March 11, 2005
New helmet rule DQ's Merckx and Van Summeren
The UCI now requires that riders wear helmets at ALL times, even on closing climbs. Previously, riders could ditch the lids at the end of climbing stages once the roads turned up and the speeds cooled down.
Axel Merckx and Johan Van Summeren got stung by the rule after Friday's stage, and are out of Paris-Nice.
"I accept the decision. The most bizarre thing is that I always wear my helmet, even when I'm training.
"Today it was the bus driver who told me to take my helmet off at the foot of the climb, and I did it without even thinking about it."
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Wow - that blows. Shed a tear for the final nail in the coffin of the cycling cap.
I was watching a recap of the 2000 tour for the first time in a few years, and was amazed at how fast helmet use has become the standard - even back then, probably a third of the riders didn't wear helmets at all.
Posted by: jank at Mar 11, 2005 5:09:54 PM