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Peloton threatens to boycott Tour of Beijing over race radios

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 11, 2011, 11:15 GMT,
Updated:
March 11, 2011, 11:15 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, March 11, 2011
Mr Li, Director of the Beijing Sports Bureau and UCI President Pat McQuaid sign an agreement for a new stage race to join the UCI WorldTour

Mr Li, Director of the Beijing Sports Bureau and UCI President Pat McQuaid sign an agreement for a new stage race to join the UCI WorldTour

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Belgian media cites boycott of UCI's “crown jewel” race

The peloton will boycott the Tour of Beijing over the race radio ban, according to the Belgian media. The ProTeams have unanimously sent a letter to Pat McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Union, announcing their intentions to boycott the race, to be held October 5-9.

According to sportwereld.be, the teams picked this race as “the crown jewel of the globalisation of cycling”. The race requires extensive travel by all the teams, and if the ban is not lifted, the team will simply stay home.

The radio ban has been a problem all season, with both the riders' association and the teams' association opposing it. Recently the UCI met with team representatives to hear their concerns, but did not alter its ruling.

The first challenge this year came at the first race in the Challenge Mallorca, where the riders wore their radios in defiance of the UCI's ban. The UCI allowed the race to go on, but did not recognise the results. Plans to make another protest at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last month were called off at the last minute amidst fears the race might be cancelled.

The UCI has banned the use of race radios in all races ranked 1.HC/2.HC and below. It will be extended to cover World Calendar races in 2012.

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