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"I know the rules": Cyclist disqualified from Tour of Slovenia for deploying 'super tuck' position demands apology from UCI because he wasn't touching top tube or using arms and chest for support

Johannes Kulset of Uno-X Mobility claimed none of the video evidence supports his disqualification. Reactions on social media have been mixed

A 20-year-old Norwegian pro cyclist is demanding an apology from the UCI following his ban from the Tour of Slovenia for deploying the 'super tuck' position. Johannes Kulset, of Uno-X Mobility, denies he was breaking the rules because his body was not touching the top tube and he was not using his forearms or chest as points of support. 

The super tuck position was banned by the UCI in 2021 on safety grounds, cycling's governing body clarifying the rule as: "Sitting on the bicycle’s top tube is prohibited. Furthermore, using the forearms as a point of support on the handlebar is prohibited except in time trials." 

Although the footage looks rather damning, and it's difficult to deny that Kulset has adopted a position that at least strongly resembles the banned super tuck in the video above, the Norwegian appears to be implying that his body wasn't making contact with the top tube, therefore he should not have been disqualified because the rules specifically ban sitting on the top tube.

His reference to the lack of forearms as a point of support refers to the other position banned by the UCI in 2021, namely riding as if on a time trial bike with the forearms resting on the handlebars, nicknamed the 'puppy paws' position. 

On both his X/Twitter and Instagram accounts, Kulset expressed deep disappointment that he was unable to ride the last two stages of the Tour of Slovenia, blaming commissioners for being unfamiliar with the rules. 

Tagging the president of the CPA Adam Hansen in his post, Kulset said on X/Twitter: "The commissioners admitted they didn't know the rules, but still didn't want to change the wrong decision.

"I'm obviously not allowed to start today. But I would like an [apology] from UCI and avoid someone else getting wrongly dsq in the future." 

Reactions to Kulset's strong words have been a mixed bag on social media, with one replying: "It could be that both you and your team should read up on the rules, and you should think about the safety that UCI is currently working on to improve."

Another said: "Common sense clearly says this needs relegation. If the bottom does not touch the frame it's the superlative of super tuck and even more dangerous. Haven't looked up the exact wording but for your own future: get over it and move on." 

There was plenty of support for Kulset, though, with a number of fans calling for the super tuck and puppy paws positions to return, and one saying the UCI is "holding back" the sport of cycling. 

One of the most notable examples of the super tuck being deployed to great success before the ban was Chris Froome's victory on stage 8 of the 2016 Tour de France, in which he pedalled furiously on a long descent while in the super tuck position to claim a huge stage win and take the yellow jersey.

Since the ban, arguably the most high profile disqualification was Richard Carapaz, who had his result chalked off at Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2021 for deploying the super tuck. In the same year, British pro Alexander Richardson was kicked off the Tour of Turkey after footage shown his forearms on top of the handlebars, while he held his brake levers just with the little fingers of each hand.  

Regarding the case of Kulset and his Tour of Slovenia disqualification, road.cc has contacted the UCI for comment. 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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12 comments

Avatar
nick h. | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

This wasn't Supertuck. Even a recreational cyclist could adopt this position and be well in control. He was holding the bars with his hands! That makes it safe. His forearms weren't on the bars and his stomach was not on the top tube, so he was within the rules. 

Avatar
Robbiedondo | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

The commissioners admitted they didn't know the rules, but still didn't want to change the wrong decision.
 

Says it all really, what's the point of a rulebook if people who police it don't know it

Avatar
rct | 1 month ago
2 likes

Maybe he needs to read the regulations  "7.9 Using a non-compliant position or point of support on the bicycle that represents a danger to the rider or competitors"  

Clearly open to interpretation for officials to decide if the position is dangerous in addition to specific points of contact.

Avatar
john_smith replied to rct | 1 month ago
7 likes

"7.9 Using a non-compliant position or point of support on the bicycle that represents a danger to the rider or competitors"

But he isn't using a non-compliant position or points of support. He's in a sitting position, and his only points of contact are the pedals, handlebars and saddle.

Avatar
Charles Chevaux replied to john_smith | 1 month ago
0 likes

The danger is self evident - the penalty proves the non compliance. If you want to get technical, his hands are awkwardly placed to act as an excuse between his chest and the handlebars.

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Wingguy replied to john_smith | 1 month ago
0 likes
john_smith wrote:

"7.9 Using a non-compliant position or point of support on the bicycle that represents a danger to the rider or competitors"

But he isn't using a non-compliant position or points of support. He's in a sitting position, and his only points of contact are the pedals, handlebars and saddle.

He says he knows the rules. Well, anyone who really knows the rules knows that the UCI will always enforce what they believe was their intention when writing the rule, not what the rule actually says. He was always going to get DQd for this, and the UCI have DQd people for the exact same thing before. Carapaz was DQd from the lead of a monument for trying the exact same "supertuck" without actually sitting on the top tube.

Agree with the rules or not, everyone paying the slightest bit of attention knows that this is how they are enforced. Dude has no-one to blame but himself.

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john_smith replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
0 likes

I don't think there has been any suggestion that anyone disagrees with the rules.

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Wingguy replied to john_smith | 1 month ago
1 like
john_smith wrote:

I don't think there has been any suggestion that anyone disagrees with the rules.

Oh I do. It's a stupid rule both as written and as interpreted. It's safety theatre that doesn't even address the most dangerous aspect of the position which is having hands nowhere near brakes. By contrast, at the Tour de Suisse a Trek team mechanic was just fully stood up in the open doorway of a moving car, holding himself upright with a bike on a rack, and that's apparently just fine.

Regardless though, it's still entirely his own fault for not knowing he was always going to be DQd for what he tried to do.

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mdavidford | 1 month ago
3 likes
road.cc wrote:

he was disappointed that his appeal was not overturned

Someone seems to be confused here.

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Mr Anderson | 1 month ago
0 likes

Many years ago, Graeme Obree was disqualified from a World Championships, because his super-tuck cycle required his chest to be in contact with the handlebars.

I have always wondered, before the UCI ban on the super-tuck, why road cyclists were not being DQd for the same offence?

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john_smith replied to Mr Anderson | 1 month ago
0 likes

Was he disqualified because of the way he was sitting or because of the bike?

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Rendel Harris replied to john_smith | 1 month ago
1 like
john_smith wrote:

Was he disqualified because of the way he was sitting or because of the bike?

The way he was sitting, he was told that he would not be disqualified if the officials could see daylight between his arms and his chest and was warned twice and DQd the third time. I think that was the same championships he had to use a saddle borrowed from a kid's mountainbike because the UCI rejected his homemade one for not being commercially available. Regardless of the letter of the law (which was hotly disputed by Obree and the British team, and the UCI rather lamely said he wasn't obeying "the spirit of the law") there's no doubt the UCI were out to get him any way they could.

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