Mathieu Van der Poel wins stage 3 from Monticiano to Gualdo Tadino, Tirreno-Adriatico 2021

UCI mulls more safety measures, including a ban on victory celebrations

Supertucks, hugs, and now victory celebrations?

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After a busy couple of months in which the supertuck has been banned and hugs have come under scrutiny, the UCI is reportedly considering a further wave of in-race safety precautions, according to reporting from l’Equipe.

A leaked preliminary version of the plan, also seen by CyclingTips, shows there are few stones unturned in the pursuit of an injury-free sport.

The most significant change includes a complete ban on removing both hands from the handlebars, intended to reduce the likelihood of in-race loss of control. This proposal, however, will also have wide-ranging implications for athletes looking to stretch their lower backs.

Critics have been quick to note that under a strict reading of the proposed rule, the standard victory salute – most commonly occurring when a rider crosses the finish line first – is an endangered species.

“Posting up”, as the riders call it, has been a popular practice for professionals for decades, with the first recorded victory salute infamously taking place at the 1908 Tour de France. In the years since there have been many more iconic, and increasingly elaborate, celebrations from riders including Peter Sagan, Toms Skujins, and Mathieu van der Poel.

Responses from within the peloton to the proposed measures are, at this early stage, mixed.

A number of riders have taken to Twitter to express their gratitude for the UCI’s advocacy for their safety:

But a few more traditionally-minded figures in the sport are viewing it as further overregulation – especially when lower-hanging fruit like the presence of disc brakes, ankle-socks and manly embraces remain rife within the sport.

CyclingTips has contacted the CPA (Cyclistes Professionelles Associés) for comment, but it was unable to provide any meaningful statement.

The UCI guidelines in their proposed form can be found here.

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