It hasn't been widely publicised but in Lausanne on 23 September, the UCI swallowed their pride and - with no semblence of logic - said they would allow 'sloping' top tubes (which were newly invented, they said) but will still be banning plenty of other stuff on 1st Jan 2000.
Their communiqué (available at www.uci.ch) says that since the Lugano Charter was drafted in 1996 "the concept of the frame referred to as « sloping » has appeared on the market. The UCI made a detailed study of this new product and, after consulting with the parties concerned, considered that it matches the principles of the Lugano Charter, particularly because it allows a reduction of the costs linked to cycling."
Utter toss, of course, but Giant aren't complaining. There really seems to be very little logic working at the UCI headquarters but, clearly, when pushed, they do seem to have more latitude than long feared. Time for a much bigger industry push, then? Or should that be putsch?