There’s an interesting rumor going around that Fabian Cancellara, one of the top pro cyclists, used a hidden electric assist motor to help him in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Here’s a pretty poorly-done video that shows how the motor in question works and clips from the races when Cancellera allegedly uses electric assist.
The footage in the video is inconclusive at best, and it seems like the whirring of the motor would give it away, but he really does take off!
Now that electric assist systems have gotten so small, the UCI (the governing body of professional cycling) has announced that it will start taking special care in looking for electric motors.
The electric system in question is called the Gruber Assist, and it’s actually a pretty neat piece of work. the motor is a gear driven unit that fits in the bike’s seat tube, turning the crank bottom bracket with a gear drive.