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A pair of new UCI safety regulations is not going down very well with racers and those involved with professional teams.
Last week, the UCI said it would begin to enforce the ban on the super tuck position. Today, the international governing body of bike racing announced it is also putting the kibosh on riders resting their forearms on their handlebars, a very popular position when in breakaways or on the front because it so effectively reduces aerodynamic drag.
- UCI to impose stricter rules for finish-line barriers, assess safety of ‘super tuck’ descending
- UCI to ban forearms time-trial position on road bikes
- Egan Bernal, Michał Kwiatkowski question UCI priorities in wake of ‘super tuck’ ban
Reactions from pro riders and those inside pro teams were swift, pointed, and mostly amusing. Some wanted to know what the UCI intended to do about other rider-safety issues, such as finish-line barrier construction.
I think those @UCI_cycling rules about arms on the handlebar and descend position are good. Although I’m still waiting to know what was or will be the sanctions for Tour of Poland organiser
— Jacopo Guarnieri (@jacopoguarnieri) February 8, 2021
Wonder if @UCI_cycling actually asked the riders about any of the new safety regulations? Or if the decisions were made by a room of old dudes in suits who based their opinions on belly size not being compatible with super tuck? Any insight @LuucEisenga? pic.twitter.com/Vq4yo0NnVZ
— Jonathan Vaughters (@Vaughters) February 6, 2021
Q @UCI_cycling @cpacycling,
How many riders died, crashed so hard they where paralyzed or where in a coma after doing a super tuck or riding with hands on there handlebars? And how many did because of unsafe roads, motorbikes or unapproved barriers? Can you still count them?
— Louis Vervaeke (@LouisVervaeke) February 8, 2021
The UCI implemented the ban on these two positions presumably to enhance rider safety.
Buried in the rules update are recommendations and requirements — barrier fencing construction standards, where bottles can be tossed so as not to crash riders, and more — which will be implemented and enforced to create safer working conditions for pro cyclists.
But reactions to these recommendations and requirements were largely overshadowed by rider’s reactions to the position rules.
I welcome the UCI's efforts to make cycling safer. But I'm not sure if the super tuck ban is the right way. I think we could see new aero riding positions being established that circumvent this new rule. The question is then if these new positions are safer or even more dangerous
— Maximilian Schachman (@MaxSchachmann) February 6, 2021
I will say this: if the UCI were even ABLE to enforce a ban on the supertuck, I for one would relish the absence of my colleagues doing in WITHIN the peloton.
— Robin Carpenter (@RobinmCarpenter) February 5, 2021
— 別府 史之 FUMY BEPPU (@Fumybeppu) February 6, 2021