The UCI announced Thursday that its Management Committee granted an approval for earpieces to be banned on two stages of the Tour de France. Stage 10, a 193km stage from Limoges to Issoudun, held on Bastille Day, and Stage 13, 200km from Vittel to Colmar may be run without allowing riders to receive communications from their team cars over earpieces.
The debate over whether race radios take the life out of races by allowing riders to receive detailed information about the composition and time gaps of breakaways has been argued for years.
The French federation disallowed radio communications at its championships earlier this year, and the Tour de France organisation has considered banning the devices throughout the race.
Teams and riders have protested against any such ban, arguing that they make races safer by allowing directors to warn them of upcoming obstacles.
Yet years of formulaic stages in Grand Tours where breakaways go clear only to be reeled back inside the last few kilometres by teams setting up bunch sprints have given impetus to the radio ban lately.
Should the Tour organizers go forward with the two-stage radio bans, the stages may be used as evidence for or against a permanent change.
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