It will not stop at the radio ban.
The UCI has announced new rules to that will ban carbon-fiber frames by the end of the 2012 season as part of a new initiative to return cycling to its glory days.
UCI officials say the ban is the first step in a series of moves to reel back technological advances and bring cycling back in line with its halcyon days of Coppi and Merckx.
“Nothing has contributed more to make racing more boring and predictable than the introduction of carbon fiber frames,” said UCI president Patrick “Pat” McQuaid. “Ever since the lighter, stronger and more resistant material was introduced in bike-frame production, we all know who’s going to win the race before it starts. That’s not good for cycling.”
By the end of the 2012 season, all bikes used in UCI-sanctioned events must be made of steel.
“Coppi and Merckx rode on steel frames, so why should Andy Schleck and Vincenzo Nibali ride on space-age, lightweight, high-tech frames? It’s against the spirit of bicycle racing,” McQuaid continued. “Just like the radio ban, this is part of a larger effort by the UCI to squash all innovation and prevent new ideas from entering the sport of cycling.”
Other rules to be phased in over the next three seasons include:
● Electronic shifting will be banned immediately and integrated shifting will be phased out: “We want the gear shifters back on the down tube, full stop,” McQuaid said.
● Bike weight limits will be increased to 22 pounds: “Coppi rode a bike that weighed 22 pounds, so no more of the 6.8kg limit,” McQuaid said. “Riding such lightweight bikes is not only dangerous, it’s cheating.”
● Clip-in pedals will be banned by 2013: “Those have been bad for cycling ever since Bernhard Hinault started wearing those in the 1980s. It’s back to pedal cages, just like I used when I raced in South Africa,” McQuaid said.
● Mechanical assistance to be phased out: “We want riders to carry tubes over their shoulders and fix their own flats,” McQuaid said. “Let them carry their own tools – it will make for a true champion.”
● Live TV broadcasts will end by 2014: “Everyone knows that cycling was more exciting when you couldn’t see it on TV and had to listen to the radio or actually go the races,” McQuade insisted. “The magic of the radio broadcasts will help revive cycling.”
● All doping controls will be quietly brushed under the carpet: “Positive doping cases are bad for the image of cycling, so if we stop testing, there will not be positive cases and then there will not be the unfortunate headlines that are crippling our sport,” McQuaid said. “If there are no doping cases, then we can fairly say there is no doping in cycling.”
● Professional teams will not be allowed: “We’ve had nothing but trouble from the professional teams, so we are banning them starting in 2014,” McQuaid said. “Instead, all corporate sponsors will give their money directly to the UCI and we have different league teams run and organized by the McQuaid family.”