The head of the International riders association (CPA) Gianni Bugno has called on the UCI to reconsider its position on the elimination of race radio and has told Cyclingnews that the riders are ready to break the radio ban at three races on March 26 if they continue to be ignored.
Bugno will hold a joint press conference today with Jonathan Vaughters, the head of the AIGCP teams association, before the start of Tirreno-Adriatico.
“The UCI is the governing body of the sport and so represents us all but it should also listen to us all. We want dialogue with them to find a compromise, the UCI can’t decide things unilaterally and impose them on us,” Bugno told Cyclingnews.
“We call on the UCI to come back to the table and talk about the radio ban again and find a solution that suits everybody. If they won’t listen to us, we’re ready to protest again on March 26 at Criterium International, at the Coppi & Bartali race in Italy and at the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen - Harelbeke in Belgium.”
“We’re sorry if this leads to races being annulled but I think the riders have the right to protest because it concerns their safety and their right to be involved in the decisions that affect them.”
Bugno insisted that riders must be heard on the radio ban for safety reasons.
“Radios are important for rider’s safety just as much as say helmets are. The riders need them to be told of dangers up the road and in case they crash or puncture,” he said.
“We don’t want to impose the use of radios on anybody. If Philippe Gilbert or a team doesn’t want to use them, they don’t have to. But my members voted on the matter and have mandated me to represent them. I’m happy to do that so that I can help them have voice in the decision making process.”