USA Cycling reintroduces radio ban after pressure from UCI
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

USA Cycling reintroduces radio ban after pressure from UCI

by VeloNation Press at 6:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Suggestions that UCI-registered riders and teams would have been blocked at events

race radioTen days after USA Cycling announced that it was lifting the radio ban for National Racing Calendar (NRC) races, the federation has decided to reverse the decision.

It follows on from a strong objection from the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, which is thought to have threatened sanctions or even possible suspension if USA Cycling didn’t obey the radio ban currently in place.

As a result of the decision, riders will be forbidden from using communication devices in all national-level competition; including USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar (NRC) and national championship events.

Federation CEO Steve Johnson said earlier this month that the reintroduction of radios followed consultation with “various affected stakeholders, including officials, race directors, team directors and riders.

“In the process, we considered all of the categories of the racing environment that are impacted by radios, including rider and spectator safety, caravan and peloton management and team/rider communication,” he said then. “Frankly, radios won on every count.”

Speaking today, he said that he still recognises the uses of radios, but no longer wishes to battle the UCI on the issue. “While we remain convinced of the value of race radios with regard to their potential for increased safety for riders and spectators,” he said, “we will respect the UCI's request to continue the ban of race radios in national calendar races and national championships.”

UCI President Pat McQuaid reaffirmed his desire for a complete radio ban today, telling VeloNation that he remained convinced they were a barrier to the best racing. He said that in France, executives from France Televisions said that radio was as big a threat to the future of the sport as is doping.

The US is not France and there is less opposition in the TV media to the use of radios there, but president of the USA Cycling board of directors and USPRO board member Bill Peterson said that they had little choice.

“After consultation with the UCI, it is apparent that allowing race radios in domestic NRC races would negatively impact the UCI registered teams and riders who would no longer be allowed to compete in these events,” he stated.

“The absence of UCI registered teams and riders would have a highly detrimental impact, not only on the team sponsors, but also on the hard working NRC promoters and the sponsors and communities who support these races.”

Currently radios are permitted only in World Tour events. That means that the sole instances when they can be used in North America are in the World Tour races in Quebec and Montreal.

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