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Tour de France

UCI calls for return of pinned numbers at Tour de France, Tour de France Femmes

Governing body urges against use of sleeved number fixation systems on jerseys and racesuits due to visibility issues.

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The humble safety pin is poised for a return to the biggest races in the world.

The UCI sent a letter to all teams racing the upcoming Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes urging against the use of sleeved number fixation systems.

A note sent by head of road and innovation Mick Rogers and seen by CyclingTips asks “rider numbers are fixed on the outer layer of the jersey/skinsuit and not placed in pin-less number fixation systems/pockets” for all road stages. There was no similar request for time trials.

Why?

Visibility issues. The governing body mandates in its rulebook that all race numbers should be clearly readable at all times.

“Several cycling stakeholders (UCI commissaires, race organizers, cycling media and fans) have raised their concerns about the lack of visibility of rider numbers placed in pin-less number fixation systems/pockets,” reads Rogers’ letter.

The note obtained by CyclingTips doesn’t threaten sanctions for teams that don’t comply.

The use of number sleeves is one of many developments aimed at improving aerodynamics in road racing, from sleeker bikes and aero socks to road-stage racesuits and helmet redesign.

So is the old-school safety pin and the hallowed tradition of “pinning a number” back at the top of pro cycling?

Could be, if the UCI has its way.

Read the full story from our friends at CyclingTips here.

Fernando Gaviria pins on his racing number at the 2020 Vuelta a San Juan. Photo: James Startt