March 11, 2004
UCI proposes ban on rider radios
The UCI is considering banning radio communication between riders and directors, apparently partly as a result of a similar ban in the soccer world. UCI technical consultant Jean Wauthier is advocating the elimination of earpiece radios commonly worn in races.
The arguments seem to break down as: We need them for safety vs. They're killing tactics.
QuickStep director Patrick Lefevre dismissed the idea out of hand:
"Ah well, that's another bright thought from someone who's never in the race itself. Wauthier is also the man who wants to stop the evolution of the bike."
Marc Wauters disagreed that the radios have had a major effect on tactics:
"Before, the team director still decided the tactics. Only then he had to drive beside his rider to tell him what to do. That was certainly dangerous. Now the team directors can stay calmly behind the riders."
But Frank Vandenbroucke agreed with Wauthier:
"Previously you recognised a good team director by what he told you before the race. Now, every rider knows exactly what's coming, even in a maze like the Ronde van Vlaanderen ... There is not much room left for intuition."
Posted by Frank Steele on March 11, 2004 | Permalink
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