An open letter to Pat McQuaid & the UCI
18 Friday Mar 2011
posted publically, and emailed to the UCI
Mr. McQuaid, et al —
As a long time fan of professional cycling, who has stuck with the sport despite the myriad of doping (and other) problems over the years, I would like to express my (and I suspect many fans) views on race radios.
From a tactical standpoint, I hate them. Cycling was much more exciting to watch in the days before race radios.
However, I agree with the teams (directors & riders) who feel that cycling is safer with them.
So let them have race radios, but in a manner which prevents tactics being dictated from the team cars. Require all riders/teams to be on the same frequency, and that all transmissions be in the local language and/or English (as the new de facto language of professional cycling).
This will allow team riders to communicate safely back to their team cars that they need assistance, but teams will not be able to plan tactics without all the other teams being privy to their conversations.
Another option would be to adopt the approach used by American football in the NFL, wherein only the “quarterback” (i.e. the team leader) and “coach” (the directeur sportif) have radios.
This latter option would allow for some tactics, as in other sports, but would require that the team leaders be able to physically communicate to the other members of his team like during the huddle prior to a play in the NFL, or calling an audible play change that the other team(s) can hear and thus react to.
In other words, let the teams have their race radios … just make it damned inconvenient for them to use them for anything other than the most basic safety reasons.
I would appreciate your thoughts on these proposals.