UCI Issues Updated Cyclocross Rules

If you know me at all, you know I love rules.

Without fanfare or press release, the UCI updated the cyclocross rules found in chapter 5 of the UCI regulations on June 26. Below are the pertinent changes and what they mean for the upcoming season. Also, in a newsletter to national federations, the UCI included an update on the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup. Most of the information was known, including the progressive increase of prize money for women. What wasn’t publicly known is that the World Cup  calendar will grow from nine events to 12. Here’s the language from the newsletter: “The UCI Management Committee has approved reform of the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, which will consist of 12 rounds rather than the current nine. Organisers interested in joining the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup circuit are now invited to make themselves known to offroad@uci.ch. A candidates’ guide will be published shortly.” So here’s your chance to get in early if you want to host your own World Cup.

As for rule changes, let’s get into it. And a doff of the cycling cap to CXHAIRS friend, Jens Dekker, for alerting me to these updates.

5.1.001 Masters eligibility for UCI Masters World Championships.

The UCI has once again tinkered with the eligibility requirements for masters world champs. For those who remember, we had a situation in 2013 when masters worlds were in Louisville, in which racers were purposefully tanking races to not gain a single UCI point and become ineligible. The rules allow a little more flexibility than 2013, but anything over 100 points and you need to stay with the pros. The language in red is new:

5.1.023 artificial obstacles

Artificial obstacles allowed in UCI races are now limited to planks and non-natural sand pits. I’m interpreting this to mean that the Toyo tires we saw last year in the DVV Trofee will no longer be allowed. I also know of a few U.S. races that may find themselves arguing with officials to define what is and is not natural. New language in red:

5.1.025bis Obstacles must be same for men and women.

Three cheers for this rule. The ridiculous lower planks for women at the Superprestige Niels Albert CX race in Boom last season are no longer legal in UCI events.

5.1.055 No Podium Bikes

Three more cheers! I don’t like podium bikes. I’m not going into my rant, here, but I may be revisiting it soon, so stay tuned. Regardless, no bikes on the podium or in front of the stage. Thank you, UCI. For now, babies and dogs are still ok.

5.2.015 Mandatory Date for All CX Nationals.

This is an interesting one and probably the result of the U.S. changing off of the mandatory date to December. I’m assuming the U.S. has dispensation to keep their date even though we aren’t in the southern hemisphere or suffered a force majeure, but maybe not?? Are we going to be back to January in 2020? Regardless, if you earn points at nationals, they will not be calculated until the mandatory date. So December points will be kept in the UCI’s pocket until January.

Finally, hidden in the World Championship section and spotted by the eagle eyes over at @cyclocross24, is 9.2.043, which makes the number of starters at cyclo-cross world championships equal for men and women. Previously, women of a “top 5 nation” were listed as other and allotted five starters. They now receive six starters from a squad of nine, just like the men.


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Feature photo © 2017 Bruce Buckley


3 thoughts on “UCI Issues Updated Cyclocross Rules

  1. It’s a shame they didn’t ban fat tire bikes or limit tire widths a little. CX is too mature to say it needs al inclusion when instead people with CX bikes are showing up on mtb of fat tires if it benefits them

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