InSight: UCI Sport and Technical Update issue 1

The most time-consuming part of any article, especially an analysis piece, at Cycling iQ is research. One of the great by-products of combing through large amounts of information is the discovery of interesting files and documents. InSight posts will be published whenever a notable find deserves a wider airing.

The first such “find” is issue 1 of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s ‘UPDATE Sport and Technical’ bulletin; an information document emanating from the UCI Sport and Technical department that, according to the UCI, will be published three times annually. So far, it appears this document hasn’t been “announced” publicly, but I’m sure it won’t be long before it’s picked up.

Amongst the interesting news clips are:

An infographic showing the five-year development of UCI-registered professional cycling teams from 2006-2012. As mentioned in the bulletin, “The UCI registered 230 teams for 2012: 18 UCI ProTeams, 22 UCI Professional Continental Teams, 153 UCI Continental Teams and 37 UCI Women’s Teams. Six years ago, 199 teams were registered. Excellent progress has been made in Asia and Africa.” [Note: Cycling iQ has published a similar map showing what countries all 2012 UCI-registered pro cyclists come from.]

Additionally, the 2013 WorldTour draft calendar is published, showing the recently-mooted Tour of Hangzhou (“subject to the approval of the PCC in September 2012”), which seems to directly imply the 2012 Tour of Hangzhou will not be happening.

The number of approvals for bicycle manufacturer’s frame and forks – under the UCI’s technical regulations that came into effect on 1 January, 2011 – have been summarised:

57 manufacturers have had at least one frame model approved
102 approved models in all disciplines
56 approval procedures currently under way
100th model approved 1 March 2012

“The distortion of the use of bottles, which in some cases have been transformed into aerodynamic components, has led to a change of the regulations, to be introduced from 1 January 2013. Article 1.3.024 bis will be amended to state that bottles must not be integrated with the frame and may only be positioned on the inside of the down and seat tubes. The cross-sections of bottles used for competition must not exceed a maximum of 10 cm or be less than a minimum of 4 cm. The capacity of bottles must be a minimum of 400 ml and a maximum of 800 ml.”

There are several other good snippets in the bulletin that make it a worthwhile read. Credit to the UCI for publishing it, though it would be nice to let the cycling public know it exists! The full PDF can be downloaded HERE

  • The new bottle size rule makes no sense. An Arundel Chrono will still be legal, but a 850 ml cylindrical bottle – a standard size which offers no aero advantage whatsoever – won’t be. For those of us who do long unsupported amateur races (one race I do is 150 km long and takes about four hours for C graders, longer if it’s windy), this is a major nuisance.

    • Thanks for your feedback Robert. Of all the UCI technical regulations, this is up there with the most arbitrary.

      The policing of such a regulation is also questionable. I wonder how race officials plan to check capacity of a water bottle pre-race?

      Still nine months to see whether there will be a good workaround…

      • My guess is that manufacturers will start producing 800ml bottles by the deadline, so only a minor loss in carrying capacity.

        As for enforcement, I doubt it at anything below official UCI race level, and maybe not even then. Remember the brouhaha about UCI wheel approval? Team UnitedHealthCare, according to an article on Rory Sutherland’s bike in Cyclingnews, is rolling around on handbuilts with carbon rims tied to Chris King hubs. Illegal, but apparently unenforced. For that matter, I suspect that half your average masters field is riding around on underweight bikes.

        But, still, a bit of extra research and thought could have achieved exactly the same goal – of preventing bottles being used as an aerodynamic fairing – without imposing additional costs on manufacturers and amateur riders. It’s a small thing, but indicative of an organization that doesn’t think before it acts.

        Also should take the opportunity to mention that I really enjoy your articles.

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