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Voigt calls for Worlds boycott over radio ban

By:
Cycling News
Published:
February 23, 2011, 2:08 GMT,
Updated:
February 23, 2011, 3:12 GMT
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The ever-gregarious Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank)

The ever-gregarious Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank)

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German veteran warns that fatalities are a sacrifice too large

Leopard Trek's Jen Voigt is calling for the peloton to boycott the World Championships if the UCI continues down the path of banning radio contact between team cars and riders.

"If nobody will listen, then we must make it pain-filled, so people think: It hurt. Maybe we should listen next time," the German veteran told Sporten.tv2.

Cycling's world governing body began the roll out of the ban last year in 1.2 and 2.2 level races (including all U23 races and women's stage races), and has been extended in 2011 to cover all races ranked 1.HC/2.HC and below, and will continue to World Calendar races in 2012.

"If we just get a single fatal accident, the price is already too high for something that someone thinks will make the sport more interesting," Voigt warns. "I would rather have a boring race where everyone is happy and alive, and [a rider] can come home and embrace his parents and say, ‘Hi mum and dad. I'm alive.'"

Voigt's discontent follows the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams' (AIGCP) protest against the UCI's ruling by trying to use radios at the first race of the Challenge Mallorca series earlier this month.

Numerous riders turned up for the first race in Mallorca wearing radios, sparking a stand-off between race judges, the riders and their teams. The start of the race was disrupted.

Voigt drew comparisons between cyclists and journalists, as a way of explaining that radios were merely a tool of the trade.

"Imagine all the world's journalists were suddenly told: From now on, do not use laptops, the Internet or pencils. Would you consider taking it seriously? Of course not!"

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