UCI rule puts pressure on Rás amateurs

A ruling by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) will eject any rider who finishes outside the time limit at this month’s An Post Rás.

With professionals lining up alongside amateurs, it wasn’tuncommon for the latter to losemassive time and fall outside the time limit, set by the stage winner which all riders must finish within 25% of, to still be allowed start the following day. For many amateurs, this is simply their goal at the outset but the new ruling will ensure many of the 180-plus who start the race in Dunboyne on Sunday week will not make it to Skerries eight days later.

“With the coming into force of this article, riders out of the time limit on a stage race may no longer be given a second chance,” said Marc Chovelon in the UCI. Thus, any rider or group of riders who crosses the finish line after the set time limit will be eliminated. As such, it is understood that only extraordinary and unpredictable events may beconsidered [a falling tree, a public demonstration blocking riders, anaccident independent from therider, a tornado, etc].”

The committee of race directors for the Rás have also vowed to clamp down on ‘cheating’ by those riders out the back and any competitor hanging onto team cars or getting a helping hand will be penalised.

“Following last year’s Rás a number of photos and video clips appeared on social networking sites which effectively brought the race intodisrepute,” read a statement from Rás director liaison officer BronaO’Sullivan yesterday. They were also most unfair to the integrity of the vast number of riders in the race. This year in a determined effort to prevent any reoccurrence of cheating behaviour, a motorcycle race official will patrol out the back of the peloton. The primary function of this race official is todiscourage, by his presence, behaviour that not only demeans the individual but also cheats on his fellow rider and brings the race into disrepute.

“Firm action will be taken against any rider caught cheating and also those aiding and abetting such behaviour.”


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