UCI suspends 'forbidden races' rule

Professional riders will not be barred from contesting unsanctioned events in 2014, and USA Cycling brass welcomed the news Thursday.

At its Management Committee meeting last week in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, decided to delay enforcement of the controversial Rule 1.2.019 that would provide sanctions against licensed riders taking part in events like the GoPro Mountain Games or Breck Epic mountain bike stage race.

“Although we would have liked to see a concrete resolution regarding Rule 1.2.019, we are nonetheless encouraged that there will be continuing dialogue regarding the worldwide ramifications of the rule in the coming year,” USA Cycling president and CEO Steve Johnson said in a press release.

“In the meantime, we are pleased that enforcement of the rule will be suspended for another year.”

USA Cycling and the UCI stirred controversy in 2012 and 2013 when the former announced that it would begin enforcing the rule. Riders, including Olympic medalist Georgia Gould (Luna), received warning letters after competing in the Mountain Games.

USA Cycling said last spring that its hands were being tied by the UCI in the enforcement of the rule. Sho-Air owner Scott Tedro subsequently announced that he would pull his U.S. Cup series from the federation.

The UCI announced last April that it would suspend the rule for 2013, and Tedro, USA Cycling, and the UCI came to agreement late last year to create a new U.S. Cup Pro Series for 2014.