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Motor doping thread

The Clinic is the only place on Cyclingnews where you can discuss doping-related issues. Ask questions, discuss positives or improvements to procedures.

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06 Jan 2018 17:06

http://www.grasset.fr/rouler-plus-vite-que-la-mort-9782246812647
Google translate
One morning in winter 2012, Philippe Brunel is woken up by the phone. A mysterious correspondent said to have "information to sell him". The man is a friend of Istvan Varjas, a Hungarian physicist, designer of motorcycles that the narrator had gone to interview at Basel airport, a year earlier. What was he running away from? Why did he leave Switzerland for Cameroon? Should he believe it when he claimed to have sold his first prototype two million dollars?
From Paris to Budapest, from Bruges to the distant corners of Tuscany, the author is drawn into a history of draws against the backdrop of technological cheating and opaque financial issues. This book shadows the shadows of an impenetrable back-world, where characters are a little shady, intermediaries safe from banking secrecy, icons of cycling obsessed with money and success - a haunted back-world by the specter of Lance Armstrong. In counterpoint, this question: in his hegemonic designs, did the former Texan champion, too, cross the road of Istvan Varjas?
An unusual investigation into the traces of the invisible engine and its designer, Istvan Varjas, who once told Philippe Brunel: "I just wanted to tell you ... If tomorrow you learn that I had an accident or that I I'm suicide, do not believe it. "
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
User avatar Robert5091
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Re:

11 Jan 2018 18:11


"Ride Faster Than Death", that's a cool title, and written by a cool-guy journalist, as well.
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Should we believe it when he claimed to have sold his first prototype two million dollars?

If so, probably Varjas would have better things to do than make videos of his unexplained gadgets. Varjas should have made up some more believable figure, $2 million is a lot of money in the context of cycling
a hidden world haunted by the specter of Lance Armstrong. As a counterpoint, this question: in his hegemonic ambitions, did the former Texan champion, too, cross paths with Istvan Varjas?

I can definitely believe that there is this weird demimonde of grifters, organized crime, and hangers-on surrounding European pro cycling. But did Lance "cross paths" with Varjas, well, he claims that he never met Varjas - and if it could be proved, it would probably have been known already.

Maybe there is going to be some bombshell revelation in Brunel's book - but more likely scenario, in my opinion is: some mechanical doping devices were offered through intermediaries to pro teams, the goods turned out to be rubbish, then nothing happened. Why was Varjas running away to Cameroon? Maybe to escape some Mafiosi who he scammed? I don't know...

Seems like an entertaining story nonetheless, and will be well-crafted given Brunel's talent with words. I am curious enough to check it out when the book appears
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Re: Re:

11 Jan 2018 21:21

I can definitely believe that there is this weird demimonde of grifters, organized crime, and hangers-on surrounding European pro cycling.[b] But did Lance "cross paths" with Varjas, well, he claims that he never met Varjas - and if it could be proved, it would probably have been known already.



Apparently, this book has basically said Wonderboy knew and engaged in using a motor in his bike, the book all but outs him on it. It certainly wouldn't surprise me to find out he did, because as we all know, he's a sociopathic, narcissistic, pathetic, grandstanding, unreliable, pathological LIAR! It's hard to believe anything that comes out of his maw at this point.

Still think he's the GOAT, some of you?
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Re: Re:

11 Jan 2018 22:31

86TDFWinner wrote:
Apparently, this book has basically said Wonderboy knew and engaged in using a motor in his bike, the book all but outs him on it. It certainly wouldn't surprise me to find out he did?

Grasset website says the release date of Rouler plus vite que la mort was yesterday January 10.
Brunel wrote a book previously on the mysterious circumstances of the death of Pantani, since he knew Pantani fairly well during the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was pretty thorough, in terms of exploring all theories of accident, suicide, murder.. but didn't reveal much new

http://www.lemonde.fr/cyclisme/article/2018/01/10/cyclisme-un-livre-et-une-enquete-judiciaire-relancent-les-soupcons-de-triche-au-velo-a-moteur_5239599_1616656.html
La thèse : en septembre 1998, Varjas, décrit comme aussi génial pour ses inventions que robuste sur un vélo, met au point, après des années de développement, un moteur discret, de la taille d’une clé USB, capable de fournir 140 watts pendant cinq minutes.

The thesis: in September 1998, Varjas, who is described as equally great in his inventions as strong on a bike, produced, after years of development, a discreet motor, the size of a USB key [a USB flash drive], capable of providing 140 watts for 5 minutes.

En l’absence de preuves, le journaliste se contente de juxtaposer les vies de Varjas et d’Armstrong. Avec le Hongrois, il relève les troublantes concordances de dates, la façon métronomique de grimper de l’Américain, sans effort apparent ni rupture de rythme, s’étonne de la géométrie d’un cadre Trek utilisé par Armstrong, propice à y dissimuler un moteur.

In the absence of evidence, the journalist contents himself with juxtaposing the lives of Varjas and Armstrong. For the Hungarian, he notes the disturbing coincidence of dates, and for the American, the metronomic style of climbing, without apparent effort or break in rhythm, and is surprised by the geometry of a Trek bike used by Armstrong, suitable for hiding a motor.

« Je n’ai recueilli qu’un faisceau de faits convergents. Rien qui épuise le mystère », admet le journaliste.

"I have only collected a bundle of convergent facts, nothing that solves the mystery", the journalist admits.

And the article says Lance Armstrong decided not to threaten Grasset with legal action because "I looked at my calendar and it's not April 1st" [April Fool's Day]
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Re: Re:

11 Jan 2018 23:34

86TDFWinner wrote:
I can definitely believe that there is this weird demimonde of grifters, organized crime, and hangers-on surrounding European pro cycling.[b] But did Lance "cross paths" with Varjas, well, he claims that he never met Varjas - and if it could be proved, it would probably have been known already.



Apparently, this book has basically said Wonderboy knew and engaged in using a motor in his bike, the book all but outs him on it. It certainly wouldn't surprise me to find out he did, because as we all know, he's a sociopathic, narcissistic, pathetic, grandstanding, unreliable, pathological LIAR! It's hard to believe anything that comes out of his maw at this point.

Still think he's the GOAT, some of you?


I could see him buying the rights from Varjas for $2 million even if he never used it. Just to keep it away from his competitors. It just makes sense. If Varjas started shopping it around, an actually bright engineer would learn of the idea and run with it.

John Swanson
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Re: Motor doping thread

12 Jan 2018 00:27

I don't know how much respect the Inner Ring blog gets in these parts but here is what he has tweeted:

...read Brunel's book over lunch, no revelations. Nice prose as the author tries to find a connection between Hungarian engineer Varjas and Armstrong but in his own words:

"la pluie, grosse, hivernale, recouvrait la campagne d’un voile brumeux. Et j’éprouvais un sentiment de vide. Plus j’avançais dans cette histoire, plus j’avais l’impression de désapprendre, de rester au seuil des choses.Je ne disposais que de preuves indirectes, rien de tangible"

Bing translated:
"the rain, big, winter, covered the campaign of a misty veil. And I felt a sense of emptiness. More I walked in this story, more I felt to unlearn, to stay at the threshold of the things. "I only had circumstantial evidence, nothing tangible"

It seems he tried to make a story and failed. Perhaps the real story is the unimaginable one - that Varjas is a fraud.
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Re: Re:

12 Jan 2018 00:48

I could see him buying the rights from Varjas for $2 million even if he never used it. Just to keep it away from his competitors. It just makes sense. If Varjas started shopping it around, an actually bright engineer would learn of the idea and run with it.
John Swanson

If a USB flash drive has a volume about 5 cubic centimeters, and the USB-sized Varjas device can generate 140 watts for 5 minutes, that's a power density of 28 W/cm3, and energy density of 2.33 Wh/cm3

What type of device might that be, within those constraints of volume and energy?
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Re: Re:

12 Jan 2018 01:52

ClassicomanoLuigi wrote:
I could see him buying the rights from Varjas for $2 million even if he never used it. Just to keep it away from his competitors. It just makes sense. If Varjas started shopping it around, an actually bright engineer would learn of the idea and run with it.
John Swanson

If a USB flash drive has a volume about 5 cubic centimeters, and the USB-sized Varjas device can generate 140 watts for 5 minutes, that's a power density of 28 W/cm3, and energy density of 2.33 Wh/cm3

What type of device might that be, within those constraints of volume and energy?


A bomb...

The best Li Ion cells are capable of 0.6 Wh/ml.

Unless of course you're talking about a motor which consumes that much energy. Which is entirely reasonable, though it would probably be a super high rpm brushless motor. The best way to go would be a many multi-pole DC motor to get high torque at low rpm. A friend corrected me that a stepper would not be necessary for that.

Anyways, I super doubt you could get 140 Watts output from that small of a motor unless it was stupid high rpm and that didn't include the casing. Even then, cooling would be a problem

John Swanson
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Re: Re:

12 Jan 2018 05:46

ScienceIsCool wrote:I could see him buying the rights from Varjas for $2 million even if he never used it. Just to keep it away from his competitors. It just makes sense. If Varjas started shopping it around, an actually bright engineer would learn of the idea and run with it.
John Swanson

If a USB flash drive has a volume about 5 cubic centimeters, and the USB-sized Varjas device can generate 140 watts for 5 minutes, that's a power density of 28 W/cm3, and energy density of 2.33 Wh/cm3
What type of device might that be, within those constraints of volume and energy?

A bomb...
The best Li Ion cells are capable of 0.6 Wh/ml.

I was thinking it would have to be some kind of advanced battery, since it cannot be that the motor itself is supposed to be the size of a USB drive. But that's how the description reads, the whole motor. And in that case, we would probably have to think along the lines of combustion or radioactivity... or ... ???

Unless of course you're talking about a motor which consumes that much energy.

fournir 140 watts = to provide the power. So it means the generated power, not the consumption

Anyways, I super doubt you could get 140 Watts output from that small of a motor unless it was stupid high rpm and that didn't include the casing. Even then, cooling would be a problem
John Swanson

It was just a rhetorical question or small thought-experiment on the improbability of the Varjas device as described. If it is real, then for sure it would be worth a lot more than $2 million to all kinds of industrialists, miiltary, etc. Then the whole espionage and death-threat scenarios from the book make sense as well

Oh, look, Lance was hiding the Varjas motor in plain sight !
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That's brilliant - let's not let it fall into the wrong hands
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12 Jan 2018 13:00

II read it as ""to provide 140 mechanical watts ", so he is speaking of the motor.
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Re:

12 Jan 2018 14:00

poupou wrote:II read it as ""to provide 140 mechanical watts ", so he is speaking of the motor.

Which is easy to do in a small package, as long as you don't mind rotor speeds >10,000 rpm. Small, powerful brushless motors are used extensively in quadcopters and such. Cheap too! http://www.headsuphobby.com/25--300-Watt-Brushless-Motors_c_172.html

But that's definitely not what you'd want because you'd have to do some nasty amounts of gear reduction to get any usable torque out of it.

John Swanson
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12 Jan 2018 15:04

Why would a motor that size require a bike with "special geometry"? Makes no sense.
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12 Jan 2018 19:16

So if I'm understanding this, we have a book which even by the authors own admission is centred around pure speculation and weak suggestive links and coincidence.

Sounds great, will i find it in the fiction or science fiction section of the library?
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Re:

12 Jan 2018 19:30

brownbobby wrote:So if I'm understanding this, we have a book which even by the authors own admission is centred around pure speculation and weak suggestive links and coincidence.

Sounds great, will i find it in the fiction or science fiction section of the library?

It is possible to have a collection of facts, but still not be able to come to a conclusion. The facts are still interesting and put some hard boundaries on what is possible and/or plausible. Ex: dark matter

John Swanson
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Re: Re:

12 Jan 2018 19:39

ScienceIsCool wrote:
brownbobby wrote:So if I'm understanding this, we have a book which even by the authors own admission is centred around pure speculation and weak suggestive links and coincidence.

Sounds great, will i find it in the fiction or science fiction section of the library?

It is possible to have a collection of facts, but still not be able to come to a conclusion. The facts are still interesting and put some hard boundaries on what is possible and/or plausible. Ex: dark matter

John Swanson


Indeed it is, it's also possible to come to a dead end with a piece of investigative journalism but still try and make a few quid by publishing something regardless.

To be fair, it does appear that he is at least being open about this from the outset.
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29 Jan 2018 10:39

The whole motor doping area is littered with people talking nonsense that some of the valid points and links I think are being missed.
This weeks blog covers Israel Cycling, women's cycling welfare, and I try not get started on World Tour field size. http://sbbcolumns.co.uk/letstalkcycling-muses/ :D
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Re: Motor doping thread

30 Jan 2018 20:57

MartinGT wrote:http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/mechanical-doping-voeckler-wouldnt-be-shocked-if-lance-armstrong-had-used-a-motor/

Its all Lances fault.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lance never used a motor during his yellow jersey days, but in fact Voeckler did so in 2011 & 2012!
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31 Jan 2018 10:44

V - still same attention wh0re.
Get the LA and motodoping into one sentence and media are all over you. He just loves it.
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Re: Motor doping thread

31 Jan 2018 11:19

staubsauger wrote:
MartinGT wrote:http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/mechanical-doping-voeckler-wouldnt-be-shocked-if-lance-armstrong-had-used-a-motor/

Its all Lances fault.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lance never used a motor during his yellow jersey days, but in fact Voeckler did so in 2011 & 2012!


I wonder who is feeling the effects of cortisone abuse more?
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