The UCI has confirmed its plans to introduce an equipment register for all teams ahead of this summer’s Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. Escape Collective broke the news of the UCI’s planned Equipment Registration Process earlier this month and the UCI has since confirmed the register on the Equipment page of its website and in a press release published today.
The register, described by some teams and manufacturers as a logistical “nightmare,” now requires teams to register all framesets (or modules), wheels, road and TT handlebars, TT extensions, clothing, and all helmets, or so-called “critical equipment,” by June 2 for men’s teams and June 17 for the women.
The UCI will then inspect and approve, or prohibit, the use of said equipment in both upcoming Tours de France at the Grand Depart for each race, respectively in late June for the men and mid-July for the women. As part of this process UCI staff will scan, measure, weigh, and photograph every frame a team plans to use in each race. Once approved, every frame is fitted with a tamper-proof RFID tag, which the UCI can scan during spot checks to be conducted during the Tour.
Escape Collective had put several questions to the UCI, all of which remain unanswered, but today’s press release does shed some light on the original timeline for introducing the equipment register. The opening line of the press release claims the register was published on the UCI website in April and was first discussed with teams as far back as the end of November 2022 at the UCI Women’s WorldTour and UCI WorldTour Seminar held in Monaco.
The statement explains the register was developed to ensure teams have “a clear process for registering the equipment they intend to use during the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift,” and “strengthen the UCI’s monitoring of equipment for regulatory compliance.”
The UCI also claims the new process “significantly improves” the planning process for teams and manufacturers to ensure all equipment is compliant ahead of the Tour de France, a claim at odds with the thoughts of some stakeholders Escape Collective spoke to. While most could see the value in the UCI’s goal, the extra workload, particularly on an accelerated timeframe, was causing at least a headache or two.
Whatever the teams’ and manufacturers’ feelings on the new register, they have just over two weeks until the deadline for registering all critical equipment for the Tour de France and just double that until the deadline for the Tour de France Femmes.