A new set of rules for UCI riders participating in the 2010 Absa Cape Epic, the only 2-person team mountain bike stage race on the UCI Calendar, has been announced. The former standard UCI rules of mountain biking, which are primarily created for Olympic format cross-country, could often not be strictly applied to the event.
The Absa Cape Epic rule book needs to cater for the many amateur riders while UCI licensed riders in turn (who are competing for prize money and UCI points in the Men elite category) must adhere to a more complex set of rules. The regulations therefore need to accommodate both sets of participants with all riders having to adhere to the general Absa Cape Epic race rules.
Says Kevin Vermaak, founder and director of the Absa Cape Epic: “In previous years of the Absa Cape Epic, UCI licensed riders had to adhere to the UCI rule book in the context of the unique racing conditions of the Absa Cape Epic. This sometimes created ambiguity as the UCI rules could not be strictly applied to our event’s different format of racing and our rules were not as comprehensive as the UCI’s rule book. Specifically, the UCI has no regulations that cater for 2-person team racing.”
There will be few changes in the general Absa Cape Epic rules, and almost all changes for 2010 are exclusively for the UCI licensed riders. Vermaak continues: “The key changes for 2010 include the incorporation of UCI regulations into either the General Rules of the Absa Cape Epic or the Additional Rules for UCI Licensed Riders. Therefore the 2010 Absa Cape Epic rule book will cater for all incidents that may have previously been covered in the UCI rule book and will therefore stand as the exclusive set of rules for the Absa Cape Epic. There will be no need to reference the UCI rule book in addition to the Absa Cape Epic rule book.”
The new regulations will include the following:
1. Internal technical and tactical support is allowed. This means that any rider, including riders from the same sponsor (but not in the same 2-person team) can provide technical assistance and equipment from his own bicycle to support another rider.
Teamscan also form alliances with other riders and teams, even if they are not of the same sponsor.
2. Exclusive Tech-zones for UCI licensed riders at all 3 water points. The organisers will transport 1 wheel set and one tool bag per 2-rider team to each of the 3 water points during every stage. This equipment will be placed in the tech zone and it will be up to the rider to use this equipment to provide his own tech support. No outside assistance (i.e. from a rider not also racing) will be allowed. The content of the tool bag is at the team’s discretion.
3. UCI licensed riders who lose their partners will be allowed to continue riding but without interfering in the race.
4. The awarding of time penalties will be revised with smaller time penalties and the replacement of certain time penalties with cash fines.