In July of this year the UCI’s revised Rule 5.1.038 which governs equipment changes during races. Before July a paragraph existed in that rule allowing for feeding during races if the officials allowed it. That paragraph has since been removed with the intention that feeding is no longer allowed in UCI cyclocross races. The interpretation of that rule caused confusion and some controversy this past weekend at the first U.S. UCI C1 race at Ellison Park. On day one, not only was feeding not allowed but riders were also not allowed to have bottles on their pit bikes. For day 2, officials allowed a “hydration zone” to be set up so that riders could receive bottles and be doused, something that is not covered anywhere in UCI regulations.
Following the confusion at Ellison Park, the UCI released a statement today clarifying the rule. In a nutshell, bottles on pits are allowed. Any other feeding is not. Here is the entire UCI statement:
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) acknowledges comments made about the rule change and wishes to clarify the following points. Riders may carry fluids on their bicycles and install bottles on their spare bicycles in the pit area. Hands-free water carrying systems such as backpacks are permitted, and riders may also carry water bottles in their jersey pockets. However, it is forbidden to receive a bottle from anybody along the course. Extra fluids can only be obtained during the race when a rider takes a spare bicycle, already equipped with a bottle, from the pit area. The UCI Cyclo-cross Commission will be following the matter very closely.