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UCI bans forearm time-trial position

Riders will be penalized for using the position as of April 1

Photo by: bettini

On Feb. 8 the UCI clarified its new road racing safety rules. The super tuck position will now be forbidden, a controversial decision which was much the subject of much debate over the weekend. In a new development, the updated regulations also include a ban on using forearms in time-trial like position on a road bike.

RELATED: UCI to ban the ‘super tuck’

The ban on both positions will be enforced starting April 1 2021.

The forearms time-trial position is often used in breakaways by cyclists trying to gain an aerodynamic advantage. Though the position will be allowed on time trial bikes, riders competing on road bikes will no longer be allowed to flop their arms outwards on their handlebars while steering with their forearms.

photo: Sirotti

RELATED: Pro cyclists react to the UCI’s super tuck ban

The official language in the UCI’s rulebook is very clear that the position is prohibited:

2.2.025: Conduct of riders: requirements to use litter zones and respect the standard position on the bicycle as defined by article 1.3.008. Forbidden positions include sitting on the top tube. Using the forearms as point of support on the handlebar is prohibited except in time trials.

The penalty for cyclists who violate the rules of conduct can be up to 1,000 CHF and 25 UCI ranking points at WorldTour races, the world championships, and the Olympics.

Increased safety

The rule changes come as the UCI attempts to increase the safety of road racing events. Other changes include increased regulations around roadside barriers, a new UCI safety officer appointment and stricter nutrition and gear disposal rules.

The UCI clarified the ban on throwing bottles or other objects outside of waste zones. “Riders may not jettison food, bonk bags, feeding bottles, clothes, etc. outside of the litter zones provided by the organizer,” reads the new rules—which were amended from: “Riders may not, without due care, jettison food…”

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The organization says the decision is for the safety of the riders (to avoid incidents such as Geraint Thomas’ Giro d’Italia crash due to a stray bottle), but also to address environmental concerns of the cyclists littering.