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View Poll Results: Do you agree with the organizers decision to eliminate the team director's radio?
Yes, it will make it more interesting. 53 75.71%
No, it is a safety issue. 9 12.86%
I don't care. 8 11.43%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-08-09, 07:49 AM   #1
MitchellH
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The No Radio Communication Poll

Do you agree with the race organizers decision to eliminate the team director's radio communication to the rider's on stage 10 and 13 of this year's Tour? (Shamelessly stolen from Versus.com)
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Old 07-08-09, 07:50 AM   #2
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Wrong forum.

Reported as such.

Please read before starting another Tour de France thread...
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Old 07-08-09, 07:54 AM   #3
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My bad, meant to post to road bike racing.
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Old 07-08-09, 09:05 AM   #4
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Moving.
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Old 07-08-09, 09:11 AM   #5
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The idea to get rid of race radios, as I understand it, is to make the riders have to make decisions for themselves, and increas the chance that breakaways stay away.

I think the flaw in the analysis is that the riders will still get pretty much the same information they've had in the past. It will just come the old school ways of chalk board on the back of the motorcycle, and visits to the team car.

So to the extent that banning radios adds up to more trips up to the riders by team cars, it does make things just that much more dicey, without really accomplishing much.

When I first heard about banning radios, I liked the idea, but thinking about it, I don't think its going to accomplish the intended result.
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Old 07-08-09, 09:12 AM   #6
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As Axel merckx says, "what's the benefit of returning to pre-history?"

Radios have a huge benefit when it comes to mishaps, punctures, feeding, bad corners, etc...

This is not just about directors calling tactics. And what's wrong with that anyway?
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Old 07-08-09, 09:13 AM   #7
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Entertainment. Duh.

The Tour was started as a commercial enterprise - to sell newspapers then, to sell advertisement now.
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Old 07-08-09, 09:38 AM   #8
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whatever they do, they shouldnt switch it in the middle of the damn stage race, make a decision at the beginning so teams can adapt....
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Old 07-08-09, 09:43 AM   #9
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it's not like this decision is a surprise.

teams have known about it for a while.
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Old 07-08-09, 09:50 AM   #10
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it's not like this decision is a surprise.

teams have known about it for a while.
no, i mean either START and FINISH the race with the radios or not, no switching between stages...
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Old 07-08-09, 09:54 AM   #11
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Your poll choices are too limiting.
What about 'Yes, I'm a Luddite'
or 'No, I like the idea of the riders being like a cyborg army'
or 'Yes, it's a safety issue (all the ear infections the riders are now getting)'
or 'No, the ASO only makes wrong decisions, so this must be wrong'
I could go on.
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Old 07-08-09, 10:05 AM   #12
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no, i mean either START and FINISH the race with the radios or not, no switching between stages...
so you'd be in favor of doing away with time trial bikes too?
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Old 07-08-09, 10:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
The idea to get rid of race radios, as I understand it, is to make the riders have to make decisions for themselves, and increas the chance that breakaways stay away.

I think the flaw in the analysis is that the riders will still get pretty much the same information they've had in the past. It will just come the old school ways of chalk board on the back of the motorcycle, and visits to the team car.

So to the extent that banning radios adds up to more trips up to the riders by team cars, it does make things just that much more dicey, without really accomplishing much.

When I first heard about banning radios, I liked the idea, but thinking about it, I don't think its going to accomplish the intended result.
In this year's Giro, 5 stages were won by riders in a breakaway. When you eliminate the mountaintop finishes and the time trials, half of the stages were won on breakaways. In this year's Dauphine, 4 of 6 non-TT stages were won on breakaways. In this year's Tour of Austria, now going on, 2 of the first 3 stages have been won on breakaways. There may be a reason to ban race radios, but increasing the chance that breakaways succeed is not it.
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Old 07-08-09, 10:14 AM   #14
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no, i mean either START and FINISH the race with the radios or not, no switching between stages...
It's an experiment.
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Old 07-08-09, 10:26 AM   #15
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so you'd be in favor of doing away with time trial bikes too?
no, look...all im am saying is that if this is going to be an experiment, then they should run a full stage race without the radios to use as a test...maybe something on a smaller scale before they run it in the tour...for example, they could have evev used one of the Spring Classics ie. single day race, maybe the Tour of California to test it out...I dont feel that they should switch it up in the middle of a Grand Tour for testing purposes....but at any rate, its just my opinion...

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Old 07-08-09, 10:30 AM   #16
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it's not like they've never raced a grand tour without radios.

i feel like everyone is making a mountain of a molehill.
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Old 07-08-09, 11:03 AM   #17
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I think that it'll be interesting to see how the stages play out. (I haven't even looked at the stage profiles so I don't know if that'll be significant).

Radios allow significantly more communication between the director and the rider. Heck, even the directors are calling for help (like when Bruyneel called Ferrari to see if Pantani could maintain a torrid pace - Ferrari said no, Bruyneel told Lance to chill, and Pantani exploded).

It's not just radio, it's also TV (although I wonder if they'll allow live updates to iPhones and such). Right now, a racer on a well organized team could sit slightly out of sight of the front of the field and rely on his director to tell him if it looks like someone's going to launch, or if someone looks in trouble, etc. In the old days, you had to be there to see it. That stuff is not communicated on the chalkboards.

To get a director's instructions, a team had to send a rider back to the car. It becomes very important to figure out what you want to do. Then the director has to trust the riders to be able to carry out the spirit of the order/s. If a team suddenly changes tact in the middle of a race, it's harder for the other teams to react (unless their riders are savy). So, for example, when PDM decided to make the race hard in the Tour Du Pont, it took a concerted chase by two teams to bring back the PDM carrot, and the whole time PDM's riders were on top of all the counters - per their director's orders.

Also, with all the focus the last couple days on splitting the fields, it's pretty obvious that it's important to be prepared for significant course condition changes. This could be wind, water, hills, anything. When Hampsten went on the Gavia, the director (Och) based some of his strategy on weather reports. He had his guys get tons of cold weather gear, hot fluids, etc, and tried to help his guys make it through the cold weather. Ends up that this preparation allowed Hampsten to take huge chunks of time out of almost everyone.

Nowadays, with team personnel scattered all over the place, such preparation seems sort of unnecessary, but surprise conditions can still affect a day's racing. For example, in the 06 Tour, Voigt goes down on a descent where there was a sudden rain storm. It was dry before and after, but in the wet bit he goes down. He quickly made his way back to the front but imagine if no one knew it was pouring rain until the rain started falling? I know that directors will warn their riders of upcoming rain to try and keep them off the deck.

Finally, you'll see some interesting miscommunications or misunderstandings without radio. In one of the 85-86 Tours, there's a clip of Fignon yelling at his teammates - they had picked up the pace and literally rode Fignon off their wheels. I think such things would be much easier to handle with radios (grab mic, say, "Dudes, ease up, turn around") instead of yelling as loud as you can after your team. (To be fair to Fignon's teammates, it was pouring rain and they had rain capes and such, and I'm sure there was a lot of ambient noise).

I think radios make a huge difference in morale when there are splits. Chalkboards only show up every now and then, and in between you stress over whether you're going hard enough or not hard enough. If a break is gone, you have no idea how far up the road it is. Have you ever done a group ride and you either get dropped or you're in the front group (and there are guys chasing)? You don't know who's where so you ride how you think you should be riding. That kind of judgment goes missing with radios (except like when Horner I think said to someone you should move up and then all hell broke loose, and the director didn't say anything on the radio). Riders no longer need to read races as well - they can rely on others to tell them when to go.

Having said all that, I think that I feel this way about radios because I wish I had that kind of information when I race. Even rinky dink crits, I can't tell who's gone, who's here, if there's a break, how many, etc etc, mainly because I end up sitting at the back due to normal difficulties with the pace. Not that I can go chase down a break or two, but if 10 guys are away and I know it, I'll ride differently than if 2 guys are away. I've won races thinking that we were sprinting for 5th or something, and I've gotten 5th or something in races when I thought we were going for the win.

What I like is that the organizers did this. We're talking about this instead of wondering who doped. Or at least spending some time/energy talking about this instead of dealing with all these threads on doping or other negative parts of pro racing.

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Old 07-08-09, 11:21 AM   #18
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I think radios are a good idea...but not just for safety
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Old 07-08-09, 06:30 PM   #19
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I think it's a good idea. I would love to see the riders forced to read the race themselves. It might also play into the hands of break aways and make the sprinters teams rethink their strategies. Fwiw, I would not be against doing away with TT bikes and deep section wheels either. The tech race is fun but a little bit over the top.
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Old 07-08-09, 06:54 PM   #20
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Its kinda like taking away radios and spotters in autoracing
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Old 07-08-09, 07:05 PM   #21
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Its kinda like taking away radios and spotters in autoracing
It always seem just silly that Nascar drivers have freakin' spotters. Give me a break.
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Old 07-08-09, 08:11 PM   #22
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with stage 3 we made a big deal about ACs weak point being experience and race reading...would these be stages where some of the wily vets try to take advantage?
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Old 07-08-09, 08:20 PM   #23
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I think radios are part of the game... they wouldn't play a quarter of a pro football game without a coach calling plays... I feel like the race planners are just trying to mix things up and make the race more exciting. With the riders this year i don't think lack of excitement will an issue.
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Old 07-08-09, 08:24 PM   #24
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Dumb.
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Old 07-08-09, 10:07 PM   #25
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Some fuel for le fire. Decent points. I don't like radios though.
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