The International Cycling Union has banned Fabian Cancellara's Specialized time trial bike, and that does not make Saxo Bank team owner Bjarne Riis happy.
The World time trial champion rides the same Specialized “Shiv” model as Tour de France winner Alberto Contador of Astana. The UCI recently stopped Contador from using his bike in the time trial at the Volta ao Algarve.
“It is very disturbing. We have been told that we must not use the bicycle because the UCI will not approve it,” Riis told sporten.dk. “Fortunately we have not had a really big time trial yet, but before long there is a major one in Paris-Nice.”
Riis continued, “The rules are so specific and complicated that no one can really understand it. It is beneath contempt, the bicycle is both durable and safe. Then they suddenly say that the front of it is illegal - it is always about little details such as this.”
The problem apparently lies with the Shiv's aerodynamic nose cone. Specialized claims that its unique design makes the bike more stable, while the UCI says it is solely there to increase aerodynamics.
“Right now we are working hard to find a time trial bike model that can be used. But it is a strange thing to run into at this stage of the season, when we have already started racing. We can't really do anything else than to wait and see what they come up with," Riis concluded.
Cancellara has ridden only one individual time trial so far this season, in the Tour of Oman. Road bikes were used by all participants in that race, and not time trial bikes. The Saxo Bank rider finished second in the time trial to give him the overall title.