Tour de Yorkshire hit by TV technical issues during men's and women's races

Aircraft used to transmit signals was grounded twice on Saturday

Despite an almost complete television blackout at the Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday, race director Gary Verity called the day a 'success story' after the staging of a women's race on the same day as stage 2 of the men's race.

Both the men's and women's races were meant to be shown on domestic television in the United Kingdom but due to technical problems with the aircraft that helps to transmit live footage, none of the women's race and only a short portion of the men's race were shown.

The aircraft in question is one used by ASO in a number of races, including the Tour de France. It was grounded on Saturday on two separate occasions. The first took place just as the women's field were leaving the neutral zone. According to race officials this was due to safety concerns with the aircraft, and a separate aircraft from France was dispatched with parts to fix the hampered aircraft that had been grounded at Leeds Bradford International airport.

The aircraft was fixed during the men's race but was grounded for a second and final time.

"We have enough footage to make sure that there’s enough for a highlights package tonight," said Verity.

"It's the same plane that has done the Tour de France coverage four times. They're doing the Tour of Romandie, Tour of Yorkshire and over 30 bikes races. They know what they're doing and they're the best brains in the business. Unfortunately they fixed one problem and then a second thing happened. That's it. We are hopeful of having a plane that works tomorrow.

"Today is a success story. Over a million people came to watch two bike races today. We delivered two great bike races today enjoyed by record crowds."

When asked who made the decision to ground the aircraft, Verity insisted that the call was made by the pilots whose first concern was understandably one of safety.

"If your lights start flashing and it says 'tres dangerous' I don't want to be the one who says 'can you ignore that so we can have some beautiful pictures'."

The men's race concludes on Sunday with a stage from Middlesbrough to Scarborough.

"There will be an operational plane for tomorrow. The contingency is to make sure we have a plane that works. The plane has been fixed and is up there being tested now. So if that plane works we'll use that one and if not there will be a fresh one."

Related Articles

Back to top