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Race Radio tantrum

Mar 13, 2009
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The directors like playing computer games with cyclists, they know that we are going to have exciting races without radios, and will see more of it. They are going to be relegated to talking tactics at night and driving support vehicles during the race. That sounds pretty good to me.
I don't like it because I'd hate to see a favourite get a puncture or other mechanical without support coming quickly and then losing the tour. I think there could be a happy middle ground.
 
Jun 30, 2009
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By their words shall ye know them.
So according to the team directeurs the main criticisms are that a ban impugns their professionalism and is "outdated", whatever that means. No mention at all of the main reason - to improve the racing - so we can assume that they know that that's flimsy ground. And since the very objective is to improve races by limiting their ability to use their professionalism to control them, that just about stitches it up in favour.
Bring on the thinking riders!:D
 
May 20, 2009
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really?

did you just ask for us to prove a negative?

of course we can't point to an accident that was prevented... because it didn't happen. there is no way of knowing how many accidents didn't happen because the riders knew of some traffic furniture ahead of time.

i'm not saying i am for or against race radios.... but serously... the DS's are just playing video games? BS. it is still the riders turning themselves inside out. and as for timing of catches on sprint stages - it will still happen. unless we are going to prevent that guy on the yellow motorcycle with the chalk board as well.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Not having radios is like an AFL, Basketball, Soccer team... not being able to coach their players to give out tatics. The riders still really have to make descisions based on the tatics given out and still have to ride. The director sportifs might as well be at the finsh line then because all they'll be their for is to hand out bottles to riders:rolleyes:
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Maintenance should be okay

Karlboss; servicing shouldn’t a problem as Race Radio will still happen on stages 10 and 13, it just no rider radios.

So the team car will still be called to the front of the convoy for maintenance if the riders signal as they are suppose to. Race radio would be very experience and would even give an indication of the problem if the riders follow a bit of protocol and hang on the back of the pelo, if possible, to allow the message to be sent back to the team cars.

However please note Archibald, it is general practice for Race Radio (ie Commassaires) to regularly issues warnings during the stage, and would inform the team cars to contact to their riders with a warning about something. This could range from a Trains, Protestors or a Dog on the road to something like a warning for breaking rules or maybe to hurry some strugglers to beat the stage time limit. Clearly race admin believes stages 10 and 13 are easier to control, the comassaires have Car Speakers and Blackboards but generally they are not that effective and you wouldn’t trust them in all stages.

In regard to the racing it is yet to be proven weather it will make a significant change on the racing. Many of these riders will end up Team managers anyway, the DS’s don’t like to admit it but allot of the riders turn their radios off in the race anyway, and the team car will still pass on messages while servicing their riders.

However it should be noted that mostly the DS’s are settling the riders down to carry out their specific race plan, there is a chance without radios the pelo while be nervous and more conservative, rather calm and making tactical decisions.. we will see, it will be a great tour anyway!!
 
Mar 11, 2009
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The whole thing is stupid. The Espoir racers have been without radios all year and don't see them dying on the courses because they are too dangerous without radios. Under 23 Paris Roubaix even managed to run correctly without radios...
 
Mar 13, 2009
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I've seen plenty of servicing issues with team race radios, using the race radio as it stands to cover all of them makes it more likely for critical time losses.

I think the aussie rules, basketball, etc analogy was a fair one. We need to choose what is best for the sport. Is it Aussie rules, runners whenever they want to assist and advise. American Football, advise on almost every play?. Basketball shouting from the sideline with timeouts. Football shouting from the sideline and halftime or tennis advise at the start of the game and then let the players work it out.

No a negative was not asked for, he didn't ask for an accident prevented by radios, he asked for an accident that occurred that would have been prevented with radios.

As for playing video games, hyperbole my friend. Imperfect decisions,more likely to be made by riders at 180bpm, on imperfect information, updates on breaks every 5-10 minutes, will lead to more varied outcomes and more exciting racing.
 
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Anonymous

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http://www.dailypeloton.com/displayarticle.asp?pk=15097

"The roads are no longer the same as in years gone by; they often present a variety of dangers and the races are now even more crowded with cars and motorcycles. By banning the use of radio links, the cyclists would lose the only tool which with they can be promptly warned of impending dangers. The directeur sportifs would be forced to perform frequent (and maybe even risky) manoeuvres to reach the cyclists in the bunch in order to communicate with them."


Part of it being so crowed now is I think the number of motorcycles has gotten out of control and they're been bad accidents this year.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Probably not much difference:

karlboss said:
I've seen plenty of servicing issues with team race radios, using the race radio as it stands to cover all of them makes it more likely for critical time losses. .


Not sure on the servicing issues you would be referring too, as if the rider with the problem raises his hand the chief com calls the team car forward.
But yes there is a problem is if the rider then stops with no rider radios there is a risk that the team car will go past as he will be on the right and the team car travelling up the left of the convoy at speed (Europe traffic conditions). However there is plenty of convey etiquette the DS’s are always looking for a fast moving team car to cut over to a stopped rider.

However there is a risk that a panicking rider without a rider radio is more likely to consider stopping on the left (the wrong side of the convoy) to get faster access to the team car, if this starts happening it would be very dangerous

I am not disagreeing with anyone in this topic, it could be dangerous (but probably not), It may make the racing better (but don’t expect too much). However it will make longer team meetings, and add alot of tension to the race officials, as the rider radios take the pressure off. I know I wouldn’t like to be the person doing race radio in the Chief Coms car in stages 10 and 13, the DS’s will crucify them for any mistake..

By the way, I think the main reason for the DS’s wanting rider radios is it is great fun, it keeps everyone in the team car involved in the race, most managers are control freaks (it’s their job), but also old riders that luv to be still involved. Of Course the main reason to get rid of them is the accuracy of the chase given GPS calculations mean the sprint teams perfectly time the catching of the break, (but a more effective way of stopping this is to take a rider out of each of the teams).
 
Interesting.

I'd heard others mention that the safety issue raised by the DS's was not really a valid point, hence my question regarding actual evidence of people being injured in accidents that could have been prevented by race radios.
Racing and the Grand Tours have been around for decades without such devices and everyone seemed to cope.

I personally like the idea that the teams and riders must think for themselves out there instead of being choreographed by someone else.
As for the AFL analogy, don't the domestiques have a similar duty as the runners? Aren't they the ones dropping back to the cars for extra biddons and instructions anyway?

As for dangers on the road ahead, can there not be marshalls, gendarmes, etc... looking after the road ahead? Surely ASO's liability cover would stipulate that they must do something in this area - somehow I doubt they'd just let the peloton ride through the local streets of a town without cordoning it off in some decent manner...
 
Try turning off you cell phone and sticking it in a drawer for a couple of days. Then unplug the high speed internet access for oh... the weekend. What do you think?... No? I'm not surprised.

Nobody goes backwards once technology has been introduced to the game. The bottom line is; if the riders want it, they should have it. We're not the ones hanging our asses out on 90 kph descents, or missing a move because we are back at the team car getting water, or any one of a hundred other scenario's that can make or break a team/riders chances

It's still about the guys who turn the pedals, or at least it should be. If they want communication, they should have it. To try and stop it will be like stopping doping... and you all know how effective that is.
 
In theory, one of the benefits of no race radio is the "out of sight, out of mind" factor. That being, once a rider attacks up the road, in the current system it's well known in the team cars almost exactly where that rider is, and how to calculate the speed needed to catch them before the finish. This is why time and again someone goes on the attack, and the peloton catches them under 2k from the finish. Or if they get away and stay away, it's by a manageable amount.

With no radios, the thinking is that with a rider up the road and out of sight, that the peloton will have to discuss amongst each other when to chase, and how much. And in this situation, it's much more likely someone will be caught 20km from the finish, or win by a couple of minutes.

As to stopping technological advancements because the riders want it, that is a bigger subject that could include fairings, super light bikes, aero equipment. And in the future if we open everything up we could eventually see cross data where teams could know through GPS where every single rider is on the course, plus know their HRM, wattage output, etc. not just their riders but other riders as well. Not the kind of racing I'd like to see.
 
To answer the original poster's question. The real question is this:

Going back to the days of pre-radio, or amateur races without them, can anyone point to a specific accident that could have been prevented had the riders had radios? I can't think of any, but perhaps someone can.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
To answer the original poster's question. The real question is this:

Going back to the days of pre-radio, or amateur races without them, can anyone point to a specific accident that could have been prevented had the riders had radios? I can't think of any, but perhaps someone can.

Well there would of been heaps of potential situations, the obvious ones are when the lead car and scouts come across something, eg livestock, road works (a situation like bunting blowing across the road, or a loose dog, this stuff certainly would happen more on the continental circuit, but if there is a lead car they would be broadcasting warnings; those officials get excited by that stuff). The bottom line is Race Administration can’t plan for everything so rider radios take the pressure off by allowing the Event Administrators (commassaire) to rely messages about the slightest danger to the Directors and then letting them deal with it, it becomes the teams responsibility, it’s the way of the world.

Remember professional road cycling is taking events to the sponsors so the roads are not purpose made race tracks, without effective communication to the riders the Race Administration is totally responsible for all safety plus rider maintenance, enforcing TMP and race rules. This would mean the race promoters would have to consider alot more “Duty of Care” issues, it could mean more scouts to stay at POTENTIAL problem areas (eg intersections, crowds, animals). Also given the extra importance of Race Radio in servicing riders little things like the languages used and the order they announce items is very important. As I said before I wouldn’t like being the Race Radio Commentator in the Chief Coms Car when there is no race radios..
plenty of Pressure..

Bottom line Race Administration need the RIDER radios to get rid of responsibility, DS’s want them to have so the team car is part of the race, riders put up with them because they get shorter team meeting, and you don’t have to study the program each night.. YES Everyone wants better racing but no one would want to be running the Directors Meeting after stage 10 if something happens; and that something would only have to be minor because DS’s get cranky sitting in the car all day with nothing to do.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
In theory, one of the benefits of no race radio is the "out of sight, out of mind" factor. That being, once a rider attacks up the road, in the current system it's well known in the team cars almost exactly where that rider is, and how to calculate the speed needed to catch them before the finish. This is why time and again someone goes on the attack, and the peloton catches them under 2k from the finish. Or if they get away and stay away, it's by a manageable amount.

With no radios, the thinking is that with a rider up the road and out of sight, that the peloton will have to discuss amongst each other when to chase, and how much. And in this situation, it's much more likely someone will be caught 20km from the finish, or win by a couple of minutes.

As to stopping technological advancements because the riders want it, that is a bigger subject that could include fairings, super light bikes, aero equipment. And in the future if we open everything up we could eventually see cross data where teams could know through GPS where every single rider is on the course, plus know their HRM, wattage output, etc. not just their riders but other riders as well. Not the kind of racing I'd like to see.

We all understand the untested and unproven theory of how racing will change without radios. This is more than cow towing to riders demands for things that we may speculate they will want. This is taking away something that they already have, and has grown to become an integral part of their racing regimen.

If it's about taking things away to manipulate the racing, hence the results, then why not take away cycling computers, clipless pedals... Hey let's make them ride without chamois in their shorts. That will certainly make things different.

Their may be a growing opinion that racing is becoming staid and predictable, but ask any Pro his opinion on that subject and he will tell you that he is racing harder and longer from the gun than ever before. These guys are on the rivet for hours on end. They deserve a little more respect than for us to say "we're bored, how about we throw in a few flaming hoops for you all to ride through".

The other side of this equation is that you can not possibly police this action. DS's watch the live feed that you and I watch. If someone is up the road, and you know how far, they know too. If ear pieces are banned what about texting something that looks like a cycle computer. What about cellular calls to people strategically placed on the roadside? These are just a few top of mind examples. I am sure the measures to which this can be taken can become absolutely 007 if they need to be.

Do we really need to create another way to cheat in cycling? It seems like we have plenty now.
 
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Anonymous

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Archibald said:
Can anyone name an accident or crash that is directly attributed to a lack of race radios??

This all just appears like a storm in a tea cup with the directors throwing fits because they're not getting their way....

actually go back twenty years and i can think of countless accidents in the pelaton involving over enthuisiastic cars trying to relay messages to riders.. im sure many others can recall incidents too..

the names and dates just escape me..

but im in favour of getting rid of them..
 
VeloFidelis said:
Try turning off you cell phone and sticking it in a drawer for a couple of days. Then unplug the high speed internet access for oh... the weekend. What do you think?... No? I'm not surprised.
I love doing exactly this - chucking the phone in the drawer and switching the world off for the weekend or longer. i grew up with out one and really don't see it as essential to living...

i'll read the rest of the posts later.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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We want to orchestrate the race from the sidelines

The issue is romance. we always seem to believe what we had was better than what we have. racing has not changes as much as some think. The Idea that radios are responsible for the character of the race is erroneous. I just worked an Espoir race in Quebec. The race pattern is the same. early break caught late and an attack late or a sprint finish. The real difference is the team cars talk to their riders a lot more often telling them what they just heard on radio tour.
As for crashes prevented or not prevented because there was radio communication? How do you prove it. There are accidents with radios and without. I can tell you that in the first Tour of California it was a blessing that we were able to get word to the riders that there was a large section of gravel road that was not previously noted. We knew there were road works but the gravel section was new. No crashes but more than a couple clipped out and came to a halt.
I get tired that old guys are always trying to race in the 1970s or the 1940's.
There are still guys that moan about dérailleurs. Anyone remember the debate about team cars? They really destroyed the drama. Now riders could race without a spare and could even get a water bottle they did not have to fill themselves. That was the first nail.
 
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Anonymous

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He!!, I say make em go back to riding single speed wheels with a cog on each side and no quick release. Also, no wheel or bike changes from the car for tires, make em wear the tires again.
 
hahaha!
lets go the other way and make it really easy. how's an airconditioned room set at the right temp, with the ideal music in the background - they can all ride turbo's in front of large video screens with their SD's standing next to them giving them instructions while plugged into all the monitoring equipment, then collate all their efforts each day to decide the winner with no risk to anyone's safety or ASO having to worry about responsibility...