Yes, the UCI is at it again, trying to set in stone what a racing bike should look like. Innovations are clearly bad although the UCI is trying to present its move as respecting the "long tradition of a classic cycling speciality, without endangering the vital modern aspect of our sport."
To be fair to the UCI, they know that their (daft) regulations introduced in 1997 in the Lugano Charter, make it difficult for time triallers to get anywhere near Chris Boardman’s ‘superbike’ record.
Below you’ll find the official press release. Read it and weep.
However, Chris Boardman isn’t fussed. In October he’s going to make an attempt on the new ‘Athlete’s Record’ but this time using a bike with old-school specifications.
COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE / PRESS RELEASE – Lausanne, SUI – 9 September 2000
The UCI Management Committee has approved a proposal from the Equipment Commission following an in-depth study on the hour record.
With the aim of re-launching this very appealing « discipline », whose history is tied up with the performances of the greatest cycling champions, reforms are needed based on the modifications made to the regulations which have been applied since 1997 (Lugano Charter).
In view of the fact that the new cycle sport regulations would make the current record virtually impossible to beat, the Management Committee has therefore decided to create a « UCI Hour Record » as well as a « Best Hour Performance ».
From today, the « UCI Hour Record » is the one that Eddy Merckx achieved in Mexico on 25th October 1972, covering a distance of 49.43195 km.
This « UCI Hour Record » can only be attempted if the equipment is presented and checked beforehand by the UCI and it must be similar to that used by Merckx.
At its next meeting in Plouay the Management Committee will discuss all the details concerning this procedure.
The « Best Hour Performance », however, is still held by Chris Boardman (Manchester 6.9.1996 : 56.375 km) and will be governed by the cycle sport regulations currently in force.
This distinction will allow the respect of a long tradition of a classic cycling speciality, without endangering the vital modern aspect of our sport.