Dan Bigham has rejected claims that his chest bump was an attempt to bend UCI rules.
During Wednesday’s Mixed Relay Time Trial, Eurosport commentators highlighted the large lump on Bigham’s chest, before pondering its legality. Meanwhile, Aerocoach owner Dr Xavier Disley explained to Cyclingnews that it was a “massive padded pocket” to house a race radio, to fill the empty space for aero gain.
Speaking exclusively to Cyclingnews on Thursday, Bigham denied those claims, reiterating teammate Alex Dowsett’s prior statement that it was little more than the team’s race radio.
"There's nothing padded about it," he said, before later clarifying the specifics. "It's a radio, it's a microphone, it's a cable. It's literally inside a sunglasses drawstring bag kind of thing that you get your Oakleys in. One of them inside my suit, and that's that."
Bigham went on to express frustration that, despite being one of many riders to employ the tactic, it was he who got pulled up by onlookers, before admitting that he knows he is under the spotlight, referencing to his reputation for finding aerodynamic gains and the controversial kinesiology tape debate during the Tokyo Olympics.
"I just found it a bit frustrating that it was made out like we're doing something really dodgy when everyone else is doing the exact same thing and it's totally fine."
The British team was indeed one of many to employ the tactic of a frontal radio position. Stefan Bissegger and Stefan Küng were both seen with similar - albeit smaller - lumps on their chests during the Elite Men's Individual Time Trial, while Denmark’s U23 Individual Time Trial winner, Johan Price-Pejtersen was another with a similarly-sized protrusion.
Bigham added that he was “face to face” with the UCI’s Innovation Manager, Michael Rogers, prior to Wednesday's event and that the sport's governing body is "totally fine" and had "no issues whatsoever with it," before later adding "We spoke with them and they're fine, every other team is running it, it's not just us."
Cyclingnews contacted Rogers for comment in the hours after the race but is yet to receive a reply. No official word has been shared by the UCI.
Bigham travels from Belgium to Switzerland today in preparation for taking aim at Wiggins' British Hour Record title next week, alongside fiancée Joss Lowden, who will attempt to beat Victoria Bussi's current women's World Hour Record.
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Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.
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