As predicted by in 2004, MTB racers at UCI-sactioned races will soon be able to benefit from road-style neutral support. The 'technical assistance' rule change was brought in last year and for 2006 Shimano will undertake the role handled by Mavic in major road races.

Shimano does a Mavic for MTBers

Shimano has signed a ‘presenting sponsor’ deal with the UCI for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, good through until 2008.

Shimano will also be the exclusive provider of neutral technical assistance for both the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships and UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events.

A statement from Shimano said:

"We from Shimano are very satisfied that we were able to expand our partnership of the UCI by supporting the Mountain Bike World Cup events as from this year. It will give us additional opportunities to stay in close contact with professional riders, teams and consumers to gain immediate feedback from the market about our components."

UCI ‘technical assistance’ guidance:

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