UCI confirms phasing out of radios at St Wendel conference
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Friday, January 28, 2011

UCI confirms phasing out of radios at St Wendel conference

by Ben Atkins at 4:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Management Committee meets at World cyclocross venue to settle season’s business

uciThe International Cycling Union (UCI) Management Committee met at the venue of the cyclocross World Championships in St-Wendel, Germany today. The purpose of the meeting was to confirm the venues of a number of World Championships and approve a number of calendars, as well as settle a number of other items of business.

Almost a footnote to the official press release, but sure to make the biggest headlines is a commitment to continue the process of removing radios from the sport.

The Management Committee “confirmed the progressive prohibition of the use of two-way radio in the interests of maintaining the quality of the sporting spectacle. The Management Committee will however constantly monitor the effects of this measure.”

Radio communications between riders and their managers in the team car have long since become an integral part of the sport. It is criticised by many riders and observers though, who say that it reduces riders to mere pawns, who are losing the ability to think for themselves in races; one of these critics is the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who prefer to see as little technology influencing sport as possible.

The use of radios has long been outlawed in junior and under-23 racing; last year it was banned in minor one-day and stage races, while this year the ban was extended to all races outside the UCI World Tour.

While the ban is popular with some within the sport the Professional Cyclists Association (CPA) and the Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AICGP) have both voted against a total blackout.

As well as the determination over the radio ban the Management Committee also agreed upon the creation of an Athletes Commission, which will be responsible for “overseeing the interests of cyclists of all disciplines”. The commission will comprise 14 active, or recently retired, riders; eight will be elected by the different disciplines in cycling (road, track, mountainbike, BMX, para-cycling and cyclocross), while the remaining six will be appointed by the UCI.

In other business Beat Wabel of Switzerland was elected to the UCI Cyclocross Commission, Alan Seigrist of Switzerland was appointed UCI Finance Director and the “ProTour Council” has been renamed as the “Professional Cycling Council” (PCC).

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