Suspicion of mechanical doping on the Routes de l'Oise 2024, zoom on Giovambattista Iera's bike

Suspicion of mechanical doping on the Routes de l’Oise 2024, zoom on Giovambattista Iera’s bike

This is something cycling would have done well with. What’s more, at the amateur level, a UFOLEP race where there is absolutely nothing to win!

Just before the start of the fourth and final stage, the organizers decide to carry out a technical inspection of a bike. Indeed, the organizer received several testimonies from riders participating in the event who expressed doubts, several people having mentioned an abnormal noise when riding.

Frédéric Lenormand, the organizer, tried to control his bike, but Giovambattista Iera, the suspected rider, did not hear it that way and fled. The organizer even found himself a hundred meters on his hood. Since then, the runner has been sought by the police.

Analyzing the photos of his bike allows us to detect some anomalies.

The preliminary article of our code of criminal procedure states that “ any person suspected or prosecuted is presumed innocent as long as their guilt has not been established: attacks on their presumption of innocence are prevented, repaired and punished under the conditions provided for by law “.

Thus, respect for the presumption of innocence is binding on everyone: plaintiffs, magistrates, lawyers, but also journalists, politicians… Everyone.

Who is Giovambattista Iera?

The suspect is none other than a former actor who played in the famous film “The Bike of Ghislain Lambert”. He is seen in the poster below, holding the bike. It just goes to show that reality sometimes catches up with fiction. His production company, Films de la Baleine, also participated in the film De Gaulle, released in 2020 with Lambert Wilson. And he had a small role in The Truth If I Lie 2.

Jean-Baptiste Iera (his first name in civil status), 53, is also co-founder of the company Italian Trattoria which has several restaurants in New York and Miami through which it is a sponsor of the Astana Qazaqstan Team. He also happily appears with Alexandre Vinokourov on his Instagram account.

A rider who could easily benefit from a Wilier bike from the team he sponsors!

More than 60 trattorias around the world and 50 million turnover allow it to be a “Silver” sponsor of the team. But so far, nothing reprehensible!

You can learn more in the following articles:

What happened on the roads of Oise 2024

Several riders within the peloton had raised the alarm, but also a marshal.

Franky Batelier, the outgoing winner:

I noticed suspicious watts, suspicious relay power, a different shape of Lapierre Xelius frame. And Clement PENVEN, the winner, heard a noise in his bike several times. Flavien Dassonville, also present, noticed it, as did a marshal who, after a derailment, saw him come back strangely quickly for a 52-year-old rider on a very well-organized breakaway of which I was part, riding between 45 and 50 km on the flat (wind null). He covered several hectometers alone in the wind and attacked us directly sitting on the saddle!

Monday morning, a message on the event’s Facebook page puts you on alert!

The story is notably told in Le Parisien Or Oise Hebdo.

After this episode, Giovambattista Iera was immediately excluded from AC Bellaingeoise, along with two other riders: Jean-Jacques Ribeaucourt and Miguel Ubeto. The latter was also his sports coach. (source : Awakening)

Daphnée Bos, member of AC Bellaingeoise and wife of President Fabrice Bos:

These three cyclists spent the majority of the race together. When Giovambattista fled, Jean-Jacques and Miguel left quietly and without warning anyone. We haven’t heard anything since.

Dodgy details on his bike

Without predicting anything, in any case, certainly, the Lapierre Xelius SL used by Giovambattista Iera presents several curious points. I thank Velo60 who allowed me to reuse their photos taken during the event.

When contacted, the Lapierre brand did not wish to react for the moment on this case, but my trained eye is still enough to note several points which show that this bike has been quite extensively modified in terms of its structure. Let us point out, however, that the French brand is in no way at the initiative of these modifications.

You will see, if you refer to my review of the Lapierre Xelius SL 700 in 2020identical to the model used by this runner, some differences are obvious.

First of all, the bottom bracket has a rather curious prominence on its upper part. What is there to hide a motor directly operating the pedal board?

From the side, it’s even more obvious. The seat tube also has almost an edge on part of its height. How to prop up a battery? We also see on the front a “tablecloth” which fits into the diagonal tube, while a brake hose and a Di2 electrical cable are much thinner.

Likewise, the seat tube profile which hugs the rear wheel a little seems to have disappeared, but it is difficult to be certain in these photos.

We also notice the absence of studs for a second bottle holder. A curious choice for a courier but above all, no Xelius has left the factory without bottle cage studs on the seat tube.

Another view of the seat tube… but also the underside of the bottom bracket. We also note that the Trap Door The stone located under the box, allowing access to the Di2 battery, is deeply modified, with an opening that seems much larger than originally.

Below, some other photos of this runner taken by velo60 during the event.

What could this bike be hiding?

Since Giovambattista Iera is still wanted by the gendarmerie following the organizer’s complaint, in my opinion, no one will get their hands on this Lapierre Xelius who will undoubtedly have vanished!

But everything actually suggests that the frame has been largely modified in terms of its bottom bracket and its seat tube. Why ?

Possible whether it is to integrate an engine such as Vivax Assist or similar. A motor which costs around €4,600 and which allows you to develop 200 more watts continuously for an extra 1.8 to 2 kg. But it’s possible that the version “probably used” here is further optimized, for example with a lighter battery.

The motor can be operated via a button hidden in the handlebar cap.

We can also imagine an integration of an E-Powers engine from the famous Stefano Varjas. The latter in fact offers a service allowing the E-Powers engine to be integrated into its own frame, for €7,000 to €25,000, undoubtedly depending on the engines.

The frame is modified, then repainted in the original colors. With a battery hidden in the frame, we arrive at interesting powers:

  • 60 W, (240 mins)
  • 120 W, (120 mins)
  • 240 W (60 mins)

Enough for a good runner to make the difference!

To be continued

In short, for the moment, these are only doubts, but big doubts all the same due to the behavior of the rider when the organizer wanted to check his bike (even if the latter apparently did not have any). not the right) but also modifications made to this Lapierre Xelius SL.

To be continued… if the bike is ever found!

The fact remains that if this is true, the psychological mechanisms for arriving at such modifications would be interesting to decipher, especially for a UFOLEP race where the only gain is generally a garnished basket. Coming from someone who doesn’t seem to be in need…

The fact remains that this unfortunately once again casts doubt on all of cycling.

Updated 05/21/2024 at 7:00 p.m.

The prosecutor announces the custody of the rider suspected of having used an electric bike on the Routes de l’Oise: -a-vue-runner-supconne-electric-bike-routes-oise/

One of the suspects, the driver of the vehicle, was taken into police custody this morning, the cyclist will be in custody at the end of the day. Investigations are ongoing.

Photo credit: Velo60 which you can find on their website and their Facebook page

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