The UCI has issued a statement resurrecting its 1991 proposal to make the wearing of helmets mandatory during all forms of professional cycle sport. Pro riders rejected such compulsion at the time.
Helmets technology has come on a bit since then but one of the leading opponents of the UCI’s pro-helmet stance in 1991 was two-time Tour de France winner Laurent Fignon.
Yesterday he said: "If you fall face first, it usually means that you didn’t anticipate falling. You can’t do anything about it."
He also said calls for helmet use to be mandatory for pro riders should again be beaten down.
However, the UCI looks to have the bit between its teeth, and will be helped by the fact that many, if not most, pro riders already wear helmets at all times, except when ascending cols.
The UCI statement said:
"[The mandatory helmet] rule has in fact been applied in all other cycling disciplines, especially those involving young riders," said the UCI’s statement.
"The aim of this policy was to encourage those same riders to continue to wear their helmets once they became professional. Today, the great majority of professional cyclists do wear helmets.
"For the benefit of those who claim the right to make up their own minds when it comes to their own personal safety, the UCI has always maintained as a permanent reminder an explicit recommendation to wear a helmet, even during training.
"While wearing a helmet can never eliminate all the risks inherent in cycling, the UCI will be taking the initiative in the short term of asking all parties concerned to reconsider this issue."