- Bike Checks
The UCI recently published a revision to its Rule Book, and has for the first time included Enduro as a discipline. The rules proposed for Enduro are very close to the rules already in effect for the Enduro World Series (which in turn were essentially based on the rules applied to the various national Enduro series that were already in place in several countries - most notably the French Enduro Series and Superenduro series in Italy).
To summarize: an Enduro race is a defined as a race that includes several liaison stages and timed stages. The times achieved in all timed stage will be accumulated to a total time. An Enduro course comprises varied off-road terrain. The track should include a mixture of narrow and wide, slow and fast paths and tracks over a mixture of off-road surfaces. Each timed stage must be predominately descending but small pedaling or uphill sections are acceptable. Liaison stages can include either mechanical uplift (e.g. chairlift), pedal powered climbs or a mixture of both. The emphasis of the track must be on rider enjoyment, technical and physical ability.
As per existing EWS rules, particular emphasis is placed on the equipment used:
"Only one frame, one front and rear suspension unit (fork/rear shock) and one pair ofwheels can be used by a competitor during a competition. Frame, suspension and wheels will be individually marked by the officials before the start of the race and checked at the finish. Broken parts can eventually be replaced upon approval with a 5min penalty."
Course cutting is certainly frowned upon:
"Enduro courses must be clearly marked using a combination of arrows, gates and traditional course tape. Extra care must be taken by the organiser to make sure that the course is clearly marked and no shortcuts are possible."
To prevent the spirit of Enduro running wild, riders can help monitor each other for sporting and fair conduct:
"The president of the commissaries’ panel can consider a rule violation that has not been witnessed by a race official if it has been reported by at least two riders who are part of two different teams (e.g. rider getting assistance outside technical assistance zone, rider cutting course)."
Whilst the rules themselves are not particularly interesting nor innovative, the fact that there now ARE rules is. On the one hand, it will allow organizers to have their Enduro races sanctioned and thus avoid any possible conflicts that might otherwise have fallen under the infamous UCI Rule 1.2.019. On the other hand, many argue that Enduro does not need the UCI to sanction it, in light of the success of the inaugural Enduro World Series season.
What do you think? Is this a good step in the right direction and a place at the big table for Enduro, or is it too little, too late for the UCI to now get involved?