Forbidden races - Rule 1.2.019
The UCI is asking for rule enforcement, but why now?
The UCI has a lot on their plate. You have the Lance Armstrong doping scandal which, at a minimum, in my opinion shows that the past UCI president Hein Verbruggen was incompetent or the current UCI president Pat McQuaid is complicit in organized doping. The disgraced Texan isn’t the only one popping out of the woodwork to admit to doping. Almost everyone who kitted-up in the orange of Rabobank has admitted to doping.
Then you have the Operation Puerto trial further showcasing how the UCI wasn’t driving the world of cycling like they should have. Instead they let go of the steering wheel and jumped into the back seat to let the car swerve all over the road with destruction left in its wake.
Regardless, the UCI took the time to release a memo stating, “No license holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognized by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI. A national federation may grant special exceptions for races or particular events run in its own country."
This isn’t a new rule. In fact it’s an old one in the books as rule 1.2.019 that the UCI is dusting off, telling national federations that they’d better step up and enforce it.
What this means is if you have a UCI racing license you can’t participate in a “forbidden race.” A forbidden race is unsanctioned by the country’s federation. Some of these unsanctioned events are mountain bike races. Other “underground” rides are gran fondos. They could also be your local training race. Both of these cycling disciplines attract thousands of participants and in the case of fondos an entry fee that can be over one-hundred dollars and still sell out! How many people have a UCI license and how could it affect us?
According to Sean Petty, USA Cycling’s chief operating officer, there was over 3,000 UCI licenses in the U.S. This includes pros as well as amateur riders who want to participate in UCI events, like the past Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. This means that riders who aren’t pros are technically banned from riding in forbidden races.
I race for a local club/team – Athletix Cycling Team Benefiting globalbike. The squad has an elite wing of the team that does some limited traveling which includes participation in UCI events, such as Master’s Worlds and the Battenkill road race. Team manager Josh Whitmore, a UCI license holder, contacted USAC for further clarification on this new enforcement.
Whitmore was told that if a ride listed results and didn’t give out prizes a UCI license holder is fine. He asked about participation in gran fondos, specifically the George Hincapie gran fondo. It was listed on the USAC website, offered results, and a product prizes list. This gran fondo proved to be very popular here in the Southeast and attracted several of Hincapie’s BMC teammates as well as friends in the pro peloton. Some of these riders were Christian Vande Velde and David