UCI rule changes usher in new era

With the changes to the UCI’s rules for the hour record attempt firmly in place, Jens Voigt stormed to a new mark in the legendary event, setting a fastest-ever pace in the event, a time that was faster than anyone has ever gone before in this distance, except for eight other riders, all of whom went faster, but who, under new rules are now technically slower, making Voigt the fastest ever rider not to have used certain modifications under the old rules that allowed the “superman” position. Voigt’s new status as the fastest ever rider for the hour except for the riders who have actually gone faster created a wave of happiness and hysteria at the UCI, and Cycling in the South Bay was lucky to catch this brief interview with chief Brian Cookson in between lunchtime martinis.

CitSB: You must be really happy about this.

Brian Cookson: Oh indeed, indeed. This rule change is going to see a wave of riders attempting to break the hour record.

CitSB: Can you explain it to the folks back in Peoria? It’s kind of confusing.

BC: Of course. Under the old rules, which were instituted to replaced the former rules before that, and which in turn had been liberalized over the previous rules, a rider couldn’t set an hour record unless he did it under the same technical constraints as Eddy Merckx’s 1972 ride in Mexico City.

CitSB: And why was that so hard?

BC: There just weren’t very many more pairs of wool shorts left anymore. Except for the guys over at Velominati. And reproducing the open-shit sewers of Mexico City in ’72 was a major technical hurdle, not to mention getting old-school pepper-upper combos like Deca, heroin, strychnine, and cocaine.

CitSB: So then what happened?

BC: We changed the rule so that it mirrors the existing rules for the pursuit. If you can use it in the pursuit, you can use it in the hour record.

CitSB: Even those stupid looking smooth helmets that make you look like a speeding penis?

BC: (Slams another martini, rubs self). Especially those.

CitSB: Back to Ma and Pa in Peoria. Jens Voigt has the new hour record, but there are still eight riders who have set UCI-approved hour records faster than him. How can you be the record holder in 9th place?

BC: Again, as with most things in cycling, you have to be steeped in the history and the regulations to appreciate the effort. It is true that the fastest hour records of Boardman and Rominger will never be broken, but those records were set due to technical specifications that allowed them to use bike positions that we will never allow again.

CitSB: Why is that?

BC: The hour record should be pure. It should be man against time.

CitSB: Or woman.

BC: What?

CitSB: Never mind.



For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog, which is kind of a bargain. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

31 thoughts on “UCI rule changes usher in new era”

  1. I didn’t know they used mirrors in the pursuit. Well, if you pay attention, you learn something every day! Thanks, Seth.

  2. Unable Cycling Innovation.

    If you haven’t seen it already rent the Flying Scottsman, you couldn’t make the stupidity of the UCI up if you tried.

  3. I loved the bit where the UCI representative – in an effort to thwart this nobody from nowhere taking cycings greatest honour – picked on Graeme Obrees bike and highlighted that the length of Obrees saddle was non approved and outwith specification – so Obree took out a hacksaw and sawed the front 2″ off to bring back into specification, got on and went for it. You have to love the man…..still pushes at records even to this day……

  4. A careful re-read of the rules reveals that the rider position and bicycle dimensions used for a new hour record must be exactly the same as used by Eddy Merckx in 1972:

    The UCI is still comparing the above pictures with new pictures like these:

    If any differences are detected, the German rider’s claimed record must regretfully be denied.

    Gerry Pease

    1. That sounds like one of those “Unknown Distance” events they used to have in the Omnium at Alkek.
      One night a guy asked how many laps were were doing in the UD race, and we laughed but he was serious, pretty upset the ref wouldn’t tell him. Well, maybe he had to be home at a certain time or something, you know?

  5. Why do you hate popular cyclists slipping through the air better than many before him?

    If they changed the rules over some kind of expected time series, like every 5 or 10 years, then I’d have less of a problem with Jensie’s show. The quant geeks could model the changes and then compare efforts over time.

    As it is now, some people at the UCI wanted to revive the hour as a show and just pretended away the old records. Another example of the UCI protecting the integrity and history of the sport.

  6. Maybe there will be multiple hour records depending on the equipment one uses. Kind of like the Grammys where is it almost impossible to lose because there is a category and a subcategory for every form of music.

  7. This is some funny $hite. Thanks for the chuckle.
    I still give Jens props though, like the breakaway artist that he is, he saw the opportunity, took the chance and nailed it. I am sure he knew there would be all this controversy about the record which, no doubt, made it all the more appealing.

    1. Thanks!

      Bottom line is that he rode very fast on a bike for sixty minutes. But I’m still waiting for the guy who can do the hour record in, like, 58 minutes.

    2. It’s obvious the UCI wanted this show and somehow couldn’t get Spartacus to do it.

      Like everything Jensie, he’s attacks. He gets a few minutes in front of the cameras before the TT specialists knock the record down.

      From an entertainment wrestling perspective, it seems to me it was successful. Now, they need an “evil dude” to add a few meters to the record at which point the hero appears to take the record back. Yeah!!

      Like entertainment wrestling.

  8. I hold the very unofficial mountain bike hour record…around my vineyard, which requires a bit of wine every 5 laps….I think I did 53 km, but then Sal told me what the 53 was for — the number of times I crashed after a whole bottle was consumed…oh well….at least I don’t remember much…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: