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UCI to ban forearms on bars time-trial position on road bikes

Will Strickson
8 Feb 2021

Solidifying regulation changes that outlaw the super tuck position, the UCI has also prohibited racing with forearms on the handlebars

To add to the recent banning of the super tuck descending position, the UCI is also prohibiting riders from racing with their forearms on their handlebars except from in time-trials.

Confirming last week's announcement of the ban on sitting on the top tube in the super tuck position, as well as new rules on littering and barriers at the end of races, a memorandum showing the changes in the UCI's official regulations was released with official wording adding to the ban.

The rule now states: 'Riders must observe the standard position as defined by article 1.3.008. Sitting on the bicycle's top tube is prohibited. Furthermore, using the forearms as a point of support on the handelbar is prohibited except in time-trials.'

That position, a favourite particularly of breakaway riders, involves assuming a time-trial position without anything for the hands to hold onto. Recently, it helped Marc Hirschi and Alex Dowsett to enormous breakaway wins in the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia respectively.

While Dowsett took to Instagram to note he had tested the super tuck position in a wind-tunnel and saw little advantage compared to a standard position on a time-trial bike, he might have more objections to this specification.

Article 1.3.008 referenced in the rule says: 'The rider shall normally assume a sitting position on the bicycle. This position requires that the only points of support are the following: the feet on the pedals, the hands on the handlebars and the seat on the saddle.'

That would also mean, clearly, the 'Superman' position is also out of bounds.

If a rider does break this rule, they could be slapped with a fine of up to 1,000 Swiss Francs and 25 UCI rankings points as well as potential elimination or disqualification from the competition.

For more information on this amendment as well as the littering and barrier rule changes, visit

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