't tell the difference in the feel of that bike vs. 'her' bike. Same for the mechanic. Even if she didn't know that the kit was on the bike, that 3.9 lbs (or less) would've been noticeable to the most novice bike racer.

Sadly, this rider had to be in the top of her field to make it to an International championship race with superior conditioning to handle the challenges of cyclocross racing. It's not likely that a tiny 250 watt motor would really make this person that much better of a racer; maybe shave off a few critical seconds to win. This is the real unfortunate story about doping or cheating in the cycling world; any of these riders would be world class without the cheat, maybe just a few seconds slower. And I am disappointed that this time it is a woman athlete.
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It is certainly very sad that it has happened. :(

As said in one of the other threads, cytronix kits have been available over here for a very long time now, but this was the first time that I have ever heard of a CX rider using a down tube motor. Like you, I'm more than puzzled about why a top level rider would even entertain the idea, especially given just how much carrying and running with the bike, that riders do. There also wouldn't be the time to flaff around pressing a discreetly hidden button, and in the say the case of a sprint, pedal power is going to be stronger. The motors probably wouldn't even stand up to the rigors ,demands, and conditions of cyclo cross. It just doesn't add up.

I've followed cyclo cross for many years, and have in past even fancied have a bash at it, but even at the lowest of amateur levels, the level of fitness is unbelievable. Cyclo cross bike as a whole are really popular over here, and I can't go out for a ride without seeing people out on them.

If anyone has never seen what cyclo cross looks like, here it is.

Even children over here race cyclo cross.

Notice the nose bleed. Hard as nails these kids. :)


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