The UCI has issued a statement clarifying its position about the disqualification of Jan-Willem van Schip from stage three of Baloise Belgium Tour after the Dutch pro used Speeco’s Aero Breakaway Bar (ABB) since we reported the DQ on Saturday.
The UCI confirmed in its latest statement that van Schip was disqualified for violating article 2.2.025 of the UCI regulations, which specifies “…using the forearms as a point of support on the handlebar is prohibited except in time trials”.
“The position adopted by the rider on his handlebars did not conform to this regulation, which aims to protect rider safety,” the UCI states.
The governing body added: “The UCI clarifies that the handlebar in question that led to the disqualification of Mr Van Schip had been presented by its manufacturers to the UCI Equipment Commission earlier in the season.
“The manufacturers were informed that the handlebar in its current design contradicted the UCI Regulations, and the Commission prohibited the use of the handlebar in UCI sanctioned events until further assessments had been conducted.
“Furthermore, in March, all UCI Road Teams were given a presentation and explanation of the UCI’s safety measures, including article 2.2.025, with visual examples of forbidden positions.
“Finally, the UCI specifies that since the decision of the UCI Technical Commission, the UCI was never contacted by BEAT Cycling regarding this handlebar until stage 3 of the Belgian race.”
The unusual aero handlebar allows riders to rest their forearms on the upper sections. Dutch carbon specialists Speeco developed the bar last year for Van Schip who races for the UCI Continental BEAT Cycling Team.
The ABB only has a 70mm stem, but with the lengthened forearm rest included within the bar it hits a total reach of 355mm, and this extra section is what allows the rider’s weight to be supported by their arms and not the wrists.
The hollow shape is also designed to cradle the length of the forearms for maximum stability and comfort when leaning into this aero position.
“BEAT Cycling has learned with great surprise of the disqualification of Jan-Willem van Schip in the Baloise Belgium Tour after the third stage,” the team said on social media on June 11, the day before the UCI's latest statement.
“The disqualification is based on the ABB handlebar that Jan-Willem used during the stage and which, according to the UCI statement, are [not] allowed.
“We do not understand this decision. Since the launch of the ABB handlebar, we have been discussing this with the UCI. Never, the UCI informed us that the handlebar would not be allowed. The UCI has also seen no need to accept the offer of the developer of the ABB handlebar to further investigate the admissibility.
“On the morning before the start of the third stage, we even discussed our intentions to ride with the handlebar with the UCI commissaire on site. Here we got the green light to start with the ABB.
“The UCI has not made any reservations about this. BEAT believes that the disqualification is unjustified and that Jan-Willem van Schip is seriously affected.”
It appears that this outcome is what certain other riders in the peloton would like to see.
Trek-Segafredo rider Ryan Mullen had earlier taken to Twitter to voice his objection to the bars:
“UCI: "Your socks are 1cm too high"
“UCI: "If you throw away your bottle to a fan you get sentenced to death"
“Also UCI: "Yeah go ahead an use these in a 150 rider bunch...".”
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