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The UCI has provided clarification about the rules in relation to doping control testing before and around the period of hour record testing, confirming that riders who are not part of a WorldTour or Pro Continental squad must cover the costs of testing themselves.
The question is a topical one as two such riders have attacked the hour record this season, and a third will attempt the record on June 7.
Jack Bobridge and Thomas Dekker are the first two of those, while Bradley Wiggins is the rider yet to attack the current mark.
Under UCI regulations, WorldTour and Pro Continental teams are subject to biological passport testing, and provide funding each season to cover this.
However riders with other teams such as Bobridge’s Budget Forklifts squad or those without a team – which was the case with Dekker when he attacked the record on February 25 – are not part of that testing pool.
As for Wiggins, he was part of the WorldTour Sky team until April, but then moved to the Team Wiggins squad. As a Continental team, it is not part of the biological passport system.
Given that all riders who make attempts on the hour record must be subject to such testing, CyclingTips sought clarification about the situation from the UCI.
In response, a UCI spokesman referred to regulation 3.5.005. It states:
“Any special attempt requires the prior written authorisation of the UCI. In this regard such authorisation is subject to the requirements determined by the UCI including, but not limited to, requirements related to the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.
“Riders making a special attempt must be included in the UCI Registered Testing Pool and provide accurate and up-to-date whereabouts information and must be subjected to anti-doping controls collected and analysed in accordance with the Athlete Biological Passport programme as implemented by the UCI.
“If the rider is not in the Registered Testing Pool or does not have any Athlete Biological Passport, all the associated costs for testing the rider or any extra controls shall be borne by the rider.”
While the costs of building up profiles on Bobridge, Dekker and Wiggins will all have been borne by their previous WorldTour squads, namely Team Belkin, Garmin-Sharp and Sky, that regulation means that those riders will all have been liable for any additional testing costs since they left those teams.
The UCI has not provided figures for the amount of testing done prior to record attempts.
The current interest in the UCI hour record was rekindled when the organisation’s president Brian Cookson helped relax regulations relating to the equipment which could be used. Jens Voigt was the first to go under the new conditions, setting a mark of 51.110 kilometres on September 18 of last year.
Since then IAM Cycling’s Matthias Brandle (51.852 kilometres, October 30), BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis (52.491km, February 8) and Alex Dowsett (52.937, May 2) have all extended that record.
Bobridge, Dekker and Gustav Larsson (Cult Energy Pro Cycling) all came up short in their attempts.
Current UCI world time trial champion Wiggins has predicted that he will beat Dowsett’s record by over a kilometre when he takes it on this coming Sunday. At the start of May he suggested that he would likely go between 53.5 kilometres and 55 kilometres in the 60 minutes.