One of the hallmarks of the old regime at the International Cycling Union (UCI) was its reluctance in embracing modern technological advances, but a new appointment seems to have signalled a change of heart.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:38 PM

Last week it was announced that Dimitris Katsanis, the brains behind the Team GB track bikes, was to be appointed to the UCI's Technical Commission.

That came after an earlier one which delayed the implementation of testing of wheels to be ridden in international events and another redefining time trial positions.

The UCI's technical commission for those late to the party is historically the department of no. Old men shouting at clouds or yelling at the kids to "get off my lawn".

Contributing geniuses to the outright banning of things like the Obree position, the splitting of the hour record in two, one for traditional steel bikes just like yer grandpa rode (UCI Hour Record) and another for them newfangled carbon thingies the cool kids like to ride (Best Human Effort).

The traditional heavy handedness of the Technical Commission has driven everyone nuts, from manufacturers to the riders, whose morphology may not exactly fit some of the UCI's mandated regulations, unless your name was Stretch…errrr…Armstrong.

The Technical Commission's power reached an apex of ridiculousness when it ruled on sock height. It's almost like they had a hot-line to the self appointed Sartorialists who run the racing at Sydney's Heffron Park, where every attempt at individuality, like wearing these outfits, is met with derision or scrubbed out.

Of course one of the Technical Commissions most egregious rules is the one which governs weight limits on bicycles, currently set at 'big boned'' on the Paleocene scale of road bicycle weights.

There is no question that most high quality manufacturers today have the technology and manufacturing chops to build a standard road bike much less than the mandated 6.8kgs.

It's not that cycling technology should be a free-for-all which quickly bends at the whim of the latest fad. If it was, the UCI would have already told us that beards, fixies and tight jeans were as necessary as a Cider at the next club crit.

However, with the election of Brian Cookson all of this seems to have changed.

In August the now freshly minted UCI President said of the regulations during his campaign to unseat Pat McQuaid:

"Teams, and, indirectly, the athletes, rely on support from bike manufacturers but we limit their ability to put new products to market by arcane rules that prevent innovation.

"As someone once said, the UCI give the impression they would happy if all bikes looked like something Fausto Coppi might have ridden.

"This is not to argue for a free-for-all but, by reforming the rules sensibly, we will open the sport up to new revenue streams and new audiences worldwide.

"We don't need to overstretch the UCI to reach new markets, we simply need to be more intelligent with rule making and those markets will open up to us."

Now it looks like Cookson is well on his way to fulfilling one of his pre election promises (really common sense) which will hopefully blow the winds of change through the dusty unused labs of the Technical Commission.