Van Schip disqualified for using Speeco handlebars
Jan-Willem van Schip was kicked out of the Baloise Belgium Tour by the UCI after the governing body ruled that his Speeco Aero Breakaway (ABB) handlebars, which he had used previously, violated technical regulations.
Van Schip and his BEAT Cycling team claim that the UCI has never questioned the handlebars before and that the team and Van Schip obtained the approval of the UCI commissioner on site on the morning of the stage in question.
“We don’t understand this decision,” the team said in a statement. “Since the launch of the ABB handlebars, we have been discussing with the UCI. Never, the UCI informed us that the handlebars would not be authorized. The UCI also did not consider it necessary to accept the offer from handlebar developer ABB to further investigate the admissibility.
“The day before the start of the third stage, we even discussed our intentions to ride on the handlebars with the UCI commissioner on site. Here we got the green light to start with ABB. The UCI has not expressed any reservations on this subject. BEAT considers that the disqualification is unjustified and that Jan-Willem van Schip is seriously affected.
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The UCI updated a number of hand position rules earlier this spring, along with banning the Supertuck, among other changes. These new rules prohibited “invisible aero bars” and considered that the only three points of contact between the bicycle and the rider would be the hands on the bars, the pedals and the saddle.
The rule states: “The cyclist should normally sit on the bicycle. This position requires that the only points of support are: the feet on the pedals, the hands on the handlebars and the seat on the saddle.
The design of ABB bars creates an additional point of contact in the forearms, a position expressly prohibited in the UCI technical documentation. In fact, the UCI even used an image of the bars in a recent technical presentation.
This does not explain why Van Schip was allowed to run the bars by a UCI commissioner on the very morning of his disqualification, of course.
Van Schip was instrumental in the development of Speeco bars and has long been a fan of ultra-narrow bars in road racing.
CyclingTips has contacted the UCI for comment but has yet to receive a response.
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