He is beauty. He is grace. He is Maxime Chevalier descending the Col du Béal in a supertuck on Stage 14 of the 2020 Tour de France.

A requiem for the supertuck

With the supertuck ban finally having kicked in, we take a trip down memory lane.

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It was always going to be too good to last. 

The ‘supertuck’ – a manoeuvre that first rocketed to public attention midway through last decade – has now officially been banned by the UCI.

The new rule, first announced in early February as part of a package of safety reforms aimed at curbing “dangerous conduct”, was introduced with a grace period for “rider education”. However, as of today, the ban has kicked in, and will be enforceable with “systematic sanctions (which could go as far as exclusion from competition)”. 

Dwars door Vlaanderen, held yesterday on March 31, represented the final opportunity for a legal supertuck – a fact that was enthusiastically seized upon by many in the peloton. 

The origins of the ‘supertuck’ are somewhat hazy, but Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) is among the riders credited with introducing the move. Mohoric pulled it out on his way to victory at the U23 World Championships in 2013, later teaching it to then-teammate Cameron Wurf, who deployed it at the 2014 Presidential Tour of Turkey

The supertuck truly crossed over to the mainstream, however, on stage 8 of the 2016 Tour de France.

On the stage-ending descent of the Col de Peyresourde, Chris Froome (Sky) dropped like a stone to a stage win and eventual Tour de France victory, his long legs spinning awkward circles as he sat on the top tube. [Excuse the soundtrack; there is not a “good song in the background”, despite the video creator’s claims to the contrary.]

Minds were blown, and the supertuck became part of cycling history, as opposed to a weird thing that a couple of kooky characters of the peloton busted out every so often. With its aerodynamic benefits and race-winning potential firmly established, it became a regular feature of most races.

Until now.

Now that the supertuck has crossed over from “here and now” into “there and then”, we thought it was time for a tuck down memory lane. 

Tucks from the archive

The predecessor to the supertuck – and another position that has been banned – is this little ‘over the saddle’ number. Famously favoured by Marco Pantani, it is here modelled by Belgium’s #1 Party Starter, Tom Boonen, at the 2003 Dauphiné Libéré.
Matej Mohoric may have been one of the canaries in the coalmine, but Andrey Amador was also an early proponent. Here’s the Costa Rican on stage four of the 2013 Tour Down Under. Boy howdy, would you just look at him go.
Tim Wellens moving along at a ferocious clip in recon for the 2017 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Here’s Phil Bauhaus creating memories on stage 3 of the 2017 Giro d’Italia, purposeful and unembellished like his namesake architectural movement.
Another deep cut from the supertuck archives. Tony Martin descending the Nieuwe Kwaremont at the 2018 E3 Harelbeke, in one of the great team kits of cycling’s recent past.
Michael Gogl gets down low and go-go-gos.
A synchronised supertuck from Wout van Aert and Oliver Naesen at the 2019 E3 BinckBank Classic [nee Harelbeke].
At the 2019 Giro d’Italia, Pello Bilbao showcases a rare TT supertuck, resting his chest on the aero bars and his cheeks on the extensions in a truly sphincter-puckering fashion.
Farewell, supertuck, my sweet prince.

Bonus: the last recorded supertucks

What, you want more supertucks? OK, fine.

We scoured the internet for the final legal supertucks, and from Dwars door Vlaanderen, here’s what we unearthed.

Tim Wellens knew how to do it in 2018, and he certainly hadn’t forgotten how in 2021.
Jasper Stuyven, fresh off a win at Milano-San Remo, sneaking one last tuck in while the tucking is good.
Victor Campanaerts has read about the supertuck in a book, but his real-world execution leaves a little to be desired.
Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) with a particularly pleasing foot placement, while Dylan Teuns (Friendly Bahrain – Victorious) toes the UCI line. In his sideways glance is all of the thwarted envy and self-righteousness of someone who has missed out on a fun time today, but will be on the right side of history tomorrow.

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