Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remove Race Radio?

Pat McQuaid has once again bested himself by suggesting that professional cycling would be better off with out race radio. This is an extremely strange idea and almost no one likes it. The riders don't like it. The teams don't like it. The fans don't like it. But even though there is a consensus of disapproval, Pat McQuaid and the UCI fancy that everyone should endorse the no race radio paradigm because everyone is hankering for the days of yore, before Motorola introduced radios into professional cycling.

What, was Lance Armstrong World Champion then? Did radios convey an unfair advantage to Team Motorola who could discuss tactics from afar while other teams has to convey instructions by word of mouth? Yes indeed, the good old days. A specious argument might exist if only one team used radios during races while others were deprived. Sort of like one team using performance enhancing drugs while everyone else rides clean. But this is not happening, no one is deprived, all team cars have sophisticated electronics to aid riders, the gaps shown on the motorcycle board is known to everyone, in high definition television. So Pat McQuaid what is the problem? With radio communication the problems sport directors encounter become almost academic, grab a microphone and issue instructions. Reel them in. You have a mechanical? Order the team to block, organize the domestics, come to the car for repairs. What could be simpler?

Yes, the radio less stage was tried in the Tour de France, the riders were furious for good reason. The issue is safety. Under the new Pat McQuaid radio less future of professional cycling, team cars will weave in and out of the peloton to issue instructions, this will interrupt the flow of the peloton, hazards will be created. Some one may die. Someone may be injured. There will be unnecessary accidents. No thank you.

Most cycling fans to not wish to return to the days of yore. The Grand Tours are a wonderful, beautiful exhibitions of rider skill and tactics. Pat McQuaid, leave things alone.