Route - Contre la fraude sur les contre-la-montre, l

Road – Against time trial fraud, the UCI changes the rule

After the commotion caused this year by the teams’ cars full of spare bikes in the time trials, theICU acted to avoid this “trap” with a rule change. From 2023, sports directors’ cars must remain 15 meters from their driver, while until now they were 10 meters. LThe aerodynamic benefits of having a car in front while driving are obvious, but there is also an advantage, albeit less significant, to having one behind. It is for this reason that some teams have begun stacking multiple bikes on the roof of the follow car in recent years, to maximize the towing area. According to our colleagues CyclingNews, a standard car following you at 10 meters would equate to a 0.23% reduction in drag coefficient, which translates to a gain of 0.078 seconds per kilometer.

Video – Ganna was one of the first to use this “technique”!

The UCI and its fight against technological fraud

Any presence of a bicycle that does not comply with the provisions of article 1.3.010, within or outside of a cycling competition, constitutes technological fraud on the part of the team and the rider. Technological fraud is punishable by disciplinary measures. The fight against technological fraud is one of the priorities of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to guarantee the integrity, credibility and fairness of the results of the competition. For the 2022 season, the UCI will implement a set of tools based on highly effective detection methods.

The UCI recently decided to strengthen its arsenal in the fight against technological fraud. Following the introduction of magnetometric tablets in 2016 and X-ray technology in 2018, a third tool was adopted in 2021 to detect any possible use of hidden motors in tubes and other bicycle components. During the past season, a device using backscatter and transmission technologies that combines the advantages of the two tools already used by the UCI joined the range of equipment available to the Federation. Not too big and relatively light (just over 3kg), this camera-like piece of technology can be easily carried and handled by drivers. It provides instant images of the interior of the tested sections, which can be transmitted, remotely, directly to the UCI Stewards.

X-ray equipment is completely safe for its operators and the public. It is carried from race to race throughout the season. Capable of producing an X-ray image of a complete bike in just five minutes, this technology is used to validate the performance of leading cyclists and allay any suspicions about race results. This technique has received the necessary authorizations to be used in countries that host major cycling events.

Thanks to all these tools, the UCI is able to implement the strongest action plan ever implemented to combat technological fraud, with tests scheduled for 150 race days on five continents. All disciplines and age categories will be covered. To strengthen its means of fighting technological fraud, the UCI also intends to develop an equipment traceability system (frames and wheels) based on radio frequency identification (RFID).

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