Will radio ban lead to halcyon days on the road?
Greetings Road.cc'ers. I hope you are well and looking forward to a weekend of lovely cycling action. The forecast for weather is good and despite a three figure (in £'s) service for my hack bike I am confident of getting some miles in ready for winter.
Aside from the mechanical that ended Bradley Wiggins' medal hopes in the TT yesterday the main news coming out of the worlds has been the UCI's decision to start phasing out race radios from the peloton.
Now, were it me running the sport I would go for a 'soft' solution of having one way radio between the race referee and the riders as some form of early warning for safety issues (you know the sort of thing; french farmers spreading manure on the roads during Le Tour). For me that addresses the concerns of the riders who maintain that they need the earpieces for more than tactical advice from the team car.
This generation of riders is in danger of going down in history as nothing more than machines, mobile pawns directed by ex-riders watching tv in a car behind the race. It is interested that at the lower ranks of the sport the ban is in place already and the phasing will see neo pro's coming through who are used to the age old technique of "how their legs feel" before deciding when to attack or simply hang in.
Will it make pro racing more interesting instantly?
Of course not, this period of phasing could arguably make racing more defensive as those who are used to guidance will be even more wary than ever of letting riders go away from the field, especially those who have grown up riding on their instinct.
Once through that though, I am hopeful that procycling will enter another golden era where racing is more unpredicatble. Whilst impressive to watch, sprint trains are never going to be as spectacular as the sight of a breakaway surging through a finish town not knowing if it is going to survive or not.
Maybe I am an old traditonalist who needs to get up to date!!
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