The super-tuck descending style seen in the Tour de France and other races looks fast, but with crashes, safety concerns are raising.
Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) posted in Twitter earlier this week that the UCI should ban the position.
“Did you see Phil Gilbert crash the other day? And the Fortuneo rider in the first week?” Martin told Cycling Weekly.
“It’s a bit unsafe and we are starting to set an example for kids at home.
“I don’t know where it came from or who started it, I think it was Matej Mohoric. When guys are on their own, fair enough, but in the peloton, it’s a little bit silly. I’ve used it a couple of times, but think it’s just dangerous.”
In the Tour de France, everything is in the camera’s lens. However, enforcing a rule in other races could be a problem. And then there is the question of whether cycling needs another article in its rule book.
Chris Froome showed how fast he could go on the top tube with his chest slammed on the bars and stem when he won in Bagnères-de-Luchon in 2016. Mohoric did so for a World Championship win in the 2013 under-23 race in Florence.
“You need to think about when you do it, you can’t always ride like that because there are potholes at times,” Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) explained.
“But you need to let the riders use their good sense. To create a rule seems excessive.”
“There are so many regulations,” added former world champion and twice Tour points competition winner, Thor Hushovd.
“Many riders are taking risks. Most of the crashes are because they take a turn to too quickly or fighting for positions. It doesn’t often happen in a downhill in a breakaway like we saw in the first week with the Fortuneo cyclist.
“When I was racing, I had my position, and I felt safe. And that was holding the handlebar close and laying over the bars. Let’s just leave it up to the riders to decide.”
Martin referred to Michael Hutchinson’s reply to his Twitter post. Hutchison said “Technically it’s already banned, because it utilises an unauthorised point of support. The arse is supposed to go on the saddle.”
“Technically there is a UCI rule that bans it already,” added Martin, “but it’s just where it’s enforced.”
“I believe the UCI should bring in a three-month ban for anyone riding with their arms in a TT position in a road race, or sitting on the top tube,” Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data) said in May.
“They’ve got zero control there have been some big crashes. I think the UCI should clamp down on that.”