Helmet covers like the one worn by Mark Cavendish when winning the road world championship, and shoe covers, as worn by most international track cyclists, are to be banned as world cycle racing’s governing body, the UCI, looks to tighten up equipment regulations, "limit the impact of equipment on performance", and to make sure the race victory goes to the best rider not the best machine.
The UCI is also looking to tighten up its procedures in order to prevent riders gaining a competitive advantage through their position on the bike as well as various kit they use, particularly when it comes to aerodynamic properties.
The main changes outlined in a presentation called Check of the equipment and position in competition, attached at the end of this article are:
So, those are some of the key equipment checks mentioned in the document. The UCI says that the idea of the checks is to improve fairness and safety. The idea is to limit the impact of the equipment on the performance and ensure that the race victory goes to the best rider, not the best machine. They also say that enforcing these rules helps preserve the culture and image of the bicycle.
Will these equipment and position checks achieve those goals? And are all of those goals what we're after anyway? Isn't technical evolution and innovation part of the interest and excitement of bike racing, and don't they lead to better bikes for those of us who don't race? We'd be interested in your comments.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.