UCI cycle race rule changes for 2017 you may not know about

We sift out some interesting - well, quite interesting - changes to the rules from the UCI's 2017 bike race regulations

There have been numerous alterations to the UCI regulations governing bike races for 2017. Tucked away in among the new rules are several items that could make for some noticeable changes.

Riders’ names can appear on team jerseys

Teams can now display the name of their riders in a prominent position on team jerseys, as long as it is outside the area that includes the sponsor’s name(s). This could give us football-style surnames on the back of riders’ jerseys, making rider identification from aerial footage of races much easier.

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2.2.027 “Teams are allowed to add the name of the rider on the jersey outside of the
areas reserved for the team’s principal partners.”

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World champion’s jersey gets higher priority

Lizzie Armitstead at the Women's Tour de Yorkshire 2016

Previously, the world champ would have to swap the rainbow jersey for the UCI WorldTour leader’s jersey

The UCI has changed the order of priority for jerseys, so that the world champion’s rainbow jersey is given precedence over the jersey of UCI series leader (eg women’s WorldTour).

This doesn’t affect the men’s WorldTour road events as there is no leader’s jersey. Only a stage race classification leader’s jersey trumps the rainbow bands of world champion.

1.3.071 Jersey order of priority
1. the leader’s jerseys of the stage race
2. the world champion’s jersey
3. the leader’s jersey of the cup, series or UCI classification
4. the continental champion’s jersey
5. the national champion’s jersey
6. the national jersey

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Distance changes in women’s races

The maximum distance for elite women’s one-day races has changed to 160km from 140km. Olympic and World Championship road race distances have extended from 120-140km to 130-160km (rule 2.3.002).

Similarly, the distance for women’s WorldTour stage race stages has been upped from 120-140km to 130-160km, and elite women’s non-WorldTour race stage distances from 100-130km to 120-140km (rule 2.6.008).

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More accurate timing for TTs and TTTs

Times given for riders competing in WorldTour individual time trials (rule 2.4.016) and team time trials (rule 2.5.013) must now be given to the nearest hundredth of a second, rather than tenth of a second. Makes that lunge for the line all the more important.

No hanging around for the podium

Race organisers that hold men’s and women’s races on the same day sometimes prefer to have the podium ceremony run together at the end of the final race. In the past, this can mean that the winner of the earlier race (usually the women’s race) has had to hang on until the podium is ready, often hours after they have finished.

A rule change has been introduced to limit this waiting time to two hours.

1.2.113 “Whenever two races on the international calendar are organised on the same
day and in the same location, the organiser may hold the official ceremony jointly for both races. The ceremony for the first race shall however be held no more than two hours after the finish”.

Under-23 women’s category

The under-23 women’s category has now been officially added to the list of age-related rider categories listed by the UCI (1.1.037) to go with the long-standing under-23 men’s category.

No under-23 women’s category is listed for the 2017 Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway (September 16-24), so we may have to wait a while for it to appear as a separate road category.

British rider Evie Richards became the first under-23 women’s cyclo-cross world champion in 2016, as this was one of the first events to feature the category.

BMX time trial is no more

The BMX time trial has now been removed as a UCI event and will no longer appear in the BMX World Championships. However, the UCI will host the first ever running of the BMX Freestyle Park World Championships for male and female riders in 2017, in addition to the BMX Freestyle Park World Cup series.

The full set of UCI race rules can be found on the UCI’s website.