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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
Monday brought news of more updates to the UCI rules, Chris Froome’s opinion on disc brakes, and Remco Evenepoel’s return to training, among other news items.
Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.
Riders will no longer be able to use invisible aero bars
After Thursday’s statement outlining a number of updates to its rules and regulations, the UCI provided new rules text that will go into effect on April 1 in a memorandum Monday. The memorandum contained language reiterating that riding while seated on the top tube (in the so-called “super tuck” position) will not be allowed, as was expected following Thursday’s statement, but it also included language reiterating a prohibition on riding with the forearms supported by the handlebars.
The new language references already existing rules as set out in Article 1.3.008 that say, “The rider shall normally assume a sitting position on the bicycle. 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.” In other words, from April 1 on, the UCI plans to enforce its rules on rider positioning on the bike, and that will include a ban on both the “super tuck” and the use of what some might call “invisible aero bars.”
Monday’s memorandum also included new rules to prevent littering, with those who discard trash outside of designated zones set to risk time penalties or disqualification. Additionally, updated rules language now calls for barriers at race finishes from 300 meters to go through to 100 meters after the line whenever possible.
Froome offers his take on disc brakes
During a video review of his new Factor Ostro VAM, the bike that he is riding now that he has joined Israel Start-Up Nation, four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome spent some time sharing his opinion on disc brakes.
“I’m not 100% sold on them yet myself,” Froome said in a video posted on Sunday. “I’ve been using them the last couple of months. Performance-wise, they’re great. [They] always stop when I need to stop; dry, wet, they work, they do the job, they do what they’re meant to do. The downsides to disc brakes: the constant rubbing, the potential for mechanicals, the overheating, the discs becoming a bit warped when you’re on a descent of five or ten minutes of constant braking. Personally, I just don’t think the technology is quite where it needs to be yet for road cycling.”
As Froome noted during the video, this year will mark the first time he has ever raced on disc brakes.
James Huang has more on the story.
Evenepoel given the go-ahead to return to training
After spending some time off the bike over the past several weeks, Remco Evenepoel has been given the go-ahead to resume training. The Belgian youngster, who sustained a broken pelvis and other injuries in a crash at Il Lombardia last year, had originally gotten back on the bike about a month and a half after the crash, but revealed in January that his recovery had not gone as well as he had hoped it would, and that he would have to take time off the bike again.
“The recovery process from a crash of the magnitude that Remco had will always have some ups and downs,” said Deceuninck-Quick-Step team doctor Phil Jansen in a statement. “In the beginning it was all very positive and healing very quickly but then we had a slowing of the process. While this was nothing too severe, we had to pause and we are now happy that Remco can continue training and build towards the start of his season. We will have to proceed with caution and it will still be a long road to him being on the start line of a race, but it is now going in the right direction”
Cummings taking up new role with Ineos Grenadiers
The Ineos Grenadiers announced on Monday that Steve Cummings is joining the organization as a “development sport director and coach.”
The 39-year-old Briton, whose list of career achievements includes two Tour de France stage wins, a Vuelta a España stage win, and a Tour of Britain overall title, last raced with the Dimension Data team, retiring at the end of 2019.
“It takes time to become a good Sport Director and coach,” Cummings said. “I’m working hard in the background and I’ve done a lot of theory work and now I need to connect that with the practical side. This year, success for me would be integration, continued learning and building trust and a rapport with team members.”
The 2021 Vuelta will reportedly close out with a time trial
According to Atlántico Diario, the 2021 Vuelta a España will close out with a time trial in Santiago de Compostela.
Atlántico reports that the last three stages of the race will run through Galicia, concluding with a TT that will finish at the Plaza del Obradoiro, which would mark the first Vuelta finish outside of Madrid since 2014, when the race also ended with a time trial in Santiago de Compostela.
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