British pro Alexander Richardson was disqualified from the Tour of Turkey for an illegal riding position on stage four.
Richardson, who races for ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix, was caught on camera using his forearms on the handlebars to support his weight, while gripping his brake levers with his little fingers.
On April 1, the UCI introduced strict punishments for anyone riding in a number of unconventional riding positions, including the ‘supertuck’ and forearms on the bars, on safety grounds.
Richardson was only the second person to have been disqualified from a race for the offence, after Jumbo-Visma’s Gijs Leemreize was kicked out of Brabantse Pijl just a few hours later.
While Richardson was filmed riding in an illegal position before Leemreize’s offence, the Dutchman was kicked out of Brabantse Pijl immediately, while Richardson was not disqualified from the Tour of Turkey until after he had finished the stage.
The UCI regulations state: “The rider shall normally assume a sitting position on the bicycle. This position requires that the only points of support are the following: the feet on the pedals, the hands on the handlebars and the seat on the saddle.”
Riders breaking the new riding position rule are automatically disqualified.
Cycling’s governing body also released a guide for race organisers, riders and teams setting out exactly which positions are now banned.
The UCI also introduced harsh punishments for riders caught littering outside designated zones on course.
After introducing disqualifications for anyone littering in one-day races and time penalties in stage races, the UCI has agreed to change the rules after numerous complaints from riders.
Anyone littering will now be given a fine for their first offence, rather than the immediate disqualification that was initially enforced.
Richardson, a former One Pro Cycling rider, joined ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix on a two-year contract at the start of 2020.
This season he competed in a number of Belgian one-day races, before lining up for his first stage race of 2021 in the Tour of Turkey.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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