Cycling: No daylight for Obree as riding position falls foul of rules: Cycling's world pursuit champion has ridden into trouble again. Robin Nichol reports from Palermo

GRAEME OBREE, the Scotsman whose career has been bedevilled by run-ins with officialdom, was disqualified from the world pursuit championship here yesterday after objections to his riding position.

Less than four minutes into his defence of the 4,000 metres crown on the Paolo Borsellino track, Obree got two red-flag warnings, and was disqualified because officials could not see daylight between his arms and his chest.

His 'downhill skier' posture has never found favour with the governing body, the UCI, and they tried to eliminate it by altering their Rule 49, which includes a definition of a rider's position.

'He has betrayed the spirit of Rule 49,' Jacques Sabathier, the president of the world championship officials, said after a British protest had been thrown out. 'Written laws you can obey,' Sandy Gilchrist, the British manager, said. 'Unwritten ones you cannot, and we are dealing with the unwritten.'

'I knew that they were out to get me. This is like the high jump without the bar,' Obree said. 'No measurement has been defined. It's all pretty vague. Officials told me that there would be two warnings and then disqualification.'

His riding position, which puts him almost flat over his handlebars, and his self-designed and produced bike has also been under fire.

An hour before he began his qualifier Obree was told that 'so long as there is daylight between your arms and your chest you will not be disqualified.' The previous day he and Gilchrist spent an anxious eight hours getting the bike accepted by the UCI officials after a dispute over saddles.

After the new 'toadstool'- shaped saddle, another Obree innovation, was thrown out because it was not 'commercially available', they offered four other saddles. Those too were banned because they had been cut down from conventional saddles, and Obree borrowed the saddle from the mountain bike of a 10-year-old boy, which met the rules as it was available to the public.

It also suited Graeme's style, which he developed because an old shoulder injury prevents him racing on the conventional racing bike with drop handlebars.

The UCI has been fretting about the sport being overtaken by technology, as in Formula One motor racing. They emerged triumphant from a May meeting in Rome having altered Rule 49, which dictates both the rider's position and his equipment.

'We are concerned that the athletic performance is being overshadowed by the technology,' the UCI's president, Hein Verbruggen, has said.

Obree complied with their rules regarding his bike, but yesterday it was the turn of the man. 'I believe that Miguel Indurain is adopting my posture for his attack on my hour record. Will they ban him? I don't think so.'

Chris Boardman was the fastest quarter-finalist, in 4min 25.801sec, beating Spain's Juan Martinez by almost four seconds. Boardman now faces Jens Lehmann of Germany, who he beat to Olympic gold in Barcelona.

(Photograph omitted)

Results, Sporting Digest, page 35

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam