'The best I’ve come up with is a ‘how many fingers am I holding up’ pre-start check': What can be done about dangerously aggressive time trial positions?

Is time trialling on a collision course with the UCI or is the governing body turning a blind eye?

StefanKung time trial position on the left and after his crash on the right
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gruesome images of Stefan Küng crossing the finish line with a blood-spattered skinsuit and shattered helmet after he rode headfirst into the barriers at the European Championships in September provoked a lot of debate about what should be done about the dangerous time trial position that he himself admitted caused the horror crash.

Küng, who suffered a broken cheekbone, fractured hand and concussion, claimed that while riding a TT he was “basically blind… I can only see a few metres ahead”. Swiss media channel SRF reported that Küng could only hold his “horrendous” pace if he kept his head down and trusted the instructions in his ear via radio from the team car. Except this time Küng hadn’t received a warning and didn’t realise the course wasn’t following the expected direction until he hit the barriers.

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Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.