Radio Revolt

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Jun 22, 2009
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rhubroma said:
You haven't understood anything Hammerhead. The experiment failed, because the team DSs didn't allow for the experiment to happen and the riders, consequently, simply took the day off, and this was proof that the experiment "failed." Thus we got a false result.

The non-stage we saw yesterday was the fruit of these little Napoleons of the ear radios, or oreillettes in French, or auricolari in Italian, or pinganillos in Spanish. And of the acquiescence of the majority of riders who prefer to be governed like sheep.

Many of them put on the table the security issue, but is a false problem. For it isn't that riders crash less, or take upon less risks, in comparison to when they raced without the radios, that is from when they were first introduced by Motorola in 92. Rather it's simple attention that keeps you upright, not the pinganillos.

Italian commentator and ex-pro (mid-80's till mid 90's), Davide Casani, is dicidedly against them: "Because they nullify the natural differences. There are racers who under intense physical stress can remain lucid and reason well, and others who can't. To relate everybody the same information is like joining the side of the stupid ones. What value is there, then, in regards to a rider knowing his own occupation, what does experience count for, or one's at a glance grasp of the situation if there is always somebody telling you what you are to do?" (la Repubblica, R2 Sport, from today's Gianni Mura article).

This is the difference between what I call romantic cycling and the sterile, corporate one of today with the radios.
Totally agree with this. Just wanted to add that they're "oortjes" (little ears) in Dutch.
 
Mellow Velo said:
The peloton are tosseuring along, again today, so not a whole lot of difference.:(
Perhaps not, but statistically we'd need to get an entire Tour without radios, or even several in a row, to compare with the current style of racing over the past years with them to have data with any real critical value.

My hunch says that the "old" way was more entertianing, though. And that Cassani was spot on in his analysis, which certainly doesn't satisfy the techies, progressionists and corporate cronies.
 
Jun 12, 2009
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I seriously doubt that the race would be positively different without radios. There is that yellow guy on the back of a motorcycle who tells the break and the peloton exactly what the timesplit is. Get rid of that guy, then you might have a more "animated" race.
 
May 12, 2009
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I too have a hunch that the no radios way would be more entertaining, but there's alot of folks here acting as if it were a definite fact. Breakaways have gotten away in this tour, and in basically all of the big one-day races, despite the presence of radios. So we really need more data, and the TdF is not the place to first get it.

As to safety, it's not just about getting info from the race officials. It's about reducing the need for the DS cars to be darting in and out of the peloton and breaks to give instructions.
 
To the extreme.

When you have DS's contacting a rider's (Armstrong) personal doctor (Dr. Ferari) to get an idea whether or not an opposing rider (Pantani) is going to eventually going to blow up on his epic attack, thus using this info to determine if its best to chase him now or let him go and reel him in later, I think its gone to the extreme. Keep in mind this was 2001 I believe and just the most publicized example. No doubt there have been others that simply have been documented or publicized to this extent.:mad:
 
Jul 3, 2009
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I mentioned this in the other thread on this topic, but since this seems to be the active one, I'll bring it up again. In the Tour of California this year, weather greatly reduced and/or eliminated radios on several stages, and IMHO it was some of the most dramatic, unpredicatable racing that I have seen in a long, long time.

On a different note--many people are saying that you just have to embrace technology and move forward. No, actually you don't. Any sport by definition is a somewhat arbitrary set of rules created to give it a sporting element.

Baseball players don't use wooden bats because it's the leading technology, they do it because the rules prohibit aluminum (titanium, adamantium, unobtanium, etc.) bats because they change the game too much.

Golf rules indicate that a club head cannot exceed a certain MOI because it changes the game, and that greatly limits the use of newer technology.

In a fishing tournament, you can't use dynamite just because it's a more effective fish catching technology.

In cycling you can't use fairings or certain other "aero" equipment because someone(s) making the rules decided they changed the game too much.

The list could most likely include every sport known to man (especially curling. ;) ).

So feel free to debate radios, but simply saying we have to "embrace new technology" is simply not accurate.
 
colwildcat said:
Cheating is cheating. We're talking about being able to coach your team, simple as that. Of course intercepting signals is cheating. Look, you can't do it in baseball, you can't intercept chatter in football, but coaches in all major team sports can talk to their players at any time to discuss strategy. Soccer was brought up as a counter argument. Any time a player wants, they can go over to the coach to discuss tactics.
The majority of these guys aren't going to understand what your talking about. It's just common sense. Every sport allows coaches the ability to communicate with their athletes in a safe and timely manner. The desired outcome of the radio ban is to neutralize the advantages a great DS tactician has over a lesser one, packaged under the user friendly term "let the rider think for themselves". When the ultimate team players, elite military units, are forced to take of their headsets so they can "think for themselves" give me a call. Than you'll at least have a good argument for the nonsense you're now spewing. The only reason this is even being discussed is because the majority of cycling fans are big drama queens in love with the so-called good old days that only exist in their minds. Yesterday's stage comes to mind.:rolleyes:
 
Jul 9, 2009
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Green Hornet said:
This entire discussion is so lame.

Just because some old fart racers were successful “back in the day” before radios doesn’t mean radios ruin racing. Based on that school of thought we should eliminate those pesky flat tires by going back to solid rubber tires on wood rims. That would make the racing much better too.

Come to think of it – 30 years ago we didn’t have PCs or Internet forums. Soooooo - all you anti technology types should just “Log Off” and mail a letter to someone who cares.
i think radios definately make the races less interesting. your comparisons are lame as they don't have anything to do with radio use during cycling races.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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yeah how helpless can you be i have and always have raced with no radio only time splits are known and thats enough. as far as safety thats not the issue its just a reliance riders have on there radios. they could still have one channel for all riders that broadcasts road hazards etc... there just not used to it and dont like it but i dont see it as a safety issue more a issue of tactics they would have to relearn.
 
Apr 24, 2009
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I think that it is almost like cycling doesn't know what sort of sport it wants to be. Does it want to be like basketball with timeouts and set plays or like tennis where any sort of coaching is not allowed. In the case of tennis just two people playing against each other with all the mental battles can be very dramatic. They are arguing to have less breaks etc in order to add to the tension. However they introduced technology (Hawkeye) when it became available and I don't think there are any arguements for nostalgia in not having it.
I think the DS's just want more 'say' in the outcomes of races. I think the arguement of safety is a bit of a red heerring. It is wrong to say that radios are banned. It is the communication between riders and there managers which is banned.
Ultimately, I think DS's are ultimately interested in getting the best return for their sponsors and if that means them having more control and regimenting races then this what they will argue for.
 
Jul 15, 2009
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Radio's Yes, Lycra No!

AAP Reuters

After the failure of the ban on Race Radio’s to make for more interesting racing, the UCI is set to make an even more controversial rule change to provide more interest in the second to final stage of the Tour de France. The race radio ban is widely seen as not changing the event for the average spectator and disadvantaged all riders who rely on their radio’s for road and safety information. Particularly, they were critical of having to guess when to go back to the cars for supplies and the fact that the cars were invading the peloton more often. Dinner menu selection was delayed and Mark Cavendish said he could no longer contact his bookie at the Longchamp Track.

“The radio’s will be back, and we won’t have this nonsense again” said Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel. “The UCI should realize that this is the 21st century.”

The UCI have not responded, except to say they were happy with the day's racing. However, they are believed set to make an announcement before the final rest day, that Stage 20 will be raced au naturalle. The race is expected to be decided before the riders reach Mont Ventoux and the Tour has been much criticized this year for the predictable racing.

The announcement has to be made before the rest day as it’s expected to be the catalyst for a stampede for the only beautician in Verbier. (The town of the rest stop.) Mademoiselle Brigitte, the owner of the business, says she has been overwhelmed by enquiries by team directors. “The phone has been going non stop” she said. “I’ve ordered extra wax and am training up all the local farm hands to a professional standard. Farm hands have experience working in the same area” she said.

The UCI for some time have been concerned at the lack of women taking an interest in the sport and believe this to be a sure fire way to make the day draw the biggest television audience in the Tour’s history. “This could completely change the way people view cycling” said a UCI spokesperson, who did not wish to be identified.

When asked about the safety implications. The spokesperson said riders have always lost skin and in recent years there has been the worry with the new materials using nano technology. Microscopic material is invading the wounds with unknown future effect. It will also make riders easier to treat by the race doctor. Sunscreen will be given to all masseurs before the race and the riders will be able to get an extra rub up on the course.

Concern about comfort has been addressed. Brooks saddles have come on board as a sponsor. Any rider will be able to use one of the Brooks popular spring saddles with no penalty from their usual saddle sponsor.

All sponsors will still be able to get their name on the riders. Body painting specialists are being flown in from all over Europe. Signs size will be limited, so the riders skin is allowed to “breathe”. Some areas will be off limits in the interest of good taste.

Race radio’s will be allowed, once they have figured out where to put them. Word is they don’t operate well in the dark.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Animal said:
It was boring becaue they were petulantly trying to make a point and refusing to race!
Exactly the point! They don't like having their chains yanked any more than you do. And they have the collective power to do something about it. More power to them!

They have raced with out radios for years at lower levels. Now they are Pros and they know what they want. Debate it until the cows come home. These guys are not going to ask "How high?" when the UCI or ASO, or the fans say "Jump!" And they shouldn't.
 
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VeloFidelis said:
Exactly the point! They don't like having their chains yanked any more than you do. And they have the collective power to do something about it. More power to them!

They have raced with out radios for years at lower levels. Now they are Pros and they know what they want. Debate it until the cows came home. These guys are not going to ask "How high?" when the UCI or ASO, or the fans say "Jump!" And they shouldn't.
Without the fans, there is no sponsorship, without sponsorship, they would have real jobs. They told people who follow the sport of cycling to fuck off yesterday. All fine and dandy until there are more incidents such as this and ones like the Milan and final TT Astana whinefests. I realize you are of the opinion that only the riders count. That is ignorant of the actual economics of what they are doing.

No cycling won't fail because of things like that. However, things like that can create enough backlash to affect the domistiques etc., because of diminished sponsorship based on declining interest in the sport. They acted like impetuous little children, which is exactly how spoiled superstars generally act. They really do feel they are more important. Yea, well, everyone take s a dirt nap eventually, and all their shiny little achievements will soon be forgotten. I guess they should make sure they mentally masturbate while they can.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
Without the fans, there is no sponsorship, without sponsorship, they would have real jobs. They told people who follow the sport of cycling to fuck off yesterday. All fine and dandy until there are more incidents such as this and ones like the Milan and final TT Astana whinefests. I realize you are of the opinion that only the riders count. That is ignorant of the actual economics of what they are doing.

No cycling won't fail because of things like that. However, things like that can create enough backlash to affect the domistiques etc., because of diminished sponsorship based on declining interest in the sport. They acted like impetuous little children, which is exactly how spoiled superstars generally act. They really do feel they are more important. Yea, well, everyone take s a dirt nap eventually, and all their shiny little achievements will soon be forgotten. I guess they should make sure they mentally masturbate while they can.
No, without Sponsors their is no sponsorship, and the Sponsor who sees his 10+ million dollar investment squandered because some nostalgic dipsh!t with a faulty memory decided to limit communication to the riders, is not coming back for another turn in professional cycling. He can take it to Formula One like Motorola did, and the sport and the fans and the riders all lose big time.

The riders stood up for themselves yesterday and acted like the professionals that they are. Who the hell are you or any other fan to debate safety with these guys? We have no experience that is relevant to the discussion. These guys careers will be short enough as it is, and they take a chance on ending it every time they pull up to a start line. They don't need our ideas on how to make it all more entertaining for us.

Their will not be one fan lost on this issue! The only people who give a sh!t are Forum junkies like us, and that is .001% of the fan base for cycling. The thousands of new cycling fans that are newly attracted to the sport each year may not have the history or the nuanced knowledge of the sport that those posting here do, but they have got you outnumbered 10,000 to 1 and they are the ones that the Sponsors care about, and therefor, they are the ones the riders are racing for. I hate to shatter your bubble, but what we think and post here, doesn't even make the meter bounce for the powers that be in professional cycling. They don't care if you move on to Curling or Cage Fighting, we are not who they are trying to please.
 
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Anonymous

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Pretty soon, it is going to rain again at Paris Roubaix, and I fully expect The Hog to lead a protest of the Trouée d’Arenberg, Mons-en-Pévèle, and Le Carrefour de l’Arbre sections of pave because they are just too hard and dangerous in the rain.

They were wearing panties yesterday, and not their big girl ones.
 
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Anonymous

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VeloFidelis said:
No, without Sponsors their is no sponsorship, and the Sponsor who sees his 10+ million dollar investment squandered because some nostalgic dipsh!t with a faulty memory decided to limit communication to the riders, is not coming back for another turn in professional cycling. He can take it to Formula One Like Motorola did, and the sport and the fans and the riders all lose big time.

The riders stood up for themselves yesterday and acted like the professionals that they are. WHo the hell are you or any other fan to debate safety with these guys? We have no experience that is relevant to the discussion. These guys careers will be short enough as it is, and they take a chance on ending it every time they pull up to a start line. They don't need our ideas on how to make it all more entertaining for us.

Their will not be one fan lost on this issue! The only people who give a sh!t are Forum junkies like us, and that is .001% of the fan base for cycling. The thousands of new cycling fans that are newly attracted to the sport each year may not have the history or the nuanced knowledge of the sport that those posting here do, but they have got you outnumbered 10,000 to 1 and they are the ones that the Sponsors care about, and therefor, they are the ones the riders are racing for. I hate to shatter your bubble, but what we think and post here, doesn't even make the meter bounce for the powers that be in professional cycling. They don't care if you move on to Curling or Cage Fighting, we are not who they are trying to please.
Yea, I am pretty sure everyone watching yesterday could see exactly how crappy of a stage it was. In fact, it is clear just how crappy the whole rodeo has been. I hate to shatter your bubble, but a sport that disregards their fans will sooner or later find that the economics of doing so will catch up. Just ask the NBA owners. No, it won't end cycling as a sport, but it can and will affect the lesser names of the sport. Those guys are always the ones paying the price. You know them, they are the really strong young guys in your city, state, or region who will have less of a platform to jump off of.

Who the hell am I to debate it? Well, I am a fan just like you, who the hell are you to debate it? Oh wait, I see, there is only "right" (you in your opinion) and "debaters" (those of us who disagree with your opinion). Seems to me fans debate stuff like this all the time. Who are they to suggest that a circumstance that was seen in cycling for the greatest part of its history is now somehow endangering their lives only now. Again, it had NOTHING to do with safety. Race radio keeps up with bumps and signs. They just couldn't talk to papa in the car, and they pouted about it. Funny, ask VDV if radios kept him from crashing today. Your argument it weak as was the protest yesterday.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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The surprising thing for me was not that the bulk of the peloton refused to race, but that the French riders were so passive.... on Bastille day! It's like they.. surrendered or something!

[runs away and hides......:eek:]
 
Apr 9, 2009
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VeloFidelis said:
The riders stood up for themselves yesterday and acted like the professionals that they are. Who the hell are you or any other fan to debate safety with these guys? We have no experience that is relevant to the discussion. These guys careers will be short enough as it is, and they take a chance on ending it every time they pull up to a start line. They don't need our ideas on how to make it all more entertaining for us.
The "safety" argument is bs, as has been pointed out many times on this forum. Cedric Vasseur believes it's a false argument, and Vaughters didn't seem to believe there were any safety concerns. Jens Voigt's comments after the stage seem to indicate that the stage was slow because the riders simply didn't know what to do, not because of safety concerns.
 
VeloFidelis said:
Their will not be one fan lost on this issue! The only people who give a sh!t are Forum junkies like us, and that is .001% of the fan base for cycling. The thousands of new cycling fans that are newly attracted to the sport each year may not have the history or the nuanced knowledge of the sport that those posting here do, but they have got you outnumbered 10,000 to 1 and they are the ones that the Sponsors care about, and therefor, they are the ones the riders are racing for. I hate to shatter your bubble, but what we think and post here, doesn't even make the meter bounce for the powers that be in professional cycling. They don't care if you move on to Curling or Cage Fighting, we are not who they are trying to please.
Do you really see thousands of long term fans being attracted to the sport, based upon what the peloton has dish out, as "entertainment", during this Tour, so far?

Cloud cuckoo land, IMO.
I'm on the verge of switching off this dirge, once and for all; abandoning the race, before the Alps.

and I'm a 52 week fan.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
Yea, I am pretty sure everyone watching yesterday could see exactly how crappy of a stage it was. In fact, it is clear just how crappy the whole rodeo has been. I hate to shatter your bubble, but a sport that disregards their fans will sooner or later find that the economics of doing so will catch up. Just ask the NBA owners. No, it won't end cycling as a sport, but it can and will affect the lesser names of the sport. Those guys are always the ones paying the price. You know them, they are the really strong young guys in your city, state, or region who will have less of a platform to jump off of.

Who the hell am I to debate it? Well, I am a fan just like you, who the hell are you to debate it? Oh wait, I see, there is only "right" (you in your opinion) and "debaters" (those of us who disagree with your opinion). Seems to me fans debate stuff like this all the time. Who are they to suggest that a circumstance that was seen in cycling for the greatest part of its history is now somehow endangering their lives only now. Again, it had NOTHING to do with safety. Race radio keeps up with bumps and signs. They just couldn't talk to papa in the car, and they pouted about it. Funny, ask VDV if radios kept him from crashing today. Your argument it weak as was the protest yesterday.
No, What will affect those lesser names of the sport is not having well sponsored teams to move up to. Sponsors want radios. They want as little as possible left to freak misfortune. They are looking for good investments, not risky opportunities.

As far as debating goes; you're telling me that you want to debate with a Pro, from the comfort of your couch, whether or not he feel's safer on the road and moving in the peloton, and the caravan with radios rather than without. Is that what I hear you saying? Because that was the original question. It has nothing to do with you ability post your opinion like the rest of us, and whether you're right or wrong, so please curb your dogma on that issue, and save the self righteous BS for another day.

Who are they to say? They are the guys with their asses on the line, they are the only ones that should have a say. If Coppi or Anquetil, or Merckx could have had this technology they would have. And they would say "F@ck Off" louder than anyone if you tried to take it away.

If you could somehow prove statistically this lame argument about their opinion of safety; who gives a sh!t! They don't feel a need to give this up and they shouldn't have to, any more than any other technology introduced into the sport in the last twenty years.

As far as disregarding their fans; they're not. Half of the fans posting here are against radios, the other half is not. Collectively we are less than a statistical rounding error. If you take a global poll, this is a non issue for the majority of fans, so unfortunately old school in this case, does not rule.

And asking VDV if radio contact might have kept him from crashing makes about as much sense as asking if you'd still have an opinion without the internet. If you want to debate the issue with intelligent comment, be my guest. Don't label an argument weak just because you have run out of things to say. That, my friend is Chicken Sh!t. You can do better.
 
Thought - you said the NBA, but you may have meant the NHL even more so. That once mighty league has now been teetering on the verge of insolvency for the last few years.

VeloFidelis - There is one area where you and I don't agree at all. And to me it's not the riders who should be able dictate matters. As has been said many times for many years, it's the Tour that makes the riders, not the other way around. The top 20 guys could have been thrown out before the start, and everyone would still watch, and cheer the champion they crown in Paris. As a matter of fact, the most exciting Tour in recent years was 2006, when the top several guys were thrown out, and many more, because of Operation Puerto. Ironically, it's the CPA who through the years pushed repeatedly for more lax testing. And the CPA who sided with the UCI in their battles with the ASO.

Otherwise, I am in agreement with MelloVelo. This has been probably the most boring GT I have ever seen in about 25 years of watching. So far anyway. The course sucks, the riders aren't doing anything (but whining it seems), the only rider attacking is the guy that never attacks, and he doesn't get far. Everyone is riding risk-averse, no chances. And they're all kept in check by radio - which they apparently like.

I do think there will be some attacks in the Alps, and Ventoux, but GC riders will only go, and be able to stay away, in the last 5km at the rate we're going. Seven hours of racing, 15 minutes worth watching. If this comes to fruition, we very well could see so few splits on the climbs, that the race will have been essentially decided by the TTT.
 
VeloFidelis said:
No, without Sponsors their is no sponsorship, and the Sponsor who sees his 10+ million dollar investment squandered because some nostalgic dipsh!t with a faulty memory decided to limit communication to the riders, is not coming back for another turn in professional cycling. He can take it to Formula One like Motorola did, and the sport and the fans and the riders all lose big time.
Corporate interests! Blah! We want action! To hell with their 10 million dollar investments! Their interests are annihilating all the romance in sport, creating automatons who give us practically script written scenareos. Anybody who has watched sport in the 70's and 80's, and not just cycling, has seen yes increased power, speed, perfection, but less elegance and romance in athletic gestures. So to hell with the corporate investments!

Just give us back some damn good entertainment, and art.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
Do you really see thousands of long term fans being attracted to the sport, based upon what the peloton has dish out, as "entertainment", during this Tour, so far?

Cloud cuckoo land, IMO.
I'm on the verge of switching off this dirge, once and for all; abandoning the race, before the Alps.

and I'm a 52 week fan.
I am sure that we can only aspire to be as dedicated a fan as you are. And I am sure that was you standing next to me on course at the Coors Classic.

I am also sure that the sport is growing it's fan base. I went to Italy for a bike race this Spring, In fact I followed it through three countries. At every venue the turn out was 20% to 30% higher than the race organizers projected, and their projections were up. I am sorry, but it was not all the Lance affect.

The world wide television and on line demand for coverage of Classics and Grand Tours is growing exponentially. So I guess the answer to your question is two fold; Yes, I see thousands of long term cycling fans coming in to sport. But are they as good a fan as you are? How could they possibly be?
 
Apr 20, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Corporate intrests! Blah! We want action! To hell with their 10 million dollar investments! Their interests are annihilating all the romance in sport, creating automatons who give us practically script written scenareos. Anybody who has watched sport in the 70's and 80's, and not just cycling, has seen yes increased power, speed, perfection, but less elegance and romance in athletic gestures. So to hell with the corporate investments!

Just give us back some damn good entertainment, and art.
You either have dementia or amnesia. Eddy Merckx WON 1/3rd of all the races that he entered as a Pro, and I can't count how many more podiums. Talk about a scripted scenario...

There is no doubt that racing has evolved, but just maybe the biggest change is a more homogeneous level of fitness, talent and ability in the peloton. Blame that on what ever you like, the result is more potential winners and that necessitates a different style of racing.
 

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