AIGCP threatens "drastic action" if radio ban is not repealed

The riders of the Challenge Mallorca mounted a protest against the UCI's ban on radios at non-World Tour events.

The riders of the Challenge Mallorca mounted a protest against the UCI's ban on radios at non-World Tour events. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The AIGCP (International Association of Professional Cycling Groups) met on Friday for its first general assembly of the 2011 season. The main topic of discussion was the UCI's ban on race radios. Unhappy with the UCI's unwillingness to repeal the radio ban, the AIGCP threatened "drastic action" if there is no repeal by May 1, 2011.

"The AIGCP ask the UCI to rescind the regulation regarding the radio ban. If this regulation is not rescinded by the first of May, 2011, the teams have unanimously agreed on a drastic action," read a statement from the AIGCP released late on Friday. "This action will not be made public at this time, but the UCI will be informed of its content.

"The UCI, and its President, Pat Mcquaid, will receive a document, signed by all the teams, that outlines the full content of our thoughts. While humbly hand written during discussion, the UCI can be sure of the solidarity of the teams and the depth of the letters content."

UCI rule 2.2.024 phased in bans of radio communications in all events outside the World Calendar.

According to the AIGCP, its members unanimously oppose the ban on radios. "While some members of the AIGCP feel more or less strongly about the rule regarding radios, what we all feel very strongly about is the manner in which this rule was introduced."

The statement explained the motives behind the AIGCP's threatened retaliation.

"This rule was not discussed nor voted on by the PCC (Professional Cycling Council), which is the advisory board concerning professional cycling, which contains two representatives from the teams. Even if it had been, the PCC holds no final power on the introduction of new rules. The decision was made unilaterally by the management committee of the UCI, which does not contain any representative of the teams, the riders, nor the race organizers.

"Therefore: All the teams unanimously denounce the UCI for introducing this legislation without any representation from any team."

Many riders and teams have asked the UCI to rescind the radio ban regulation. A meeting between the AIGCP and the UCI on Thursday in Switzerland on the subject produced no changes in the regulation. Afterward, the UCI said it vowed to stand firm on its rule banning radio communication between riders and their teams during races.

Riders defied the radio ban rule at the Trofeo Palma de Mallorca earlier this season, leading the UCI to refuse to record the results. A similar planned protest at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was abandoned after the UCI threatened to cancel the race.

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