Cycling’s international governing body has banned the ‘supertuck’ position and the forearms on handlebars pose, which both offer an aerodynamic advantage to any rider adopting these riding styles.
The UCI says it will introduce the bans to improve rider safety in the peloton, but the decision has split the opinions of the pros.
A number of riders, including Andre Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) have questioned why the UCI is focussing on riding positions rather than more important safety issues in the peloton.
But Greipel’s team-mate Dan Martin actually supports the decision, saying: “I think the UCI should be applauded for being proactive for once.
“Too often rules are implemented reacting to serious injuries or worse. Riding helmetless is perfectly safe, until you crash and hit your head. The barriers in Poland were ‘safe’ for 12 years. Just two examples.”
Iljo Keisse (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) said: “We will decide for ourselves how we cycle and descend. The UCI should first make sure that everything within their responsibility is in order.”
The new regulations state: “Riders must observe the standard position [on a bike]…sitting on the top tube is prohibited. Furthermore, using the forearms as a point of support on the handlebar is prohibited except in time trials.”
Riders often use the tucked position to gain an aerodynamic advantage on descents in breakaways or when attacking solo, while breakaway riders regularly ride with their forearms on the handlebars to adopt an improvised time trial position in the attempt to gain a speed advantage over the chasing peloton.
The new rules are set to come into force on April 1 2021.
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