UCI refuses exemption to Conor Dunne for TT position because of 6’8” height

Posted on: March 1st, 2012

Conor Dunne (centre) pictured with Ireland Ras team. He’s a very big lad.


The UCI has refused a request by Irish international Conor Dunne for an exemption to the rules governing TT bike position on the grounds they are putting a rider of his height, at 6’8”, at a disadvantage.

The TT specialist told stickybottle he was disappointed with the UCI’s refusal to grant him some leeway so that he could find a position that would allow him pedal without fear of hitting his knees off the handlebars.

He also said he is regularly worried that any pre-race inspection of his position might see him prevented from riding.

“It would have saved a lot of faffing around before events when I’m worrying whether the position will fail or not because basically I put my length of extension bang onto the 80cm mark,” he said.

Dunne wanted the UCI to grant him some leeway to its bike position rule that states the maximum reach – measured from bottom bracket to end of TT bars – can only be 80cm.

This 80cm includes an additional 5cms given as an exemption to taller riders.

Dunne lodged his request in writing with the UCI last November.

He put forward the case that his height was making it impossible for him to get a comfortable and effective position on his TT bike because his knees often hit the handlebars.

He also pointed out that riders several inches smaller than him would still be regarded as tall enough by the UCI to be eligible for the 5cm additional reach, to bring it up to the 80cm mark.

In its response to Dunne, the UCI suggested if he got a custom made bike with a seat tube with a greater backward incline, this would push his saddle a number of inches further back, thus allowing him more space for his knees but not pushing his permitted reach beyond 80cm.

It also said that granting him an exemption for a reach greater than 80cm would compromise his bike control.

Dunne told stickybottle he was surprised by the advice because other UCI rules stated the equipment used by riders must be widely available.

“Surely a custom made massive bike breaks that rule?” he said.

“I’m grateful to the UCI for communicating with me and being open in response to my questions; just disappointed it didn’t turn out the way I wanted.”

He added he had recently altered his TT bike position and believed he now had the best position possible, staying within the UCI rules.

The 20-year-old is British-born but has declared for Ireland and rode the An Post Ras on the Irish team last year.

He will remain in Belgium in 2012 with his V1 Technics-Abutriek team. The squad has been reduced from 20 to 30 riders but plans to raise the quality of the races it rides.

“I’ve got my first big race this Sunday in Brussel-Zepperen; the form is good so I’m hopeful that I can do something there,” he said.

“I’ve put a decent amount of time into the TT bike already this year, and I have the national championships in mind, where I’ll be looking to get a good result.”