The ear piece should be banned from pro and top ranked amateur cycling

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Don't know if anyone else has read it, but in Le Metier (book by Michael Barry), he says that two-way radio has taken away from cycling.

"The two-way radios that tether us to the team directeur sportif driving behind the peloton have dulled the event by muting the riders' instincts and creating formulaic and predictable racing. The short directives barked over the radio from the directeur sportif become the final word and most riders will follow every order instead of using their knowledge of the race, the course and their bodies to determine the outcome... As the radios are now ubiquitous in the bunch, they simply cause panic, chaos and danger as twenty directeurs yell commands at the same time. Instantaneously, there is a surge and two hundred riders are racing to the front. The event becomes dangerous and the variables that make racing exciting are simplified and even eliminated."

Interesting to see how he's so against them.
 
Dec 30, 2010
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luckyboy said:
Don't know if anyone else has read it, but in Le Metier (book by Michael Barry), he says that two-way radio has taken away from cycling.

"The two-way radios that tether us to the team directeur sportif driving behind the peloton have dulled the event by muting the riders' instincts and creating formulaic and predictable racing. The short directives barked over the radio from the directeur sportif become the final word and most riders will follow every order instead of using their knowledge of the race, the course and their bodies to determine the outcome... As the radios are now ubiquitous in the bunch, they simply cause panic, chaos and danger as twenty directeurs yell commands at the same time. Instantaneously, there is a surge and two hundred riders are racing to the front. The event becomes dangerous and the variables that make racing exciting are simplified and even eliminated."

Interesting to see how he's so against them.

well put , if all directors yell it out at once , there can be and is caos . Normally it takes quiet a while for news to trickle thru the peloton as something changes . The:cool: back end sometimes cant even see what is happening at the front due to the twists and turns of the narrow streets etc .
 
Oct 29, 2010
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sorry... that came off far snarkier than it was meant to.

We use the radios for much much more than tactics. If a rider has an issue, mechanical or medical it allows us to respond far more quickly. Also, for feed and keeping riders hydrated it helps immensely. I realise that as viewers some aspects of radios may make it seem uninteresting but the positives far outweigh percieved boredom.
 
May 27, 2010
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boardhanger said:
Banned the ear piece. And have the choice of wearing a helmet, too.
Your a fool. How does making helmets optional make racing more exciting?? If anything the riders wouldn't take any risks for fear of falling off and landing on their head.

Anyway, as someone already said no radio's would mean the break would get less leash for fear of letting it go too far. The fact that the motorbikes have radios and chalkboards means they get accurate enough timesplits as it is. If you think 'flat' stages are boring don't watch them.

As someone else said as well there are plenty of other things that could be fixed before worrying about radios.
 
May 12, 2010
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cyclingPRpro said:
sorry... that came off far snarkier than it was meant to.

We use the radios for much much more than tactics. If a rider has an issue, mechanical or medical it allows us to respond far more quickly. Also, for feed and keeping riders hydrated it helps immensely. I realise that as viewers some aspects of radios may make it seem uninteresting but the positives far outweigh percieved boredom.
Those are only positives for the riders, while all the negatives descriped here (boring, predictable racing) seem to hit the audience more. I really don't think your arguments will convince anyone who isn't a pro rider.
 
May 27, 2010
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Lanark said:
Those are only positives for the riders, while all the negatives descriped here (boring, predictable racing) seem to hit the audience more. I really don't think your arguments will convince anyone who isn't a pro rider.
So pro cycling isn't about the riders? Interesting.....
 
Mar 17, 2009
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TERMINATOR said:
The banning of the radio relegates all the team managers and DS's to nothing more than taxi drivers.
Not really. Before radios were available a DS had to set out the day's game-plan to the team before the stage. They had to plan their strategy in advance and then leave it up to the riders to implement it on the road. A rider had to be race-savvy or they could find themselves caught napping and lose.

Football managers can't talk directly to their players during play other than shouting from the touchline. They have their chance before the match, and can make changes at half time.

I heard Michael Barry talking about radios at his book launch last year. He highlighted the fact that radios are detrimental to safety when 200 riders all get similar messages in advance of a traffic hazard and they all surge to the front en masse.
 
May 12, 2010
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woodie said:
So pro cycling isn't about the riders? Interesting.....
It's not only about the riders. The riders get paid because people want to watch cycling. Let's face it; he wasn't quoting security concerns (which could be valid, for example the fact that riders are harder to recognize with helmets is far less important than the safety of the riders). His concerns were easier acces to DS cars for food, mechanical problems etc. Cyclists have to ride the most extreme mountains (Zoncolan, Kronplatz) just for the enjoyment of the public, but suddenly getting your food 30 seconds later is a valid reason not to ban radios? Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

Besides, there is an easy solution: one-way radios. The riders can still contact their DS, but they aren't puppets on a string anymore.
 
May 27, 2010
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Lanark said:
It's not only about the riders. The riders get paid because people want to watch cycling. Let's face it; he wasn't quoting security concerns (which could be valid, for example the fact that riders are harder to recognize with helmets is far less important than the safety of the riders). His concerns were easier acces to DS cars for food, mechanical problems etc. Cyclists have to ride the most extreme mountains (Zoncolan, Kronplatz) just for the enjoyment of the public, but suddenly getting your food 30 seconds later is a valid reason not to ban radios? Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

Besides, there is an easy solution: one-way radios. The riders can still contact their DS, but they aren't puppets on a string anymore.
Fair points. I think that is a good idea too but at the same time I don't think there is a real problem with the way they have it now. They still think for themselves (in most cases) and with all the money involved they are needed for the communication required.
 
Jun 23, 2010
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Rcaing is for the public to watch and support which brings in sponsors. 'Radio racing' is predictable and boring. Riders have a say, yes but who do they think they are dictating to the viewing, essentially paying, viewers??? Radios out. If you don't want to race without a radio get out of the sport. You're destroying it.
 
May 27, 2010
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hrotha said:
Well, no. Pro cycling is possible because there's an audience, otherwise you're back to being an unpaid amateur (not even a paid amateur).
I was being slightly sarcastic. I know how it works. Your right, without the audience there are no sponsers but I just find it interesting how everyone is concerned about how the radios affect the racing and not how the actual riders affect the racing.

The reason the breakaway doesn't usually survive is because there is 5 or so sets of legs vs. 20 or so sets of legs and usually that 20 are fresh. Of course it helps that they know the exact time but they would still be given splits anyway.

Look at the stage of the Giro where a group of 50 got half an hour, they had radios, the DSs should have told them to reel it back early but they didn't and it got away due to rider error.

Stage 4 of the TDF in 2009 where HTC split the field. Mick Rogers was the one that made the call not the DS.

The stage that Vino won at the 2010 tour on the 'flat' stage they still had radios and knew the splits but Vino was just too strong regardless of the radios.

The Stage that they banned the radios in the 2009 tour the bunch just gave the break less rope and still pulled them in for a bunch kick.

When Evans had a Mechanical in the 2009 Veulta all the radios in the world couldn't help him.

When Andy Schleck threw his chain in 2010 the radios couldn't help him.

My point is it's the riders that ultimately decide the race not the radios, even without the radios they are getting splits off motorbikes which are accurate enough to be able to reel the break in. With the radios exciting and random things still happen to change it up and riders who are strong enough with enough balls to risk it can jump and hold off the sprinters in the closing kms.

I think it's sad the radios are going to be banned because I think they add another dimension to racing and are neccesary because of the way the sport has developed. I personally believe that banning them is a step backwards and as I already said there plenty of other things that need to be fixed up first.
 
Jun 23, 2010
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woodie said:
I was being slightly sarcastic. I know how it works. Your right, without the audience there are no sponsers but I just find it interesting how everyone is concerned about how the radios affect the racing and not how the actual riders affect the racing.

The reason the breakaway doesn't usually survive is because there is 5 or so sets of legs vs. 20 or so sets of legs and usually that 20 are fresh. Of course it helps that they know the exact time but they would still be given splits anyway.

Look at the stage of the Giro where a group of 50 got half an hour, they had radios, the DSs should have told them to reel it back early but they didn't and it got away due to rider error.

Stage 4 of the TDF in 2009 where HTC split the field. Mick Rogers was the one that made the call not the DS.

The stage that Vino won at the 2010 tour on the 'flat' stage they still had radios and knew the splits but Vino was just too strong regardless of the radios.

The Stage that they banned the radios in the 2009 tour the bunch just gave the break less rope and still pulled them in for a bunch kick.

When Evans had a Mechanical in the 2009 Veulta all the radios in the world couldn't help him.

When Andy Schleck threw his chain in 2010 the radios couldn't help him.

My point is it's the riders that ultimately decide the race not the radios, even without the radios they are getting splits off motorbikes which are accurate enough to be able to reel the break in. With the radios exciting and random things still happen to change it up and riders who are strong enough with enough balls to risk it can jump and hold off the sprinters in the closing kms.

I think it's sad the radios are going to be banned because I think they add another dimension to racing and are neccesary because of the way the sport has developed. I personally believe that banning them is a step backwards and as I already said there plenty of other things that need to be fixed up first.
Obviously, with your limited and possibly short term knowledge of cycling, you wouldn't know the difference between a race under radio control and a race without radio control. And yes I do believe riders should have the choice of wearing a helmet. Have you a problem with choice???
 
Nov 12, 2009
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I think that cycling should take a page out of Nascar Racing, and use the radios to help promote and help viewers understand what is going on with the drivers/teams by having the radio transmissions between director and team heard during the telecast.

I also think that cycling should open the teams up more, for instance what HBO did with 24/7 of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins before their big game on New Year's Day. I know of more people watching the show before the big game got a real understanding and appreciation of hockey and are now watching more games.

I know Versus (American TV channel) had a good idea with showing certain riders heartrates during parts of the race to help the viewer understand how hard he was riding.

The technology is out there, so why not use it instead of prohibit it, especially to get new viewers and participants into the sport.

Just my thought on the radio issue.
 
Nov 30, 2010
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cyclingPRpro said:
I think some of you guys are using radios as scapegoats for uninteresting riding...
Maybe.

Radios give the riders accurate information instantaneously (relative to other methods of communication). This makes the co-ordination of the team effort required in the chase far, far easier.

If we assume attacking riding is usually done by individuals and defensive riding is done by teams, then better information benefits the team effort far more than it does the individual. Hence radios encourage defensive and uninteresting riding.
 
Jun 23, 2010
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notburt said:
I think that cycling should take a page out of Nascar Racing, and use the radios to help promote and help viewers understand what is going on with the drivers/teams by having the radio transmissions between director and team heard during the telecast.

I also think that cycling should open the teams up more, for instance what HBO did with 24/7 of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins before their big game on New Year's Day. I know of more people watching the show before the big game got a real understanding and appreciation of hockey and are now watching more games.

I know Versus (American TV channel) had a good idea with showing certain riders heartrates during parts of the race to help the viewer understand how hard he was riding.

The technology is out there, so why not use it instead of prohibit it, especially to get new viewers and participants into the sport.

Just my thought on the radio issue.
Versus attemped live radio and in car shots during last year TDF. Unfortunaly a few swear and cuss words were broadcasted live. F-bombs and whatnot. So it probably won't happen 'live'.
 
Dec 30, 2010
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notburt said:
I think that cycling should take a page out of Nascar Racing, and use the radios to help promote and help viewers understand what is going on with the drivers/teams by having the radio transmissions between director and team heard during the telecast.

I also think that cycling should open the teams up more, for instance what HBO did with 24/7 of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins before their big game on New Year's Day. I know of more people watching the show before the big game got a real understanding and appreciation of hockey and are now watching more games.

I know Versus (American TV channel) had a good idea with showing certain riders heartrates during parts of the race to help the viewer understand how hard he was riding.

The technology is out there, so why not use it instead of prohibit it, especially to get new viewers and participants into the sport.

Just my thought on the radio issue.
I guess its kindof fashonable to be tied up in technology , but it does dull the senses as mentioned by someone already on these posts .
The outcome of a race is directly changed by the information that normally would not be obtained in the micro seconds . For example , just getting a time split from ground crew or motorcycle , takes time to write and move up to the rider so he can see it . If the rider is on the opposite part of the peloton , then he might not even see it. Lots of time elapses till the information finally gets to him , and the entire picture has already changed to a new time difference by the time the rider does get it .
This is but one example . Not exactly knowing where the team car may be during the ride , as you drop back to fetch more water , can cost valuable time and the domestique has to work twice as hard . Not knowing someone has had a flat near the front of the peloton , costs a rider a humongous amount of time if the team car doesnt know about it . That is racing , the scope and outcome of the race is much different than constantly hanging on the side of team vehicles .

Let me give you all an example , In the 1800's when the clipper ship the Flying Cloud , set the New York to Sanfransico record via Cape Horn , ( before the days of the panama canal ) . It was done without satelite navigation , without weather fax , without radio , without engine , without proper navigational charts . The Flying Cloud carried a full contingent of sailors , their food and most of all CARGO .
When Warren Luhrs on Thursdays Child broke the record , by ( i dont recall how many days and hours ) it was done with modern equiptment , no cargo , sailing from storm front to storm front to get the best winds etc .
The Record in my mind has never been broken , It is not even a comparable race . The clipper ship record stands to all eternity . Sailors now days have all the goodies and electronics and hence have forgotten simple rules of the sea for navigation , C O L R E G S . etc . Many fisherman , yachtsman have lost their life because of failure to keep watch , failure to plot charts , and a blind faith in electronics . It simply dulls the senses , period .

In Bike racing i know Belgium likes to maintain the cobbles on the classic races just for the purpose to keep the course and hardness of the course the same . There is something said about purists and the purist thought process .
It brings it back to perspective . In short it is the grass roots benchmark .
IN my mind it is definite , Radios on cyclists , have no place in sports . Carry them on the team cars and on the mechanics , and ground crew no problem but not on the riders .
There are enough helicopters to relay information as they constantly follow the course to film it . No need for more radios .
Bring back the time bonuses yes , well deserved . Bring back incentives primes etc . Stop the screaming in the ears . :cool::cool:

ONe more thing , viewers get enough information with a good commentator , that is their job , and my medical heart rate and condition isnt anyones business . The viewer doesnt need to know that . The viewer can get their own medical report from their doctor . The viewer can buy a bike and ride up a hill and feel it for himself , the viewer can see our faces on film to how hard we work .
That is the view from here . :cool:
 
Nov 12, 2009
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If everybody is on the high horse about the tradition and how it is all different now, then why don't we have the pro riders only ride on steel frames or even better yet single speeds and have the longer distances for stages and one day races. We can then bring back all the old sponsors and have the cyclists paid the old wages while we are it.

It isn't like the riders have been riding all their careers with a radio in their ears and don't know how to react or read a race. They didn't get to ride with them as amatuer or junior careers.

By the way if I am a company that is looking to invest in sponsoring a sport why would I go with a sport that isn't moving into the future and is living on its traditions and a viewing market that is against technology advances, which my company might deal with (speculation by the way. I don't owe my own company or in marketing). Instead I would invest in another sport that would enhance my product. It seems to me that most of the companies that are spnosoring teams are companies where the owner is a huge cycling fan and sponsor for their pleasure and not for the bottom line dollar. That sponsorship won't last forever.
 
Jun 28, 2009
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luckyboy said:
Don't know if anyone else has read it, but in Le Metier (book by Michael Barry), he says that two-way radio has taken away from cycling.

"The two-way radios that tether us to the team directeur sportif driving behind the peloton have dulled the event by muting the riders' instincts and creating formulaic and predictable racing. The short directives barked over the radio from the directeur sportif become the final word and most riders will follow every order instead of using their knowledge of the race, the course and their bodies to determine the outcome... As the radios are now ubiquitous in the bunch, they simply cause panic, chaos and danger as twenty directeurs yell commands at the same time. Instantaneously, there is a surge and two hundred riders are racing to the front. The event becomes dangerous and the variables that make racing exciting are simplified and even eliminated."

Interesting to see how he's so against them.
More riders should take a page out of Merckx's book when he told his DS where to go during the 1969 Tour of Flanders.
 
Jun 28, 2009
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madcow said:
Since there will always be those that claim radios make racing safer as an excuse to keep them, the UCI should just change to no team radios and have a neutral radio. It can be broadcast by a race director in a lead car to all the riders on all the teams. Only includes things such as obstacles, crashes, and occasional time splits such as those given by the motards.

That way racing goes back to being a bit more interesting and still those that claim radios are for safety have no valid complaints anymore.
I believe this sounds sensible. The people in the team support vehicles could be in on the broadcast also in terms of "hearing only" so they are informed of what is going on. Might also allow the riders, in an Arnold Schwarzenegger type voice, to indicate their race number if they are in need of something and this could trickle back to support vehicle - "This is rider number 123, and my legs are hurting at the moment".
 

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