UCI won’t raise issue over use of radios in Australian TT championships
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

UCI won’t raise issue over use of radios in Australian TT championships

by Shane Stokes at 10:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Governing body doesn’t oppose their use outside road races

Race radioFollowing a late decision by Cycling Australia’s commissaires to allow elite men to use race radio in yesterday’s Australian time trial championships, the UCI has said that it has no plans to take any action on the issue.

Cycling Australia regulations previously prevented the use of radios but, after petitioning by the GreenEdge team, this rule was waived prior to the men’s time trial.

GreenEdge riders picked up the top two medals, with Luke Durbridge beating team-mate Cameron Meyer in the men’s event. Former triple world champion Michael Rogers (Sky Procycling) was third.

Durbridge later spoke about the encouragement that he got from directeur sportif Neil Stephens during the race, and how it helped him at a difficult point when he hit a strong headwind.

“All my watts dropped and I started to feel terrible, but Stevo just talked me through it and told me I just had to ride through the section.

“Stevo was in my ear the whole way,” he added, referring to the race in general.

VeloNation spoke to UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani, who clarified that while Cycling Australia may previously have prevented their use, that the UCI itself has no such regulations.

“They are allowed in time trials,” he said. “National championship are not under UCI rules, but for UCI time trials, radios are allowed.”

The governing body has been trying to eliminate their use from road races, this provoking a big standoff last year with many pro teams. The issue is currently being studied prior to a final ruling, but it’s clear the UCI would prefer to see such communication blocked in road events.

Carpani said that its different when a rider is alone. “In time trials, the radio doesn’t impact on the race strategy. You can use other tools to let your message through,” he explained. “In the past, the coach used speakers to shout from the car, now you have radios.

“Radios in time trials don’t affect the race dynamics. Your coach can only give encouragement, say to the rider to keep going. It is not linked to the strategy of the race, not telling them when someone is attacking or anything like that. Because of that, they are allowed in time trials.”

It is not known if Cycling Australia will allow their use henceforth. One problem with the late rule change is that not everyone would have had access to the devices.

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