The Column: Absolutely tucked

The UCI has banned the controversial top-tube mounted 'super tuck'. But is it the right decision?

Ah, the good old UCI are at it again, we notice. Something fun-looking or faster comes along, and what do they do? Slap a ban right across its tender backside. 

Take that, you saucy innovators. Get back in your corner, you snivelling upstarts. Who’s the daddy now? Well, we are, and don’t you forget it.

Only this time, instead of a wondrous technical advance falling foul of the powers that be, it’s a riding position.

The ‘super tuck’ – which immediately takes me back to school days and spending all the dinner money on Mars bars and Golden Wonder – is the latest item to pique the interest of the rule-makers and their mysterious committees in Aigle.

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To be fair, it is in amongst a raft of other rider safety announcements issued by cycling’s governing body this week, but we’re not averse to a bit of clickbaity content, so we’ll not be discussing bidon discarding etiquette, or barrier placement. 

No, it’s the placement of a rider’s nether regions on their top-tube whilst hurtling downhill that has caught our eye-watering attention. Is it really that dangerous?

Not according to any number of replies on internet threads worldwide, where many are quick to point out they have never seen a crash in pro cycling caused by a rider assuming the position. They have a point, perhaps, although we suspect a few copycat have-a-go heroes without the prerequisite handling skills of the pros have come unstuck.

Chris Froome introduced pedalling to the super tuck

Is it ungainly? We give you Chris Froome, introducing the pedalling element alongside the tuck during his daring descent of the Peyresourde back at 2016’s Tour de France. But then Froome is never gainly [Is that an actual word? – Ed].

[Yes, and it scores 10 points in Scrabble – Author] 

He was darned good, however, so let that one go.

Is it more aero? According to a study by academics in Holland and Belgium, apparently not. You’d be better off tucking down on the drops. 

So why ban it? Whilst we wish we’d come up with the perfect riposte, it is our good friend Cillian Kelly – statistics genius, The Road Book numbers geek, and all-round wise owl – who nailed it with this tweet:

“On the ‘supertuck’ ban, I’ve seen plenty of sarcastic questions asking how many crashes it’s caused so far.

“I think if it did cause a crash we’d all be very quick to blame the UCI for not banning it in the first place. So good on them for being proactive instead of reactive.”

We rest our case, m’lud. Into the sea with the super tuck, and good riddance. Although it was fun while it lasted...

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