Race radio fight heats up
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Race radio fight heats up

by Samuel Morrison at 9:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
CPA poll shows majority in favour of using radios

The fight over the right to use two-way radio communication is heating up prior to the season's first official race. The International Cycling Union (UCI) is meeting today in Switzerland with the International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) to discuss the issue.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) wants to ban the use of radios in all races but 26 WorldTour races, which includes the Tour de France. The AIGCP is fighting to keep the communication open. It held a vote in October where the majority of its members, team directors, voted in favour of their use.

Today, Italian website Tuttobiciweb.com released a poll conducted by the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA). The CPA polled riders from seven European countries – Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Portugal – and found the majority in favour of using race radios: 207 to 40.

Cycling strong countries USA and Great Britain were not polled.

BMC's US cyclist, Brent Bookwalter chimed in on Twitter. "Since no one seemed to ask USA riders," he wrote. "My vote: Keep Radios!"

CPA President reported the news to Tuttobiciweb.com.

"I'm happy," he said. "The riders are expressing their views on matters affecting their work and safety. I hope that their voice is heard."

The UCI already bans race radios at the junior and Under 23 level. At last year's World Championships, it also banned the elite men from using them.

Stephen Roche Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Worlds winner – gave his opinion last year.

"In cycling the radios are totally destroying the spectacle of cycling and making the riders become zombies since they don't have to make decisions for themselves, everything comes from the car," said Roche. "They haven't got to pay attention to what's going in the race because they know, well, if I miss a break or if I miss a scene then the car will get word to me through my earphone.

"I think the radios have been a disaster for cycling."


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