7 Takeaways from the UCI's 2024 Rule Changes

Nov 24, 2023 at 10:39
by Ed Spratt  

The UCI has released a set of amendments for its 2024 World Cup & World Championships rule books and there are a number of interesting tweaks that come into force on January 1. These changes include a pregnancy status for a rider's ranking, a reworded ruling on start grid bumps for Road and Cyclocross riders in World Cup XC races and some smaller updates including mandatory B Zone cleaning. Here are the most interesting bits.

Pregnancy Status

One of the biggest changes to mountain bike event regulation for 2024 so far is the inclusion of a new pregnancy status that will help to protect the ranking of a rider who was absent after starting a season due to pregnancy.

The UCI's new 4.10.012 ruling details that if a rider only takes part in less than three World Cup rounds in a season due to pregnancy then their national federation or team can apply for a new "recognition of pregnancy status". A rider who is granted the new status will be placed into the starting ranking using points determined by calculating the average points gained from the races the rider attended multiplied by the number of rounds they missed. The rule states that this ranking will only apply for the first World Cup round the rider attends in the following season.

bigquotesIf due to pregnancy a rider took part in less than three rounds of the UCI World Cup in a season, the national federation and the team may apply to the UCI for recognition of pregnancy status. An application must be received at the UCI in writing no later than December 31st of the disrupted season.

A rider with pregnancy status shall be integrated in the ranking that is used to determine the start list, with the number of points determined according to following calculation: the average points gained per round in which the rider took part multiplied by the number of rounds of the UCI World Cup season during which the rider was absent due to pregnancy.

Such benefit shall be limited to the first round of the UCI World Cup in which the rider takes part during the following season.

We Could be Getting EDR & E-EDR World Championships

Included in the updated World Championship rule amendments is the change that mountain biking will now have ten disciplines offering rainbow jerseys. The list of events sees EDR, E-EDR and snow bike racing added for next year. More on that shortly.

There aren't many details of what this actually means in terms of events but the EDR/E-EDR racing will feature separate categories for Men and Women aged 17 and over. It's important to add that the E-EDR racing will be totally different to the already established E-MTB category as one focuses on enduro racing and the other on XC.

Road and CX grid rankings

After facing anger from top riders at this year's XC World Championships over a last-minute rule change on start grid positions, the UCI have added further clarification to the placement of top road and cyclo-cross riders in the front start rows.

The previous rule stated that "the place 33rd to 40th will include any riders ranked in the top 10 of any individual UCI world ranking of any cycling discipline," but the new addition adds a slightly more complex way of ordering riders from 33rd to 40th.

From the start of 2024, these grid positions will be given firstly to riders who place in the top 10 of the cyclo-cross rankings or the top 20 of the road individual rankings. The rule will see no change for riders crossing over from cyclo-cross but now anyone in the top 20 of the road standings can cross over without building up a ranking at smaller mountain bike events before attending a World Cup. For reference, Mathieu Van Der Poel is seventh in the road rankings and fourth in cyclo-cross so these rule changes would not make a difference in his eligibility to race XC World Cups.

Following the addition of any road or cyclo-cross riders the grid will continue with the most recently published UCI XCO individual rankings. To stop any last-minute changes at the 2024 World Champs the same rule has been applied to the separate World Championship rule book.

bigquotesPlace 33rd to 40th of the start order will be allocated to riders ranked in below rankings, unless they are listed on the start order between the place 1st to 32nd according to point 1 and 2 above:
• top 10 of the UCI cyclo-cross individual ranking
• top 20 of the UCI road individual world ranking
The place 33rd to 40th will be allocated following the rank of each rider, whatever the ranking: UCI cyclo-cross or UCI road world ranking. If two or three riders have the same ranking, they will be placed by drawing lots.

Mandatory B Zone Cleaning

After a number of riders picked up injuries after crashing off the course and hitting objects in the track B Zones, 2024 brings with it a new rule under 4.3.007 which states "B zones must be cleaned to avoid any hidden obstacles and to be safe." While this may seem like a pretty obvious rule previously race organisers only had to ensure that had placed B zones in "fast and dangerous sections" according to the diagram below.


20 Junior Women Will Now Compete at DH World Championship Finals

In a small update to the rule 9.2.038 around qualifying at a DH World Championships, the UCI has increased the number of Junior Women qualifying to finals from 15 to 20 riders. There will still be 80 elite men, 40 elite women and 60 junior men making it to finals.

Camera Rule Changes

The UCI's 4.1.042 rule around cameras being worn by riders has been slightly reworded with it now specifically mentioning riders mounting cameras on the bike or the visor/peak of a helmet. Before the rule stated, "the riders are
responsible for securing the fixation of the cameras in order to avoid any danger." Now the statement reads as follows: "The riders are responsible for securing the fixation of the cameras on the bike or on the visor/peak of the helmet in order to avoid any danger."

The full 4.1.042 rule reads as follows:

bigquotesCameras are not permitted during final for cross-country and during qualifying rounds and final for downhill/four cross/cross-country eliminator. The riders are responsible for securing the fixation of the cameras on the bike or on the visor/peak of the helmet in order to avoid any danger. The UCI can decide to allow a camera during final but only for the usage of the TV production company.

1. see also, in particular, articles 1.3.001-1.3.003 and 1.3.031 Part 1 of the UCI Regulations
2. cameras may be used during training sessions in DHI (article 4.3.021) under the conditions laid down in this article.

Shorter Finals Day Training Sessions

Another tiny wording change to the rule book for next season is the required time for qualified riders on finals day. Previously the 4.11.006 rule stated riders who qualified for finals were given a training period of at least 60 minutes, but for 2024 this requirement has been cut to 30 minutes. While this does allow for longer training periods organisers will now only need to ensure they offer a 30-minute window for practice instead of the 60 minutes previously.

bigquotesThe organiser must ensure that the following minimum training program is provided.

Three days before the final an on foot downhill course inspection period must be provided for the riders. The course must be fully marked and cordoned off. No bikes are allowed on the course during the on foot downhill course inspection.

One day before the final a training period will be provided.

A training period that is reserved only for the riders qualified for the finals must be provided, on the day of the final. This training period must last for at least 30 minutes.

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,973 articles

  • 364 46
 E-EDR is a joke. How can we possibly have professional cycling that is motor assisted. Add another E for Embarrassing.
  • 73 1
 If you think it's bad now, wait until it's the only UCI sanctioned form of enduro racing.
  • 111 2
 They handed out World Champs jerseys for E-XC this year. Field size of 25 men and 9 women. Taking the piss.
  • 46 164
flag justanotherusername (Nov 24, 2023 at 12:57) (Below Threshold)
 It’s going to upset you a lot when you find out motorcycles exist and they do indeed race them.

  • 6 2
 Looks like men’s and women’s champ for EDR/E-EDR.

Which doesn’t sound the same as men’s and women’s champ for EDR & men’s and women’s champ for E-EDR.
  • 19 1
 I'm sure some mid-pack guys will jump at it.
  • 1 2
 HA! Nailed it. This actually made me laugh
  • 9 0
 @mashrv1: Was ist in XXL?
  • 17 5
 With the obvious crossover opportunities between lucrative erectile disfunction medication advertising and the “cycling” discipline most closely associated with the target demographic, the E-ED-Riders should be all over mens health, the golf channel, boat shows, etc. Get it together, UCI!
  • 27 23
 I actually thought the E-EDR was pretty entertaining to watch highlights of. Especially since the timed segments included technical ups.
  • 40 2
 @noodlewitnosteeze: if only there was another form of MTB racing with timed technical climbs...
  • 24 59
flag PHX77 (Nov 24, 2023 at 17:51) (Below Threshold)
 E-bikes are fucking rad!!!!!
  • 41 4
 I own an e-bike and a mountain bike and as much as the e bike is fun to ride there is no place for them in UCI racing. There are to many motor and electrical variables that can decide the outcome of a race. So yes E-ANYTHING IN UCI IS A JOKE! But yes, E bikes are rad but I would say I'm faster and have a little more fun on my mountain bike on the way down.
  • 43 4
 @PHX77: Two things can be true at once...yes they are rad, and yes competitive bicycling with a motor assist is stupid.
  • 21 48
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Nov 24, 2023 at 19:58) (Below Threshold)
 @warmerdamj: Some of the technical climbs in e Enduro are way more difficult than anything you would ever see in xx racing. The overall is sometimes decided by the climb which I think makes it more interesting.
The only joke about E EDR is the dumb name. E bikes are perfect for Enduro racing because you can climb back up quickly several times without wearing yourself out on the climb. It's essentially the same as Enduro racing except more interesting.
E xc, snow biking, and pumptrack racing on asphalt while calling it mountain biking are bigger jokes. Regular Enduro racing is more of a joke considering the history of doping and cheating, and the consistently awful coverage.
  • 16 34
flag PHX77 (Nov 24, 2023 at 21:41) (Below Threshold)
 @bmied31:Anything can be raced and it's just as valid as any other sort of racing, as you already know but are pretending not to. I love watching everyone's IQ drop to a single digit anytime e-bikes and especially e-bike racing comes up.
  • 14 3
 @mashrv1: if you rode a bike as much as you comment you would have a rainbow jersey too.
  • 14 18
flag squiffybiker (Nov 25, 2023 at 0:40) (Below Threshold)
 Still need to be good at bike handling, just because you’ve got a motor it doesn’t remove the need to be able to actually ride a bike well
  • 3 2
 @mashrv1: There are smaller disciplines though. There is this weird sanctioned long range xc marathons and they hand over jerseys there too afaik even for masters and veterans where some fields are even smaller
  • 4 5
 @torontomtb: That's the really embarassing part, isn't it? Not enough that the UCI keeps bastardizing the sport. No, there will be "athletes" with such little sense of self respect that they will actually participate in this nonsense.
  • 8 18
flag alexjot (Nov 25, 2023 at 2:55) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: I feel you, brotha, eBikes will find their way. Humans have always been reluctant to change and therefore new technologies
  • 4 24
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Nov 25, 2023 at 5:54) (Below Threshold)
 @torontomtb: Former world champions Fabien Barel and Nicolas Voillouz race E EDR.

Amish EDR will always be shit to me because it's the reason World Cup DH sucks now.
  • 7 0
 @pudhead: solid input thanks, I’ll now up my World Champs training by 5mins/week to reflect my amount of posting. E-XC rainbow stripes here I come!
  • 8 39
flag sofarider1 (Nov 25, 2023 at 8:32) (Below Threshold)
 You e-bike haters are a joke. Wish I could down vote you more than once.
  • 2 0
 @teedubya: if the rumours are true that's comming from 2025 season. 2024 will be the last non electric uci sanctiones EDR series
  • 2 1
 @torontomtb: or some retired racers who never won one
  • 7 0
 @sofarider1: stupid big fingers, I upvoted your comment, sorry
  • 1 1
 @sofarider1: not hating I think there's room for an ebike and a regular bike series, seems after 2024 UCI disagree
  • 8 1
 @PHX77: they are f-ing heavy and cost more than Mx bikes is what they are
  • 1 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: pumptrack races are always won by 20" guys
  • 6 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: how has it made DH suck exactly?
  • 1 0
 The UCI doing things right by the bike industry and big media since 2021...
  • 4 0
 @justanotherusername: UCI doesn’t stand for moto racing… but perhaps they want to move into moto GP given how lucrative it is. The swiss are in it for the $$$$ and that alone.
  • 4 0
 @PHX77: bro it’s not cycling… its moto racing
  • 2 0
 @sofarider1: you don’t get the point do you?
  • 12 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: exactly that happened in my local e-enduro category. Regional title was decided in the last race, in a timed, very hard climb before the last down.
So, my buddy, who is a beast and had won the masters DH overall before, demolished all the stages, only to loose 30 seconds in that climb and loose the race along with it.
None of the participants was happy about it, because that climb was decided on the capacity and health of your battery, and the torque of your bike, rather than bike handling and fitness.
If I had any doubt, that's what convinced me that Ehbike racing, at least in it's current format, is stupid.
  • 3 1
 @mashrv1: were the jersey sizes XXL?
  • 1 0
 @teedubya: this is coming, just follow the money
  • 2 0
 @jerseyjinx: insert BMX background comment here
  • 4 1
 @alwayslivingthedream: who cares? These aren’t some hallowed jerseys. Not king of the universe. It’s a person who happened to avoid an actual job and really any useful compensation to ride their bike a lot and hope for the praise of a comment section. The sport barely exists as a whole. The winner of the Cornhole world championship wins $500k. The world champion of anything UCI wins what? Three thousand Swiss francs and a jersey that would get you beaten up in right wing America. Let them have a jersey or a hundred. It literally doesn’t matter, it’s only done to extract money from sponsors.
  • 1 0
 @Clownshoe: defo ,can't compete in pumptrack against 20" race guys they are too fast
  • 1 0
 @mashrv1: I didn't knew there was this.

Off course the cyclists are only 42kg wet, because that's where the advantage of an e-bike resides.
  • 4 0
 Do they even drug test for E-EDR? lol
  • 1 0
 warm up short inserts before they drop in feature riders on escalators
  • 2 1
 UCI only want more money thru more membership more fines more events more more more more bullshit corruption what a joke
  • 1 1
 @professed: 1 digit
  • 1 5
flag PHX77 (Nov 27, 2023 at 19:30) (Below Threshold)
 @jerseyjinx:I throw my 58 lb e-bike around like it's a toy. Some are expensive and some are not, just like all bikes, as you are well aware and are pretending not to know because it suits your bullshit argument.
  • 5 0
 @PHX77: oh are you talking about your moto bike?
  • 1 0
 @onegear29: It's not E EDR it's now the mechanical doping class MDC
  • 5 0
 @PHX77: it's not bullshit to say ebikes are heavy as f because they are and it's also not bullshit to say that decent ones are more expensive than a Motocross bike because they are ‍♂️‍♂️
  • 3 1
 Why not? It's not like they're having the assisted bikes run against non assisted bikes.

That's like saying that F1 isn't a viable form of racing because they have electronically assisted boost. Or electronically controlled aero. Or extreme-e is not a viable form of racing because they're electronic vehicles. Etc etc.

Or that they shouldn't allow electronic vehicles to race at the salt flats.

Nah... racing anything is part of nature. You just create their own categories or series and let them race each other. Develop rules, etc. You don't want to watch it don't watch it. Don't want to race it, don't race it.

The important part is to maintain category integrity.
  • 2 1
 @alwayslivingthedream: Not really. It's relatively easy to create rules and guides to limit battery and power combinations for race purposes or even create spec classes.

It's how it done in ALL forms of racing.

You can easily say that... battery must be between size x and size w. Batteries bust weigh between x and y. Motor class can only deliver nm between x and y. Etc. Create a spec. Minute differences can make a difference but that's how it is in all racing.

Whose suspension set up is best for the track that day. Tires. Etc.

You don't think Bruni got a bump in the flats by having a DH bike that he can lock out? How many other people did you see have that technology? Do you think that will become more common in the future? Of course it will.

To me that's a bigger issue than whether we let e-bikes race each other. It's a question of how much electronic tech do you want to allow in REGULAR racing.
  • 2 0
 Fabien Barelwin 2023 and three titles of downhill world champion !!
  • 115 2
 UCI-6.9.666 states "Rainbows on E-EDR jerseys must be lit with LEDs"
  • 9 2
 That sounds sick actually.
  • 22 0
 Amazing. UCI rule 6.9.420 states "In case an event has joint winners, these must be lit."
  • 2 0
 "... and the prize money must be spliff"
  • 89 1
 F*** The UCI
  • 19 2
 Only thing I was hoping for was to eliminate the stupid semi final round but I guess World Cup DH will remain dead to me.
  • 6 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: semi finals wasn't a UCI thing AFAIK, it's ESOs brain fart.
  • 6 0
 @therealmrbo: but the UCI had to sign off on it either way
  • 6 0
 f*** GCN
  • 43 1
 I saw the word Takeaways so I ordered some chinese food.
  • 8 0
 That's the kind of positivity we all need!
  • 13 0
 UCI awards the deliveroo e biker a rainbow Jersey for completing the delivery
  • 42 4
 So no cameras for finals for peoples own commercialization, they can only be used for ESO/Discovery to gain views?
  • 10 2
  • 11 2
 No, the ruling on camera usage for finals is the same as before. The only change to the rule for 2024 is the wording on the safety related aspects.
  • 26 1
 What about the sock height fines?
  • 13 0
 The people demand justice
  • 4 0
 Yup...and need fines for those wearing socks and sandals in the pits or when out dining.
  • 19 0
 Good for junior women.
  • 18 1
 And women who want to have children
  • 5 31
flag scott-townes (Nov 26, 2023 at 4:23) (Below Threshold)
 @mattg95: Nah its dumb. It should be treated like any other medical condition.
  • 15 0
 So road and cx can start higher in other races but it's not the same for other disciplines?

That's pretty bad and unfair.
  • 10 0
 Sucks for BMX racers without a BMX background
  • 6 1
 It's also dangerous - the roadies could presumably have 0 xc racing experience or mtb skill
  • 5 0
 @HankHank: once I watch a video from Panamerican Games where a non bmx racer ( track bike racer, I guess) started on a time trial test, and in the 1st jump he crashed so bad. So what you say is not crazy at all.
  • 26 15
 Am I the only person who thinks the Van Der Poel start was a good thing? The sport needs eyes and giving the biggest name in cycling a chance to line up in a discipline he has had proven success at brings that interest. It is not like they bumped him to the first row, a proven cyclist displaced the 40th rider. I struggle to bring myself to get too worked up about it.
  • 43 0
 Good for the sport, but the rule change should not have happened a day before world champ race.
  • 27 3
 I think it's great, provided he promises to crash out during the first lap of every race he attends.
  • 25 1
 The bigger issue is that it was only applied to the men, Kata Blanka Vas had to start from 47th place (and still finished 5th).
More here: www.pinkbike.com/news/top-xc-racers-criticize-last-minute-uci-rule-change-around-elite-start-order.html
  • 3 0
 Yeah, he obviously deserved his spot in the grid. The way they pushed it through was kind of messy, but outcome was fine. It's good they've formalized it now, hopefully that removes any drama going forward.
  • 3 3
 VDP actually has mtb skills though. Under this rule change any pro roadie with no mtb skills could turn up and weapon themselves on the mandatory gap jumps we saw at glentress this year. world champs courses will surely need to be dumbed down now for the safety of riders with what could be 0 xc racing experience
  • 6 1
 @mattg95: I'm just having a hard time imagining why anyone with zero mtb experience and skills would suddenly want to sign up for a race and - even without injuring themselves - most likely end up with poor (and in that way "useless") results, just because the rules might allow it?
  • 4 0
 No, but pretty sucky for the riders who had raced a full season who got bumped down to make space for him, piddock and sagan
  • 1 1
 @donimo: hubris? I'm presenting an extreme example, but it's not hard to imagine someone from the road pro Pelton thinking a uci xc race might be easier than it is and going in without the experience needed to race safely. There's precedence (Sagan and the Brazil Olympics for example, or even arguably MVP at Tokyo or Glentress).
  • 15 1
 Does this mean DH Semi Finals are staying, or is there still time to cut that shambles out?
  • 20 0
 Actually they're going to a double semi-finals.....the riders who make it out of the first semi-finals, go into a semi-semi-final round to sort out the final
  • 4 0
 @jokermtb: AKA "LCQ" like in SX. lol
  • 17 0
 @jokermtb: I believe that'd be called quarter finals, sir.
  • 5 0
 @Alexanz1: And you Sir, are correct.
  • 3 0
 @jokermtb: gonna turn into the finals for BASEketball.
  • 13 2
 7 takeaways from an average UK High Street (in reverse order of popularity for added controversy and suspence):

7. Kebab
6. Fried Chicken
5. Pizza
4. Thai
3. Fish and Chips
2. Indian
1. Chinese
  • 1 0
 Interesting.... very different than the US. I guess if you include chick-fil-a and Popeyes and crap like that fried chicken is probably much higher than I would have previously thought.... Wonder how high fish and chips and Indian are.... hmmmm.
  • 1 0
 Well.. decided to give it a 1-2 minutes of effort. I did a quick scan of several sites and they don't all seem to agree.

But in general the top 3 seem to be some combination of


Italian/Sushi/Thai all mixed in there from 4-8.

This was a pretty solid list though:
  • 10 0
 Any women that pushes a water Mellon sized object out of her VJ and then goes on to compete at the highest level of our sport in a single season should get a least a medal, maybe a trophy.
  • 11 0
 Takeaway #8: The UCI continues to be an embarassment to the sport of cycling.
  • 9 0
 So no more POV of winning runs in DH, unless its for production company. Was it like this previously?
  • 6 0
 No more semis, top 60 compete, top 30 televised, top 10 televised entire run. GIVE THE PEOPLE & RACERS WHAT THEY WANT!
  • 4 2
 That camera rule is really strange, is it trying to say that you can only mount the camera to the visor of the helmet or the bike now or is it just saying that they need to be extra careful when mounting the cameras there? Chin mounts and chest mounts give the best angles IMO.
  • 2 0
 Visors are designed to breakaway. A camera mounted to a helmet can add rotational forces. Seems like they are being extra cautious, but not necessarily a bad move.
  • 5 0
 We all saw what happened to Michael Schumacher when you land badly with a camera on the top of your helmet
  • 7 1
 I hope they get rid of the stupid semi-finals
  • 4 0
 ICU bringing in a rainbow jersey for EDR is like a couple on the brink of divorce deciding that having kid will fix their relationship.
  • 1 0
 UCI destroyed the enduro Frown
  • 5 3
 I don't race (or even watch them) and I don't have a camera but even I can see this is self-serving for the UCI. Kind of reminds me of a company that gets its trail data from its users and then charges them to use it.
  • 1 0
 so again no POV cameras in quali and race day Frown
so again, if a rider doesn't make it n the tv appearance, you can not see how he/she was doing

not sayin all need to have full tv coverage, but not permitting them to publish private race footage makes all the not top 5 riders more and more invisible Frown

and yep i think the "TV" footage last year was more than lame.. not mocking the commentators, but camera angels, missing/failing split time display, what sections were covered/shown oer rider...
yay its great footage when not 20 rider is shown just for the finish jump out of angle and you do not get the splittimes displayed.....
  • 3 0
 So are we going to have E-mtb DH racing with timed up-hill same DH circuit as worlds.
  • 1 1
 But this is stupid.... As stupid as the grandparents' inventions from uci.... You ride the whole season, sacrifice a lot of money and time to win the second most important prize/ cup.... and it takes one start for the world championship. This is stupid....
  • 1 0
 If they insist on flogging e-bikes at least limit them to one standard battery capacity rather than the 3or 4 batteries they currently use per lap
  • 1 0
 I'm waiting for the 50+ Clydesdale E-XC Class 4 Ebike format.
All my local races have clydesdale groups, it's only a matter of time.
  • 2 0
 UCI, killer of professional MTB competition
  • 1 0
 Can we just get rid of the semis in DH(I), have a final field of 60 and be back to a format that works?!
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 Ibis, GT, Devinci dropped their teams from UCI EDR. Not good…
  • 2 0
 UCI is garbage.
  • 1 0
 I hope the UCI fools are reading these comments who are their membership
  • 1 2
 Not a single comment about SNO? Which I guess says volumes.
  • 6 0
 I assume you would find those below the article about introducing snow biking vs an article that has nothing to do with that.
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