USA Cycling President Steve Johnson announced several rule changes that take effect for the 2007 season. During the last weekend in October 2006, the Board of Trustees voted to accept new legislation affecting road, track, and cyclo-cross. Announcements about changes to mountain bike rules are expected soon.
Perhaps the most significant change affects junior racers, who must now ride their junior gears per the defined gear limits in all road and track races, including those with older juniors and seniors. Prior to the rule, juniors often geared up to exceed the junior rollouts when competing against older riders in older junior, senior, or elite races, so they would not be out spun on flats and downhills. According to USA Cycling's website, "The gear limit for a rider is determined by rider age and discipline, and applies in all events in that discipline – even when other entrants may not have the same (or any) limit."
Promoters should note the new rule that prevents them from opening their event to entry, including via the internet, before the race permit has been applied for and the race announcement approved by an administrator. Penalties may include fines, revocation or denial of the permit, or suspension of the organizer.
One equipment-related change will not take effect until 2008, when, all riders 17 and older, including masters, will have to race UCI legal bicycles at all national championship events, NRC calendar events, and international team selection races. The rule was to take effect earlier, but an administrative omission cause a delay in full implementation.
Some more minor changes relate to radio use and definitions. Rules were clarified to prohibit riders from wearing audio playback devices like walkmans, mp3 players, and iPods during races to more clearly define stage races and omniums. Also, Stage races may be run on time or points, but to be a true stage race, per USA Cycling's definition, riders must finish one stage in order to compete in the next one. Thirdly, all Masters national championships will be awarded in five-year age increments although in the event of small fields, multiple divisions may be raced simultaneously.
For a complete list of rule changes and explanations, visit www.usacycling.org.