Teams petition against race radio ban

UCI stands fast on its decision

Johan Bruyneel of Team Astana is leading a movement to have race radios restored to stages 10 and 13 of this year's Tour de France. Fourteen of the 20 teams in the race are said to have signed a petition supporting the radios.

The International Cycling Union has said that its decision to prohibited radios stands. "The 10th stage will be raced without any communication device between the riders and their sports directors," the UCI's race jury said in a statement on Saturday.

"The Tour de France is not the place to have an experiment or a test," Bruyneel told the New York Times. "I think you should do it first in training rides or less important races. So, we can't accept that."

Tour spokesman Christophe Marchadier noted that the recent French national championships were held without radios without any problems.

"It's old-time cycling, where the riders will think more about the race and talk more to each other," Marchadier said. "They won't just be machines listening to people tell them what to do. It's like in American football, if the player doesn't receive information on the radio from the head coach."

Team management and riders are concerned about safety, for example, that riders would not be warned of dangers on the course.

"In the Tour de France, there are lots of people on the roads, maybe crashes, or a truck on the road, or something like oil on a descent. Radios could save our skin," said Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank). "You could also have two days without a helmet. How about that? Or two days where we cut the cables from the brakes."

Marchadier clarified the riders could still use their race radios, but only receive the race channel, which provides safety information.


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