Radio Free Europe

I love it when news breaks that allows me to make clever titles from 80’s alternative rock hits…

The UCI announced yesterday that it would allow Stages 10 and 13 in this year’s Tour to be run without the use of radios. Stage 10 covers 193 km and takes the riders on a 193km Bastille Day parade from Limoges to Issoudun; Stage 13 covers 200km from Vittel to Colmar. Both stages are considered “relatively flat” which means the French might have a “relatively realistic” chance to win a stage since they will have practiced riding without radios at their National Championship.

Pardon, mes amis! I kid because I love. Seriously, I do.

To be honest, I’m excited to see what happens in a stage run without the almighty earpiece. Riders in favor of the ban will clearly be eager to prove a lack of radios creates better racing; riders against it will be out to dispel the notion that radios have any major impact whatsoever. In my opinion, advantages will clearly go to riders used to riding without them and directors more adept at calling a race through the window and not the mouthpiece. If the experiment produces exciting racing without any major GC shake-ups, look to see more of it in the future.

If ASO were really gutsy though, they would ban them on Ventoux. Can you imagine? The penultimate day, a stage finishing atop one the Tour’s most legendary climbs, with no radios? Now that would be something to see!

What about you? Do you support the use of radios, or do you think they water-down the racing?

Share your comments!

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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