Over the weekend, Italian officials popped a 53-year-old masters rider for racing with a hidden motor in his bicycle. Race organizers got a tip that the third-place rider at a race in Brescia on Saturday had been cheating and when they scanned his bike, they saw what looked like “a fire” in the seat tube and the rider supposedly confessed.
However, Alessandro Andreoli spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport, who broke the initial story, and gave a rather entertaining and boastful interview. For one, he denies ever putting a motor in his bike and says that he never even confessed to doing so. La Gazzetta published a photo of the bike, and when they asked him where he bought it, he said he met a man while on vacation in Tuscany and bought it from him. “I don’t remember his name or his phone number. We met out on the road, I liked the bike, he asked a great price and so I bought it.”
They pressed Andreoli about a button that appears to be on the right handlebar, a button which could theoretically activate a motor in the bike. He said there wasn’t a button (there is) and when asked why he didn’t allow judges to dismantle the bike and look for a motor, Andreoli claimed that he had to hurry off because he was late for a wedding.
Andreoli reserved his harshest words for his competitors, who he’s apparently been beating a lot more than usual lately, which he says is because his back is finally healthy, not because he’s using a little motor. He said that those who tipped off officials are simply jealous of his wealthy lifestyle, which he’s earned through years working as a tile maker.
“I had a back problem and couldn’t move. I’ve solved the problem and I’ve been training well. It seems I’ve annoyed someone. They’re envious of my excellent lifestyle. I’ve been a tiler for a long time and earn a lot.”
Either way, it hasn’t been a good week for 53-year-old men of Italian heritage.