[Apparently I need to spell this out as it isn't clear: This blog post is not about Wiggins, who won both TTs in dominating fashion and would have done so in other apparel as well. I thought that was pretty clear but apparently it's not, so I hope we're clear now]
In the first TT, Wiggins used a yellow Adidas TT suit with seams and cuts that were designed for an aerodynamic advantage. At least that’s what several Sky people said. This was odd for two reasons:
- Classification leaders are normally required to use the TT suits provided by the race organizer. I know riders have wanted to use their own suits before but as far as I know, this has never been allowed. Now it was.
- Designing features solely for their aerodynamic benefit is not really allowed according to the UCI rules, although the rules are vague in this particular case.
Then some strange things happened:
- The UCI came out and said they had approved the Sky suit months ago, and that the seams were just seams and not aerodynamic improvements. Note that this is contrary to what Sky themselves claim, and one wonders how the UCI tested whether or not these seams work.
- Then the UCI said that they would review the suit Wiggins used in the TT to make sure it was still the same as the one they reviewed and approved months ago. But they didn’t rip the suit off of Wiggins at the finish of the TT. No, they simply asked if Sky could send them a suit whenever it suited them (no pun intended). This is very odd, how does the UCI know that Sky will send the suit Wiggins wore? If Wiggins indeed used a different suit from the one that was approved (which is the hypothesis that the UCI is presumably trying to test), they would be crazy to send the actual non-approved suit. Imagine if drug testing worked like this, where we would just ask the to send in their pee samples whenever convenient.
- Then in the last TT, Wiggins didn’t use the same suit as in the first TT. It was either a different Adidas suit or the standard Tour de France suit (with Adidas stripes). If the original Adidas suit was legal, why change? If it wasn’t, then what does that mean for the first TT?
I’m not sure what the full story is, but I am pretty sure it won’t go anywhere. Once again Sky’s special status will be confirmed.
Lots of blog posts coming up this week, to receive them automatically subscribe here.
[edited bullet 3 at 17:58]