Police raids Bahrain’s Victorious hotel in Tour de France

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Cycling news can confirm that the Bahrain Victorious were raided by French police at the Tour de France on Wednesday evening. The team confirmed the news directly to Cycling news Thursday morning.

“Nothing special, we have a police visit, they ask for the riders’ training records, they check the bus and that’s it,” said team boss Milan Erzen. Cycling news.

“They disturb the runners for an hour and at the end they say thank you. They didn’t tell us what the reason for the visit is, but we will find out today through lawyers.”

The team also confirmed that the runners and staff hotels had been searched and no arrests had been made. Movistar was also located in the same hotel in Pau but they were not visited by the authorities. Cycling news was informed by a source that up to 50 police officers were at the scene.

Bahrain general manager Victorious, Milan Eržen, last month defended the team against anonymous doping accusations that have surfaced in French media. According to a report in The Parisian, two people, including a team manager, expressed their concerns about Bahrain Victorious’ recent performances at both the Giro d’Italia and the Critérium du Dauphiné. They both refrained from going on the case and admitted that they had no evidence to support the allegations or suspicions, but they nevertheless raised doubts about the team’s credibility.

The charges surfaced after the team achieved stellar results, with Damiano Caruso, who forged a career as a solid mountain domestic after being convicted of a doping violation in 2012 by CONI, achieving his best result of all. times in the Giro d ‘Italie with a second place. There were also three stage victories for the team at the Critérium du Dauphiné with Mark Padun achieving two surprise performances to win back-to-back mountain stages in the race.

Eržen, who has never been charged but was previously under UCI surveillance due to alleged links to the Operation Aderlass anti-doping investigation, was quick to defend his team and riders when he been contacted by Cyclingnews last month.

“I can’t comment on anyone else and I will never comment on other teams,” he said.

“I don’t care what a sports director has to say. He can say whatever he wants. We do our job and we have invested in this team, in our riders, our coaches, our training camps and our Nutrition Everything Earlier or later results must come.

“I don’t know what kind of suspicion there is. We are following last year’s work and Rod Ellingworth has taught us a lot and I can be 110% sure that we are working by the rules. don’t need to explain to anyone. We have the same doping controls as the other teams, maybe more, I don’t know. And if someone comes to us for a doping control, we are always open about it. “

Eržen highlighted a change in the team’s approach to racing, with a more aggressive strategy to target stage wins more consistently rather than just racing for a top 10 or top five overall. . According to Eržen, this is one of the reasons for the team’s success.

Currently in the Tour de France, Pello Bilbao is the team’s best rider overall, standing in tenth place after finishing seventh at the top of the difficult Col du Portet climb in stage 17. The team had to change course on the Tour after losing their GC leader Jack Haig to a Stage 3 crash. They have since clinched two stage victories. Matej Mohorič claimed a solo victory on the breakaway on the 249.1km stage 7 rolling course, while Dylan Teuns attacked from the remnants of the stage 8 breakaway to close the gap with Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) on the Col de la Colombière then set off on his own to win.

More soon…


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