The UCI management committee has approved the use of video commissaires at the three Grand Tours as well as the five Monuments and road world championships.
The measure is being adopted to help commissaires decide what action to take following incidents such as the one that saw Peter Sagan disqualified from last year’s Tour de France when he was adjudged to have caused the crash that ended Mark Cavendish’s race through injury.
Following the management committee’s meeting this week at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships at Valkenburg in the Netherlands, the governing body said that “the role of this extra commissaire will be to follow the race live via the different TV images available, thus supporting the members of the commissaires' panel who are out on the course.”
The management committee also agreed to implement the time gap protocol trialled last year in sprint stages at the Tour de Suisse and Tour de France to all races on the UCI international calendar.
Under the protocol, which is designed to improve rider safety, the time gap required for there to be deemed to be a split in the field rises from one to three seconds.
“This revision is in response to the increased levels of stress and danger brought about by bunch sprints, whilst still protecting the sporting integrity of the sprint and the stage,” said the UCI.
“The decision on whether to activate this protocol will be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the race organiser and the President of the Commissaires' Panel, after studying the profile of the stage, as well as the level of the teams and the number of riders involved.”
UCI President David Lappartient commented: “Rider safety and consistency between events on our International Calendar are two of the UCI's main priorities. These two measures will reinforce both of those aims.
“The extra commissaire will provide vital support to the other commissaires in carrying out their roles, and the protocol was successfully trialled last year.”
The management committee also approved measures designed to make checks for hidden motors more effective and will announce further details at a press conference on 21 March, which coincides with the start of the cobbled classics season.
Lappartient added: “I am delighted that several important elements of my election manifesto are soon to be fulfilled, particularly concerning the fight against technological fraud.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.