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25-11-2022 | Frank Jansen

5 ways of cheating in gran fondos

Cheating and cycling are unfortunately inseparable. Not only in the Tour de France. Even in gran fondos, unfortunately, it occurs. But in what way?

5. Stayering/pushing

Riding behind a car: if the course is not car-free, it unfortunately happens. And when the course is indeed car-free, pushing by soigneurs on an e-MTB is unfortunately also seen more and more often.

A special story comes from a gran fondo by GFNY. The female winner was kept out of the wind for hours by her boyfriend, who wasn't even participating in the race. She crossed the line first in the women's race, but was immediately disqualified by the jury. With good reason.

4. Riding a bike that is too light

Most gran fondos are not subject to UCI regulations, so the weight of the bike is not relevant. This is different with the UCI Gran Fondo Worlds and all the associated qualifying races. After the finish most bikes are weighed, especially at the World Championships. Are there many bikes lighter than 6.8 KG? Definitely.

3. Adjusting your handlebar sign

With a little white sticker or some Tippex, you can easily have start number 312 instead of 7312. You may not win much, but it is not completely honest.

2. A motor in your bike

Recently another 73-year-old was caught motor doping, although he didn't really do his best to hide it given the giant rear hub he was riding with. The winner of this year's Maratona is also suspected of using a motor, although there is no evidence.

1. Doping

This form of cheating that is by far the most common. Despite the fact that only few gran fondos have a doping control, riders are still regularly caught (sometimes out of competition). Subcategory: missing a doping control, as Raphael Addy and Pipo Garnero happened. 

In our newest podcast (in Dutch) we take an in-depth look at cheating in gran fondos. Listen to it now!

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