Is Pray position legal in road racing (not TT)

Hi everyone,

Struggling to find an answer and getting mixed inputs. Is this position legal in UCI approved races? Those who don’t know what this position is, it is similar to Praying Mantis position, but without TT or extension bars. Very technical and risky position, but has has significant aero benefits for those who can produce power and handle the bike being in this position.

I’ve seen it few times in pro pelotons, but only rare few practice it. I use it too in certain situations where speed over ground is a priority.

Here is one picture of it.

Yes, but if you do it when you aren’t on the front of the group or off the front of the group you’re going to get yelled at (deservedly so)


It is perfectly legal. The technical rules apply to the extensions that are allowed in certain types of races.
These are the UCI rules tho. Other events might have rules about safety in the peloton. Also what you must keep in mind is that pros can do this because the fact that you put the saddle forward all the way. This allows them to have an somewhat decent hip angle and be aero. Most road positions will make you lose to much power for it to bee good.

If you value the safety of your fellow racers, please do not use this position in a bunch race. You’d like get a good shouting at from me if I saw you riding like that in a bunch👍

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That’s perfect guys, thanks. I do understand risks involved. Never in a bunch or in certain conditions for obvious reasons. It is difficult position to be in for any length of time.

Don’t know if it’s the “rules” but for Cat 5 you must have your hands on the handlebars at all times. Had a teammate get DQ’d when he put his arms up over the finish line.

…while there is nothing “on the books”, the TD can relegate for “unsafe” behavior, which they may/may not think that the IAB looks like (subjective but still a rule). On a personal note, please don’t use IAB near me :slight_smile:

I did hear that too, but was it only for finishes where most crashes happen?

I had a uci rep driving beside me when I was in breakaway in this position, but he didn’t say anything, only time. But then someone else told me he could’ve DQ’d me. Go figure.

Oh be nice…we aren’t all pros. If I had worked my butt off to win a race I’d want to throw my hands up too.

This sort of attitude is exactly why road cycling is considered elitist and Road Racing is dying.

The post reminded me of a time I was golfing with a friend at his private country club. I had hit a terrible approach on a par 4 and was looking at a huge number with a thick tree and a bunker between me and a tight pin. Somehow I salvaged bogie, sinking a 10 foot putt and I pumped my fist to which I got “we don’t fist pump here for bogies”. I said…“yeah whatever, I’d like to see you make 5 from where my 2nd shot landed.”


@Grasschopper This was sarcasm because in our racing association throwing the hands up as you cross the line is not allowed. Maybe I should have included the sarcasm font. And far from elite. I’m just a shitty cat 3. But if you take your hands off the bars in our crit to do something like this, I’ll give a very passive-aggressive take on it post race and then give kudos on the race.

@DMC - ah ok sorry. As a member of several cycling forums that comment would have been totally serious in other places. Not sure if you’ve ever been to but there’s literally a thread titlesd “We’re all going to yell at you” in the Roadie section that exudes this sort of attitude to newer riders.

I’ve seen people being DQ’d by British Cycling comms for this here in the UK… Not sure what the exact rule is but pretty sure it’s related to being in safe control of the bike.

As above - in British Cycling races (crit and road) the commissar has explicitly stated that if he caught anyone trying it, they’d be DQd.

Not sure if it’s hot topic across BC or a personal pet peeve. I get it, particularly on road races with oncoming traffic. That said, I’ve done it in Europe in solo breaks or when chasing on, but racing feels a lot safer there in general.

This is now banned in Ireland, since this year, penalties apply and DQ :frowning:

Weird, the replies hadn’t loaded when I went looking:

The rider shall normally assume a sitting position on the bicycle. This position requires that the only points of support are the following: the feet on the pedals, the hands on the handlebars and the seat on the saddle.

I’m not too sure how the governance hierarchy looks like in UCI… Just got hold of this document: CI rules 2019 page 80.

Kinda understand the reasoning behind it, but still, pity.

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I wish they’d actually enforce this stuff. The trend in top-tube-pedaling is going to get someone seriously injured. Especially watching guys do it on the front if the pack. Then a bunch of amateurs trying to emulate it. That sort of thing and ‘fake’ aero bars should be enforced. It adds nothing to racing.

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So no standing to sprint, or taking a hand off the bars to blow snot, eat a snack, or scratch your bum? I know enforcement is a different matter, but that’s goofy. I do like how they were chaste enough to refer to one’s rear end as “seat” though.

Hm. None of this affects the legality of riding on the hoods but with your forearms parallel to or rested on the bars so that your elbows form a right angle?

Needless to say that that is also a position one ought to not use “in the bunch.”

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The wording is “only points of support”, which means no additional points of support. It does not require all of these points of support to be engaged all the time.