July 14, 2009

Radio Silence Causes Panic!: Team-to-Rider radios are being banned for two stages of this year's Tour. A welcome change for a dwindling number of traditionalists, a harbinger of disaster and controversy to the new generation. Radios or no radios? That is the question.

posted by Spitztengle to general at 12:04 PM - 4 comments

A sport should adapt to the technologies of its era. I know that makes it hard to compare "greats" from different eras but as we develop, so too should sport.

posted by dfleming at 04:29 PM on July 14, 2009

Every sport evolves as technologies improve. More importantly, its dangerous enough riding 120 mile stretches through the mountains. Safety should be paramount, and that is hampered by the lack of communication.

posted by txsoccermom at 06:08 PM on July 14, 2009

Sorry, it takes some of the strategy away from the riders, which is where it should fully should be. I understand the worry of dangerous conditions when coaches ride alongside the riders to pass along information, but it's better than watching a rider have to stop when the radio fails or becomes dislodged.
Also, if you want to alleviate danger, move the fans back from the route. In some spots, they're close enough to touch the riders.

posted by jjzucal at 07:10 PM on July 14, 2009

I'm no fan of race radio -- the ability to capitalise on imperfect information has been a hallmark of the true greats -- but this generation of riders expect it there.

So the peloton has basically adopted a work-to-rule, with no attempt to take advantage of the ban. The choice of stages always made it more gimmicky than substantive -- the transitional stretch from the Pyrenees to the Alps is for domo breakaways that usually get hauled back for bunch sprints, while the GC contenders stay in the pack. In addition, the first week was more interesting than most years, with attacks from the top riders that took many of the big teams by surprise -- and that was with race radio.

(I'd like to see a short stage race go no-radio throughout -- the Dauphin Libr, for instance -- but if the riders won't show up, then it ain't gonna happen.)

posted by etagloh at 10:19 PM on July 15, 2009

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