Soon after Thalita De Jong took a thrilling, come-from-behind Elite Women’s rainbow jersey at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on Saturday, reports began to emerge that a Belgian U23 woman had been caught for “technological fraud”, or riding a motorized bike in an earlier race.
Famke Van Den Driessche was one of the favourites going into the race but had a mechanical on the final lap, walked the bike in and abandoned. At first the UCI wouldn’t release the name of the rider under investigation, but the Belgian Cycling Federation confirmed it was Van Den Driessche’s.
According to Sporza there were electrical cables in the seat tube and a motor in the bottom bracket of the Belgian’s Wilier bike.
Bike with motors. It exists. Femke Van Den Driessche has the dubious honor to be the first one caught with it. Ever. #CXzolder
— José Been (@TourDeJose) January 30, 2016
Van Den Driessche can be given a suspension of at least six months, and a fine of up to 200,000 Swiss francs. If her team is found guilty of technological fraud, it can be suspended and fined up to one million francs.