The UCI often do themselves no favours by using very blunt sticks to write their rules, for instance this year and the issue with them demanding saddles must be level. And its true to say that its a pity some safe, and incredibly good equitment must we weighed down with lead to comply with the rules.
But we also have to accept that all sports have reglations and usually these do not allow engineers to fully exploit the materials at their disposal. Formala 1 has been mentioned, this season has been very entertaining due to lots of overtaking, but we all know that if the rules were eased cars could be made to go considerably faster. And this returns me to the point that i made earlier. One of the foremost goals of a governing body is to ensure there is competitive racing. At the British GP Nigel Mansell mentioned that some teams had access to carbon fibre from NASA that was heat resistant and was being used to gain considerable advantage. And they weren't so keen on this.
Do we really want a situation in cycling where some team can arrive at a race with a 14lb bike and compete with other teams on 17lb equipment? And then one day someone changes bikes on the base of the Ventoux and we find its Gunther Mai's bike
Its sad that so many people call the UCI stupid but really offer no reasonable alternative. We have to have some regulations, saying people should be able to ride whatever they like is unrealistic, at least people like G Vroomen make some though out suggestions that can be discussed.
If i was the UCI, I would ban anything over 50mm wheels. These 80mm wheels some teams have do give an advantage and honestly look bad on a road bike. They make lots of demands on how a frame can look but a team can bolt on a set of TT wheels
which are hard to handle in windy conditions and may lead to accidents.
Another argument against the weight rule is that it stifles innovation. I can see little evidence of this, isn't there more sub 1000g than ever? Cervelo R5ca anyone?
In fact in a different sense it may actually encourage some types of innovation. On CyclingNews this morning Lars Booms bike is featured. And it weights 7.11KG with Di2.
If there was a 14lb weight limit ( for argument sake ) would Shimano ever have bothered to innovate Di2? Knowing no high level race team would use it.
Innovation does not exclusively mean light.
And in case we all forget,
Do you remember the first time you picked up a 15lb bike, did you think it was heavy?
Most people can now realistically hope to own a bike that is close to this limit these days and thats a good thing. And it means a fair playing field. People who own bikes from the last 10 years can compete with guys on the latest spec. machines.
As a certain cyclist once said, "its not about the bike"
Unlike Formula 1 where the car is King, Cycling is about cyclists.
Another reason, most of us here are not pros. Please all you who detest the rule, post a half dozen comments from current pros who find the weight rule restrictive. I think you'll struggle to find them.
Enjoy the race today