By Steve Frothingham
Concerned that UCI rules for race equipment could be bad for business, several suppliers of UCI-registered teams have formed a coalition to present their concerns to the sport’s governing body.
The new Global Organization of Cycling Equipment Manufacturers includes most of the major suppliers to ProTour teams, including SRAM, Cannondale, Cervelo, Bianchi, FSA, Specialized and Felts.
Phil White, the co-founder of Cervelo and one of the founders of GOCEM, said manufacturers provide about 100 million Euros in annual support of professional cycling.
“Manufacturers have the greatest investment and a vested interest in the success and growth of the sport,” White said.
White has been working to form the group for several months. Another early proponent of the group has been Claudio Marra, general manager of FSA.
In a statement Thursday, the group said the industry was alarmed by the UCI’s announcement in January that it would begin enforcing its so-called “3:1 rule” regulating the cross-section of frames and components.
“This interpretation caught manufacturers unaware,” the statement reads. “The concern that the strict and immediate enforcement of the “3:1 rule” could potentially cause significant financial hardship on manufacturers and teams, especially in this extremely poor economic climate, was one of the catalysts that prompted the formation of GOCEM. However, the bigger opportunity and the organization’s long-term goal is to create greater stability and professionalism in all aspects of the sport.”
In an interview several weeks ago, Marra told VeloNews that members of the association had discussed the formation of the new group with UCI officials, who welcomed the development.
A UCI spokesman was not immediately available Thursday to comment on the formation of the group.
Founding members of the GOCEM: A-Team (Taiwan Bike Company Association representing Merida, Velo, Maxxis, Alex, Rims, Formula, VP components, Wellgo, RS-Suntour, KMC, Truvativ, Kenda, Topeak, TH Industries, Tektro, Joytec, Jagwire and RST), BH, Bianchi, BMC, Cannondale, Canyon, Cervélo SA, Cinelli, COLIPED, Felt, Focus, FSA/Vision, Fuji, Giant, GT, Hed, Look, Mavic, Orbea, Oval, Prologo, Quark, Ritchey, Rotor, Specialized, SRAM, Teschner, Time, 3T and Zipp.