In a remarkable turn of events the UCI has announced that they are reversing their ban on the use of skinsuits in downhill racing. UCI official Phillip McKracken stated, “It’s time to make our sport faster, more exciting, level the playing field, and make sponsor logos easier to read; which is why the UCI will now require all entrants in the UCI Downhill World Cup to wear skinsuits during all qualifying and race runs for the 2015 season.”
When queried why the UCI made this decision now, so close to the start of the 2015 season, McKracken went on to say, “I was forwarded an opinion piece on the subject and I realized that we made a misstep in kowtowing to the most vocal riders on the race circuit. As the arbiters of the sport of downhill mountain biking the UCI has a responsibility to ensure that competitors aren’t constantly challenging the boundaries of the old rules by tailoring their kit to gain an advantage.”
McKracken said that the UCI is also considering a visor-less pilot program for one or two races on this year’s schedule but wouldn’t confirm which events would incorporate ‘bullet helmets.’ McKracken did admit, “It’s likely that we’ll try it first at the Fort William round, but that remains to be seen.”
In light of these statements by the UCI, the Santa Cruz Syndicate has reportedly stepped up the testing and production schedule for their fork-mounted nose cone fairing system, which will place a full-size aerodynamic bullet-shaped shield in front of the bike. Syndicate representatives did not respond to our requests for comment.