By Jean-François Quénet in Brest
The August 25 ProTour race, the Grand Prix de Plouay in France, might be the first event contested by the professional cyclists without team radios since the advent of their use back in the mid-1990's. The ear pieces, which allow team directors in the follow cars to communicate with riders ahead have been blamed for making races too predictable. Race organizer Jean-Yves Tranvaux has sent an official request to the UCI for his event to be a test for the world of cycling to see if the elimination of the radios would spice up the action.
"In the past few years we've always had the same scenario with a regrouping in the finale," Tranvaux argued. "The spectators are frustrated that this kind of thing happens all the time. Without radios, we might have a more interesting race with more attacks like we had in Plouay in the past."
GP Plouay used to be the most thrilling one-day race in France after Paris-Roubaix until the UCI organised the world championships in the Breton village in 2000. Since then, the popular event has become somewhat boring and doesn't attract as many spectators as before. "It's worth trying anyway," Tranvaux explained. "We're always told that radio communication is important for the security. We understand it's the case in most of the races but not in Plouay where the race is contested on a totally secured and closed circuit. It's an ideal venue for a test."
Tranvaux has no intention to impose his views. He will leave the final answer to the teams and the riders.