We formally supply a number of mens and women's UCI road cycling teams who use the CORE Body Temperature monitoring sensor for training and or competition. One questions that we are asked by fans is whether the CORE sensor can be used for competition, is CORE banned or is it allowed?
The short answer is yes, it is allowed. Based on the latest UCI rules, the CORE Body Temperature sensor completely complies with the regulations and is defined as a type of permitted sensor which is authorised to be used in UCI events.
The UCI recently updated their technical rules in July 2021 (PDF) which provides greater clarity for the use of sensors such as heart rate, body temperature and sweat rate. Even though heart rate monitors, as an example, have been used for many years in competition, these were not otherwise documented in UCI rules until this July 2021 amendment.
Published on 04.06.2021 and applying from 10.06.2021, the relevant passage of the UCI amendments to the rules state the following.
Chapter III Equipment
Section 1: general provisions
§ 4 Onboard technology
Onboard technology devices, which capture or transmit data, may be fitted on bicycles or worn by riders subject to being authorised under the present article, without prejudice to other provisions of the UCI Regulations. The present article concerns any device which captures or transmits data as described below, including but not limited to sensors (worn or ingested), transponders, rider information systems, telemetry devices.
2. Devices which capture or transmit the following physiological data are authorised: heartrate, body temperature, sweat rate. The authorisation is, however, limited to transmission protocols which enable only the rider concerned to view the data during a competition.
The authorised capturing and transmitting of data as provided under this article shall not enable a rider to view data of another rider. Likewise, teams shall only access data of their riders, where such transmission is authorised, unless information pertaining to riders of other teams is publicly available.
With respect to the rules, the CORE Body Temperature Monitoring sensor is a wearable sensor that fits securely to the heart rate strap, teams and riders are required to use the clips to ensure it remained secured.
The CORE sensor is paired just to the riders cycle computer and, like heart rate sensors, this data is only available to them during the competition. The data from CORE is only available authorised coaches or staff members after the race.
The CORE sensor does not broadcast rider telemetry data such as watts or heart rate to the Velon system or transmitters so does not require a telemetry permit.
Although the UCI do not specifically define the safety aspect and value of sensor technology, recently they have started to prioritise rider safety in competition. With Heat Stress posing a health risk to athletes, the core sensor helps riders train and condition themselves to avoid this risk and also during racing, riders who are susceptible to heat-related issues can use this data to ride safely.