Ok, I’m calling summer. It's been a lovely weekend on UK roads, the sun was out along with unshaven white legs. Coffees were taken outside and there wasn’t a single winter bike to be seen anywhere. For us near FIRE HQ there was a chilly wind on Saturday, but away from the breeze and in the sun it certainly felt like spring. For those who love the racing side of the sport, it was, of course ‘La Classicissima’ - Milan San Remo.
The first of the monuments which has, over the years, been hit by freezing rain and snow was this year treated to fantastic weather and a brutal final 20km’s. For the cycling fan it’s a race that fits perfectly into a Saturday, you can take your time and head out for a good ride with friends in the morning, get back for a late lunch, turn on the TV and know you’ve missed absolutely nothing. The most boring and exciting monument of the year always seems to deliver at the end and this year was no exception. The pace on the Cipressa was incredible, with Jumbo Visma and UAE Team Emirates ripping the race apart to leave no more than 30 guys lining up for the Poggio. On the slopes of the final climb, Pogačar seemed to have no limit to the amount of full gas attacks he could dish out, and over the top with Van Aert, Van der Poel and Andersen, it looked like a 4 way battle down the descent. But then Mohorič hit the go faster button on his bars, A.K.A the dropper post.
For those of you that didn’t see it, Mohorič had an MTB style dropper post fitted for the race, more specifically he had one that was developed for the gravel market, with a button suited for drop handlebars. The effect of its use and his amazing descending skills were devastating.
The super tuck position of course has now been outlawed, so the idea was to use this to allow him to get lower on the bike and stay legal. However, watching him closely, he also used it to move his weight around so much more to give him better control and grip. Very impressive, very clever and no doubt, banned by the UCI before I even publish this post.
Which brings me on to what I'd like to open up to you all this week. The thorny topic of technology in cycling.
It’s slightly ironic that this weekend was also the start of the new F1 season, bringing with it the biggest regulation change in 40 years, to make it easier (along with other things) for cars to overtake. For decades F1 engineers have pushed the boundaries of the regulations to find gains and developed technology that trickles down into road cars that, ultimately, we as consumers benefit from.
The UCI have a reputation of banning something as soon as it appears to be quite innovative and, quite frankly, faster. Does this mean that we as consumers are missing out on innovation that would enhance our cycling experience? Or does it not matter? Should the UCI relax technical regulations a bit and allow engineers to really push new technologies or keep the rules tight and the bicycle as pure as possible?
Let us know what you think in the comments.