UCI want to ban ear radios

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by hemplands, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

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    From Cycling news.com the following article appears today

    Proposed ear-radio ban meets with resistance

    A UCI proposal to ban the use of ear radios in racing has been met with strong resistance from riders and team directors. UCI technical consultant Jean Wauthier has argued for the ban, saying, "The riders have less say, it's as if they were robots. Many races remain closed because the team leaders have decided everything. And the riders are more easily distracted. The earpiece came for safety, but Kivilev still crashed when his transmitter worked. And team directors can no longer drive the cars because they are continually screaming instructions."

    Quick.Step-Davitamon manager Patrick Lefevere's response was blunt, as he told Het Nieuwsblad. "The earphones have to stay in cycling. We are against prohibiting the device; nobody wants it to go. It's not because they no longer allow the use of the earpieces in soccer that the same has to happen in cycling. The situation is totally different. In the race you are confronted more and more with roundabouts, dangerous points, narrow roads and so on. Compared to ten years ago, so many things have changed. There's no way back."

    Is the rider's concentration lessened? "That's bull****," said Lefevere. "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."

    Peter Van Petegem commented, "In races like the Ronde van Vlaanderen or Paris-Roubaix I couldn't do without them. Your team director is straight up the front if you have a mechanical problem. Without earpieces, you easily lose a full minute."

    Marc Wauters didn't think that the tactics had changed much with the introduction of ear-radios. "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."

    Dirk Demol, US Postal's director, commented, "Dangerous situations, like speed bumps and roundabouts, are fourteen-fold, and the peloton is now twice as big."

    Frank Vandenbroucke took the opposite side, "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. Now it's reported: look out for the stone at the left, that bad bit on the right. When there is a break, you get the information: ride or don't ride. There is not much room left for intuition."
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    I never thought I would agree with the UCI about anything but I've been proved wrong

    Its also good to see a rider who is against them. VDB has annoyed me over the years, he's another rider who shows promise but also likes to play with the self destruct button. Nevertheless he's always very articulate in his musings so I do read them.
     
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  2. jstraw

    jstraw New Member

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    I think they should stay.
     
  3. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    I want to see the pros in a similar situation
    that I would be in if I was racing, i.e. no radio.
    Then rider tactics rather than team boss tactics
    would count.
    They can still have team cars, etc. but taking
    away their ability to "see around corners"
    would make for some interesting racing...
     
  4. jstraw

    jstraw New Member

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    Maybe Michael Schumaker should have to race a car like you would as well...

    The elite level of *anything* involves the use of tools not available to hobbyists.
     
  5. waterboy420

    waterboy420 New Member

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    I agree. No radios. I think that having that additional communication with the rider and manager during the race detracts from the purity of a riders skill when encountering obstacles in the course of the race.

    Is technology a good thing? Absolutely. Lighter frames, and just about every component available in space age composite is wonderful, but still allows the riders to rely on their own riding ability and instincts. Communication is key, but the choices on the road need to be made by the rider, not the team manager.
     
  6. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    Bad example dude...

    If I was racing in F1 with Schuey, I would have an F1 car and
    I CAN ride the same bikes as the pro's.
    Look at Trek's marketing spiel, you know, "Lance rides this bike, which is available off-the-shelf".

    The elite level equipment of MANY sports is, in fact, quite accessible to "hobbyists". The training facilities and the time
    to train may not be, but the equipment certainly is.

    Cycling, archery, football, cricket, shooting, controlled-class motor racing, ice hockey, etc... The pro equipment used in these sports IS available to anyone who can afford it.

    Radios give a totally different sort of advantage than mere equipment upgrades. I want the riders to think more about what they do, let the riders decide tactics, not their team captains...
     
  7. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    I think the UCI may be following the NASCAR model - rule changes to make the race more entertaining. After all, that's really what cycle races are all about - entertaining the spectators.

    Banning ear radios would simply change the form of communications, introduce an additional wrinkle for teams to work around, or probably just cause teams to go back to the methods used in years past. Teams thrived for decades without ear radios, carbon fiber frames, aero wheels, or anabolic steriods. And the absence of all of these did not diminish the accomplishments of the legends from those days.

    Of course, if they ban ear radios, what will replace them? Nose radios?

    'snot funny, it could happen...
     
  8. Dimboy

    Dimboy New Member

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    if they can think of a reason to ban it, they can. but at the moment they're banning it for the sake of it and they don't like changing with technology
     
  9. jstraw

    jstraw New Member

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    I think anything that reduces the number of team cars plowing through the peloton to bark instructions out of windows is good for safety and justified.
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I think that they should be banned.
    use of communication negates the riders to have any tactical nous.
    I think instant communication deprives the sport of added suspense.
     
  11. swright

    swright New Member

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    They are needed in the sport. They add a certain element anyway. In fact, on long recreational rides such as the MS 150's that take place in the states, it helps us stay in touch with lagging teammates.
    On that note, can anyone recommend a good brand of device that we could use?
     
  12. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    Bikes and riders are needed in the sport, radios are not.
    The certain element they add is the reduction of critical
    tactical decisions being made by riders.

    I'm not familiar with the MS150 but if it is a "long, recreational ride" as opposed to the elite-level TdF 'race', the use of radios
    is entirely different - they are not being used to make tactical
    race decisions, merely to keep in contact with teammates (to prevent them quitting perhaps?).

    As for the earlier comment about team cars plowing through
    the peloton - has that happened before? If radios WERE
    banned, it would be simple to limit team car access to
    mechanical failures or food/drink replacement duties.

    hippy
     
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