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Rabobank proposes live broadcast of team communications
The majority of professional riders want to keep using race radio according to the Association of Professional Racers. The international association questioned 344 riders from across Europe on the use of radios in races.
The team radio and rider earphones were banned by the International Cycling Union at the world championships last year, a decision that angered most riders. To track the feeling in the peloton, the CPA sent a questionnaire out to riders in Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Portugal.
Only 40 riders were in favour of a complete ban, while 207 supported the use “earphones without any restriction.” Three further questions related to earphone use for limited situations, none of which drew significant acceptance.
“I´m glad when the competitors can express their opinion about questions that belong to their job and safety ,” said Gianni Bugno, president of the CPA. “I hope that these opinions will be considered. I believe that it is more important to leave the decision to the racers rather than to impose a strict ban."
Team representatives are meeting with the UCI to discuss the race radio issue today in Switzerland with RadioShack's Johan Bruyneel tweeting that he was going to an “interesting meeting.” The ProTeams have all indicated that they want to retain the radios, while the UCI wants to abolish them.
Rabobank riders are willing to go even further, however, allowing all radio communications between riders and team management to be broadcast live during races.
"We support transparent communication during races," team spokesman Luuc Eisenga said on the team's website. "The earphones are vital for safety during a race. That is the main reason for not banning them."
“But we would also like to use it to make the races even more attractive to the viewers. Through the direct communication between team leaders and riders, they can experience more of the race.” The team will discuss the technicalities of the proposal with Dutch broadcasters, with the hopes of presenting it at one of the Spring Classics."