The UCI has issued a statement clarifying the disqualification of Jan Willem Van Schip (Beat Cycling) from the Baloise Belgium Tour for use of Speedco’s ABB handlebars.
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The statement released late Saturday evening points to 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”. Footage of the race clearly shows Van Schip resting his forearms on the extended horizontal section of the Speeco bars.
“Riders must observe the standard position as defined by article 1.3.008. This position requires that the only points of support are the following: the feet on the pedals, the hands on the handlebars and the seat on the saddle.”
The UCI’s statement seemingly contradicts initial reports, which suggested the ABB handlebar was legal, but it was Van Schip’s use of the bars and specifically resting his forearms on that horizontal section that resulted in disqualification.
The statement explained that the UCI’s Equipment Commission had deemed the Aero Breakaway Bar impermissible for use in UCI regulated events in its current design. Furthermore, the UCI claims to have directly informed Speeco, the manufacturer of the ABB, of this ruling and the restrictions on the bars pending further assessments.
“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.”
The UCI is clear it communicated the Equipment Commission’s ruling on the bars to Speeco.
The UCI statement also refers to a presentation made to all UCI road teams in March of this year which included an explanation of the new “forearm rule” in article 2.2.025 and even included a photo of Van Schip using the exact Speeco ABB handlebars in question as an example of forbidden positions. The UCI claims it delivered this presentation to all UCI road teams, which suggest Beat Cycling either attended or received the presentation. As such, it is difficult to understand how Beat Cycling believed the bars might be ok for use in the Belgium Tour.
The UCI’s statement follows Beat Cycling’s own statement on Van Schip’s disqualification in which the team claims to have received a “green light” to use the bars from the commissaire at the Belgium Tour. The UCI’s statement is unlikely to be the last we hear on this matter as Van Schip’s disqualification escalates into a war of words between the Dutch pro continental squad and the UCI.
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