Yellow Cards and Earpiece Bans: UCI's New Safety Measures for Pro Cyclists

UCI announces new safety rules, including a yellow card system and earpiece restrictions, to reduce crashes in pro cycling and protect riders.

Yellow Cards and Earpiece Bans: UCI's New Safety Measures for Pro Cyclists

In response to a spring plagued by numerous crashes involving top cyclists, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced several rule changes aimed at enhancing safety in professional cycling. The international governing body hopes these measures will prevent future accidents as the season progresses.

The UCI introduces new measures to promote safety at road races

Key Rule Changes

Yellow Card System

Starting August 1, the UCI will trial a yellow card system, akin to soccer's. This system will initially run until December 1 in both men’s and women’s races. The yellow cards will serve as a deterrent but will not physically exist; instead, they will be documented in the race communiqué after each race. The UCI intends this to discourage unsafe behavior by riders, sport directors, and other convoy participants. During the trial, yellow cards will not result in immediate disqualification or suspension but will pave the way for stricter penalties starting January 1, 2025.

Earpiece Restrictions

The use of earpieces during races will be restricted. This aims to enhance communication clarity and reduce potential distractions that could lead to accidents.

Three-Kilometre Rule Adjustment

Modifications to the three-kilometre rule will be implemented. This rule typically allows riders who suffer a mishap within the last three kilometers of a stage to be credited with the same finishing time as the group they were with. The UCI's adjustments seek to refine this rule to improve fairness and safety.

Time Gap Calculation Simplification

The method for calculating time gaps in stages with a bunch sprint finish will be simplified, ensuring more accurate and straightforward results.

Implementation and Testing

These changes will undergo test periods in upcoming races throughout the rest of the season. The UCI will work closely with stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures before finalizing them.

Ensuring Rider Safety with SafeR

UCI President David Lappartient emphasized the creation of SafeR, a structure dedicated to road cycling safety, bringing together key stakeholders. "The safety of riders is a priority for the UCI," Lappartient stated. "I am convinced that the measures announced today will enable us to make progress towards a safer sport."

Impact on Riders

The cycling community has mixed feelings about these changes. Defending Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard, who spent 12 days in the hospital due to a crash, is among the top riders affected by early season incidents. With the French Grand Tour just 17 days away, it remains uncertain if he will participate.


The UCI’s new measures reflect a significant step toward improving safety in professional cycling. By introducing the yellow card system and other rule modifications, the UCI aims to reduce risks and create a safer environment for all participants in the pro peloton.