Few things light up the switchboard in the sport of cycling like a change to the rules. No matter how big or small, debate could rage for days in support of and against whatever is being proposed.
The UCI has decided to try and ban the 'super tuck' from professional racing, with riders caught descending on their top tubes first being admonished for the manoeuvre, and the punishment for repeat offenders potentially rising to a suspension from racing.
This is one of a number of measures cycling's governing body is taking ahead of the new season following a 2020 where the issue of rider safety often flared up following numerous incidents during some of the biggest races.
"Yep that's it, ban something that doesn't cause any crashes, don't worry about actual safety issues," said Ribble Weldtite's Jacob Tipper, the 29-year-old clearly not thinking the other measures announced by the UCI, including looking into changing the barriers used in bunch sprint finishes as well as rubbish disposal, are going far enough.
"Far easier to ban this than sort unsafe course design or inappropriate barriers," added William Bjergfelt of SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, with Simon Geschke (Cofidis) sharing the same sentiment."What about downhill sprints like the one in the Tour of Poland last year that nearly killed someone?"
Meanwhile, Ineos' Tom Pidcock opted for brevity: "This is stupid".
Others, such as Burgos BH's Willie Smit, say the ruling doesn't necessarily remove the danger of the position, and that riders may choose to instead hover just above the top tube in a very similar aerodynamic position.
"Yes but it states sitting on the top tube. One can easily get close to the same position without sitting on the top tube," the South African argued. "And sorry for asking but how many crashes are caused by sitting on the top tube?! None that I've seen I think in my whole life..."
Those in the other camp include former Corendon-Circus rider turned youth coach Jens Dekker.
"My position (haha) on top tube descending has changed," he said. "It's still pretty safe, but after starting to train kids, and seeing a bunch of inexperienced twelve-year-olds sitting on the top tube going down a motorway bridge...yes, it should be banned purely as an example."
"I'm actually all for the decision personally," continued Dan Lloyd. "Yes, they're pros, no, there haven't been any major crashes because of this position, but there could be, and they're taking action before that happens. Also, people copying on open roads - not good."
Chris Boardman says he wishes the ban went further, and that riding with hands dangling over the front of the handlebars to gain an aerodynamic is also eradicated.
"I hope the measures also include banning riding with hands dangling over the front of the bars," Boardman said. "Spanchi bars banned 25 years ago for safety but this practice hasn’t been. Ludicrous."
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
400 training hours so far this year and 30 hour weeks: Strava reveals how the pros prepare for the Tour de France
Training data logged on Strava from January to June this year show the shear amount of in-the-saddle it takes to rock up at the sport’s biggest showdown
By Anna Marie Hughes • Published
Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder: the pros attend a summer camp unlike any other
Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder: the pros attend a summer camp unlike any other. Mountain bikers Sofia Gomez Villafañe and Christopher Blevins win the five-day stage race in the Cascade Mountains.
By Anne-Marije Rook • Published