The three ProTeams competing in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina have protested against the UCI ban on race radios by provocatively wearing them at the race sign-on before stage one.
Liquigas-Cannondale directeur sportif Stefano Zanatta also refused to follow part of the 166km opening stage with the team car, leaving his riders to be serviced by the race organisers.
Race judges reportedly checked the riders for radios as they signed on, but the stage went ahead after the riders agreed not to use them.
Both the riders and teams have voted in favour of using race radio. 207 riders were in favour of radios, while only 40 were against in a vote organised by the CPA, the Association of Professional Racers. Representatives of the ProTeam and Professional Continental teams voted 18-2 in favour of using radios in a vote organised by International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP).
“This rule is outrageous and affects our working rights. It’s humiliating,” Zanatta told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Gianni Bugno, the head of the professional riders' union (CPA) was at the race and backed the protest.
“This is yet another decision by the UCI that means cycling takes a step backwards,” he said. Apart from the tactical aspect, radios are fundamental for safety because the judges always signal any dangers. But why stop the DS passing on the info?”
Gazzetta dello Sport also reports that Colombia's Mauricio Soler (Movistar) crashed on a dirt section of road because riders had not been warned of the danger by radio.