Race Rules

Rules that cover cross-country (XC) mountain bike racing are given below.  They have been extracted from the Cycling Ireland Technical Rules.  For full details of all the rules you must consult the technical regulations provided on the Cycling Ireland website www.cyclingireland.ie

3. The Race

A – Riders must complete the entire distance of the race and the responsibility for following the official
course lies with the rider.
B – A rider is not permitted to take any shortcuts or to omit a circuit or take other advantage of a
similar nature against opponents.
C – If a rider exits the course for any reason, he/she must return to the course at the exact same point
from which he/she exited.
D – A rider cannot seek and receive any technical assistance along the course from anybody including
competitors. (Technical assistance is permitted between riders competing in the same team) See
Article 3 Paragraph 7.
E – A rider may only change his/her bike or receive any technical assistance between races.
F – A rider must not use offensive or abusive language, act in an anti-sporting manner, be
disrespectful to the officials or ignore the race regulations.
G – A rider must act in a polite manner at all times and permit any faster rider to overtake without
H – Riders must respect the countryside and ride only on the official course. The rider must avoid
polluting the area and must not leave any waste or litter.
I – No glass containers of any kind are permitted on or near the race course.

4. Equipment

A – All bicycles used in all forms of mountain bike competition must be powered by human power
alone. It is forbidden to use metal screws or spikes in the tyres of the bicycle. Bikes must use a
wheel on both front and back that is no bigger than 29 inches.
B – Any bicycle used in competition must be capable of safely and efficiently completing the task and
must, as a minimum, be mechanically sound, have efficient brakes on all wheels and all
reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the safety of the rider and others. As part of the latter,
bar plugs are compulsory.
C – If, in the opinion of a scrutineer and/or commissaire, a bicycle fails to meet the above criteria the
rider must take immediate steps to ensure the necessary steps are taken to remedy the
shortcomings and ensure the scrutineers/commissaires requests are met. Failure to do so will
result in exclusion from the competition.


1. The fact that an offence is not intended is not an acceptable excuse.
2. A rider will not engage in any action for the purpose of obstructing another rider such as pushing or
pulling by the jersey or saddle. These examples are not definitive.
3. No rider will cut across the line of another rider without sufficient lead to avoid the risk of a fall.
4. A dismounted rider may finish a race pushing, pulling or carrying his machine but without assistance.
5. Riders riding dangerously will be liable to sanction, as will any rider who makes any gesture with the
hands during a group finish in circumstances likely to create a danger.
6. Riders shall be strictly forbidden to deviate from the line selected when starting to sprint if in doing so it
endangers the other rider(s).
7. In scratch races riders who are lapped may help one another as permitted under rule T7.A1.11 but must
not give pace to those who have lapped them, or interfere in any intermediate or final sprint, unless
permitted by the special race rules for the race. Competitors who fail to act within this rule will be
instructed by the Commissaire to withdraw from the race.
8. No competitor shall benefit from his misconduct, nor shall any team benefit from the misconduct of one
or any of its members or support personnel.
9. Members of Cycling Ireland, whilst engaged in a cycle race in any capacity, shall refrain from any acts of
violence, threats, insults or other improper behaviour including the use of foul or abusive language or
from putting other persons in danger. They must not by word, gesture, writing or otherwise question the
honour of other members, officials, sponsors, federations, the UCI or cycling in general. The right of
criticism shall be exercised in a reasonable manner and with moderation.
10. The Commissaire may withdraw any competitor who is physically inadequate or inexperienced and who
presents a danger to other competitors or to himself.
11. Competitors must not warm up on the course, if by so doing they may interfere with other races.
Competitors failing to adhere to this regulation may after a first warning by the Commissaire, be
withdrawn from their race.
12. Competitors must not accept pace or tow from any non-competitor in a race either motorised or
13. Participants must at all times conform to all traffic regulations in force relative to the course on which the
race is held.