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April 1/11 6:54 am - UCI Extends Electronic Ban to Drivetrains

Posted by Editor on 04/1/11

The International Cycling Federation (UCI) announced today that they have gone beyond the planned ban of race radios, to one which will see the use of electronic shifting systems banned in UCI-sanctioned events.  Currently, there is only one commercial electronic system on the market, Shimano's Di2 Dura Ace model, but Shimano is about to release a less expensive Ultegra version, and Campagnolo will be releasing their own version later this year.

The UCI issued a statement, saying "in the interests of making competition about the rider and not technology, the Management Committee has accepted the recommendation of its technical commission to ban the use of derailleur shifting systems that accomplish shifting with power assisted mechanisms, and do not rely solely on human power."

Shimano executives were clearly shocked at the decision, with one commenting "what's next:  indexed shifting, or maybe clipless pedals?"

"Not a bad idea," fired back a UCI spokesperson.

The response from the more excitable Italians at Campagnolo was not printable, but included words to the effect of 'stuffed shirt Swiss busybodies...'

While an actual date for the implementation of the policy has not been released, the expectation is that it will be before the Tour de France.  A UCI spokesperson categorically denied that large cash donation to the UCI by SRAM had anything to do with the decision.

The Canadian Cycling Association has already confirmed that they will follow the policy for Canadian events, while USA Cycling is waffling.


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