The UCI has given it to Eddy Merckx, circa 1972, instead. Why?
Because Boardman wasn’t riding a ‘proper’ roadbike like Merckx. The Hour Record is
split in two: one for attempts on ‘traditional’ road bikes, the other on ‘non-traditional’
bikes. The UCI clearly favours going back in time….
Yes, the UCI is at it again, trying to set in stone what a racing bike should look
like. Innovations are clearly ‘bad’ although the UCI is trying to present its move
as respecting the "long tradition of a classic cycling speciality, without endangering
the vital modern aspect of our sport."
To be fair to the UCI, they know that their (daft) regulations introduced in 1997
in the Lugano Charter, make it difficult for time triallers to get anywhere near
Chris Boardman’s ‘superbike’ record.
Below you’ll find the official press release. Read it and weep.
However, Chris Boardman isn’t fussed. In Octover he’s going to make an attempt on
the new ‘Athlete’s Record’ but this time using a bike with old-school specifications.
COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE / PRESS RELEASE – Lausanne, SUI – 9 September 2000
The UCI Management Committee has approved a proposal from the Equipment Commission
following an in-depth study on the hour record.
With the aim of re-launching this very appealing " discipline ", whose
history is tied up with the performances of the greatest cycling champions, reforms
are needed based on the modifications made to the regulations which have been applied
since 1997 (Lugano Charter).
In view of the fact that the new cycle sport regulations would make the current record
virtually impossible to beat, the Management Committee has therefore decided to create
a " UCI Hour Record " as well as a " Best Hour Performance ".
From today, the " UCI Hour Record " is the one that Eddy Merckx achieved
in Mexico on 25th October 1972, covering a distance of 49.43195 km.
This " UCI Hour Record " can only be attempted if the equipment is presented
and checked beforehand by the UCI and it must be similar to that used by Merckx.
At its next meeting in Plouay the Management Committee will discuss all the details
concerning this procedure.
The " Best Hour Performance ", however, is still held by Chris Boardman
(Manchester 6.9.1996 : 56.375 km) and will be governed by the cycle sport regulations
currently in force.
This distinction will allow the respect of a long tradition of a classic cycling
speciality, without endangering the vital modern aspect of our sport.