This entry was posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 11:09 am and is filed under Tour de France. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
…we’d all go to hell in a hand-cart. At today’s start of the Tour de France in Monaco it’s anybody’s guess whether some time trial bikes will be disqualified by UCI commissaires. The UCI said it would start enforcing its existing 3-in-1 aero rules from 1st July.
UCI commissaires will be out in force, blazers stuffed with tape measures and well-thumbed copies of The Practical Guide, the UCI tech bible.
The UCI says: “The Practical Guide will provide assistance in applying the UCI Technical Regulations, in particular Articles 1.3.023 and 1.3.024 relating to equipment used in time trials, the implementation of which has become increasingly problematic.”
Given free rein, the UCI would no doubt like all bike racers to compete on a level playing field, and the fairest way of doing that would be for everybody to ride the exact same model of bike. This is what happens at the Little 500 race in America. Riders race on singlespeed Routemasters little changed from the 1960s. It’s a fascinating event, but it’s a college event and the rules about clone bikes couldn’t be translated to the real world.
What the UCI fails to realise is that bike racing only exists because of innovation. Bike racing was founded by bike companies looking to expand the market for their wares. It’s the same today: why would any bike company sponsor a pro bicycle team if it were not for the commercial gain of selling products to us mere mortals?
The UCI is divorced from this commercial aspect of cycle racing. The UCI actively dislikes innovation. Yesterday, on Twitter, I suggested Andy Roddick might be a poorer tennis player if the world governing body of tennis happened to be the UCI:
Speed of Roddick’s serves are due to strength, technique & high-tech kit. If UCI ran tennis, it would be back to wood & catgut.
I followed it with “If UCI ran soccer, it would be back to pigs’ bladders for balls,” and then invited others to contribute. Many did. Add yours!
maddogmedia: “If UCI ran golf, guys in kilts would still be using sticks to smack rocks down rodent holes. And only white guys in kilts, too.”
Thomas A. Fine: “If UCI ran the Internet, I’d have read your “tweet” on Usenet news over a 1200 baud modem.”
pmshires: “If UCI ran … it would be backwards”
John Osborn: If the UCI regulated computers, we’d all be running Windows.”
BikeCrave: “If UCI ran Twitter, we’d be sending homing pigeons to tweet.”
Joe Parkin: “If the UCI ran the Tour de France there would only be kermis racing in July.”
Joe Parkin: “If the UCI ran Apple, we’d all still be listening to CDs through our Walkmans.”
Andy Gilsenan: “If the UCI ran the TV industry we would all have radios because the pictures are better.”
Mark Sauerwald: “If the UCI ran the internet, we would be wishing for the good old days of dial-up modems.”
Richard Young: “If the UCI ran beer, then we’d all be drinking pre-1516 Fartwell’s old P!ss.”
kathleen: “If the UCI ran American gymnastics Bella Karolyi would never have left Romania.”
Carl Gumeson: “If the UCI ran the auto industry we would ALL be riding bikes.”
maddogmedia: If UCI ran Motown, it would’ve signed the Carpenters, the Osmonds and the Monkees.”
Todd Larlee: “If UCI ran [American] football, it would be back to leather helmets with no masks.”
steyrshrek: “If the UCI ran F1 they would still be racing horse and buggies with solid wheels, none of them new fangled pneumatic tires.”