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AIGCP weighs in on UCI saddle regulations

By:
Daniel Benson
Published:
July 09, 2011, 10:55 BST,
Updated:
July 09, 2011, 12:03 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 9, 2011
Race:
Tour de France
fi'zi:k provides riders with several options for its saddle models. In this case, Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) has chosen the TwinFlex carbon shell and braided carbon fiber rails

fi'zi:k provides riders with several options for its saddle models. In this case, Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) has chosen the TwinFlex carbon shell and braided carbon fiber rails

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Decries timing of UCI action

The AIGCP (Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels) has added their voice to the continued dispute over saddle regulations. The argument erupted during the team trial on stage 2 of the Tour de France. The UCI had deemed a number of saddle positions to be against their regulations and a number of fines were handed out after teams began to dispute the jury at the race.

In a statement released Saturday, the AICGP stated: “The continued goal of the AIGCP is to have productive relationship with the UCI. Our hope remains that the UCI will recognize our voice in matters such as the saddle inspection issue. With that said, the AIGCP members would like to make a few important points about saddle inspection.”

The body went on to make three points, arguing that the rules laid down by the UCI were not defined and the “measurements taken are not reliable or repeatable” with the instrument used to measure saddles not accurate. They also argue that trying to enforce riders to adhere to using flat saddles raises risks relating to prostate health and comfort, putting forward that a + or – 5 degree guideline could be a solution.

The final point raised was over the way in which the UCI have implemented the rule change. The governing body contacted Cyclingnews after the initial dispute, telling the website that teams had been notified of the rule change before the Dauphine in June and that they had been given the chance to meet with the UCI’s commissars at the race in order to avoid and clear up any confusion.

However the AIGCP countered this: “The UCI has had all year to make these inspections and did not do so. Waiting until the start of the Tour de France, when riders have been riding in the same position all year, was counterproductive. This should have and could have happened earlier in the season.  And, waiting until the biggest race in the world, on the world’s stage, does nothing to further the image of sport we all love.”

The UCI and AIGCP have clashed over a number of issues this year, most notably race radios and this is the latest episode to arise, stemming from a lack of both guidance and fair council within the sport.

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