This weekend's Tour of Flanders will see teams and riders brought even closer to fans and viewers at home when Leopard Trek, Quick Step, Omega Pharma-Lotto and Garmin-Cervélo will transmit interactions between team cars and riders during the race. Team cars will be equipped with cameras but in a bid to showcase race radio importance, viewers will be able to listen in live as the riders and team managers talk from within the bunch and the cars.
The team cars will be equipped with two cameras and images and sound will be continuously registered and redirected via an airplane to the finish in Meerbeke. The images will be cut into the live broadcast on Belgium's S Television so that viewers are able to witness the very core of the race.
The measure is a collaboration between the race organisers and the teams involved as a showcase for how cycling can benefit from race technology and communication.
"By using this new technology, the teams would like to give a positive signal in the discussion about the radios," the organisers said in a press release. "They are still convinced that modern means of communication, when used properly, can make cycling more attractive."
Wouter Vandenhaute of Flanders Classics, the organiser of the Tour of Flanders, emphasizes the importance of a close collaboration with the teams.
"Until now, organizers and teams did not see each other as partners," said Vandenhaute. "As a new organizer I would like to use a totally different approach. I am convinced we have to work closely together in order to contribute to a great future for cycling."
In a joint statement, the teams said: “We believe cycling fans want to 'live' the race drama, strategy and excitement from the inside. Technology should help them get even more out of our shared passion for the sport."
"Live cameras on riders and in team cars is an important step in the right direction. There are more steps cycling needs to take to increase fans enjoyment. We hope other race promoters will follow this example"