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Old 07-07-08, 11:28 AM   #1
jhodder
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Take Away Race Radios?!?

Thought that I would post this and see what others think. I personally think that taking away the radios would be great. Let the teams battle it out on the road without managers and strategists yammering at them the entire time. Always seemed rediculous to me to have a coach telling them what to do the entire race.

Force the team captains to make the calls on their bikes as the race develops and the following would probably happen:
  • Breaks would not get caught with nearly today's frequency (no computers and GPS in team cars)
  • More favorites would be able to sneak into breaks
  • More riders would have to drop back to the cars to talk to managers (favorites would not just sit-in the entire race)
  • Less team-to-team deals during the stage (pull in the break for us today and we'll let you into a break tomorrow)
  • More rider-to-rider deals during the stage (enter the rotation for me, and I'll give you $10K if I win)
  • More racers would hit the wall during the stages, especially climbs
Unfortuantely, there would also likely be more crashes as team cars couldn't warn the racers about every obstacle that they may encounter up ahead.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-07-08, 11:39 AM   #2
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Just about every other sport I can think of allows coaching during the game. I'm not sure why cycling would be any different.
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Old 07-07-08, 11:42 AM   #3
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However, US football won't let coaches talk the QB in the middle of a play. What cycling does is similar to the coach watching the monitor in the skybox telling the QB which receiver is open.
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Old 07-07-08, 12:36 PM   #4
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Tennis and AVP are two that come to mind where the coaches are not allowed communication during a match. (correct me if I'm wrong) Not that they have any direct relation to the TdF. I've been amazed at the ability of the peleton to catch a break in the closing km of a stage, but often find myself wondering what the sport would look like if that communication was severed and the strategy decisions fell to the riders. Seems like an interesting concept to me.
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Old 07-07-08, 12:42 PM   #5
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I'm not sure if it's still the case, but rugby coaches used to sit in the stands.
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Old 07-07-08, 12:52 PM   #6
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However, US football won't let coaches talk the QB in the middle of a play. What cycling does is similar to the coach watching the monitor in the skybox telling the QB which receiver is open.
NFL Quaterbacks have headsets in the helmets.
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Old 07-07-08, 01:15 PM   #7
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I would like to see the radios out of the team cars. I think that instant access to information has taken some of the edge out of the racing. It's certainly taken away the element of surprise. There's virtually no way for one of the race contenders to get out on a break and make things really interesting. Anyone that gets near to or off the front gets the radios going and he is quickly shut down. Take the radios out of the cars and make the riders manage the race.
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Old 07-07-08, 01:19 PM   #8
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Before race radios breaks were still caught and directors were still able to communicate with their teams.
Race motos would still display the time gap on a chaulkboard to the peloton and they would be able to do the math on what to do to catch the breakaway. Domestics would be used again to run messages between the D.S. and the team and they would also be used for scouting. This might mean an overall lowering of the peloton speed.

The leadership abilities of each team's top man would become a bigger factor.
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Old 07-07-08, 01:20 PM   #9
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I would like to see the radios out of the team cars. I think that instant access to information has taken some of the edge out of the racing. It's certainly taken away the element of surprise. There's virtually no way for one of the race contenders to get out on a break and make things really interesting. Anyone that gets near to or off the front gets the radios going and he is quickly shut down. Take the radios out of the cars and make the riders manage the race.

+1
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Old 07-07-08, 02:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mcoomer View Post
I would like to see the radios out of the team cars. I think that instant access to information has taken some of the edge out of the racing. It's certainly taken away the element of surprise. There's virtually no way for one of the race contenders to get out on a break and make things really interesting. Anyone that gets near to or off the front gets the radios going and he is quickly shut down. Take the radios out of the cars and make the riders manage the race.
After what happened today, is that really accurate?
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Old 07-07-08, 05:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
NFL Quaterbacks have headsets in the helmets.
Which can only be used in between plays, which is the distinction that jhodder made.
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Old 07-07-08, 05:05 PM   #12
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info is info ... who cares how is it delivered?
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Old 07-07-08, 05:18 PM   #13
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info is info ... who cares how is it delivered?
Could you print this thread and mail it to me each time there's a new post?
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Old 07-07-08, 05:19 PM   #14
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Hate car to rider radios!! Hate hate hate them. They do nothing good for the sport. You ever wonder why there are less successful breaks today compared to years past? It's all because of car-rider radios and even worse, televisions in team cars.

They've taken a lot of excitement out of racing.

The equivalent in the NFL would be if coaches looking down at the field could speak to QBs and tell them which receivers are open.
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Old 07-07-08, 05:26 PM   #15
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I'd like to see the radio's go away, but maybe they have for a short period of 50% of the stage distance, then your on your own. The team is issued a frequency and at the point in the race, they get jammed. The race directors would scan them to make sure no one is cheating...*snickers*, but it a thought.
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Old 07-07-08, 09:10 PM   #16
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Lemond is a fervent proponent against using them. He's always said that he would not have won the tour in '89 if they were in use. He talked about how he wound up the pace towards the end to take more time from Fignon.

I would agree that winning breaks are less successful nowadays but not sure if that because of radios or because there are more sprinter's teams in the peloton.
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Old 07-07-08, 09:27 PM   #17
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Could you print this thread and mail it to me each time there's a new post?
One more like that and we'll call you Rhetorical Question Mullet.
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Old 07-07-08, 10:49 PM   #18
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I would like to see the radios out of the team cars. I think that instant access to information has taken some of the edge out of the racing.

And make Tiger Woods carry his own clubs too.
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Old 07-07-08, 10:59 PM   #19
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"It was great for the morale and the team, but a stage win would have been cool," confessed 27 year-old Frischkorn, who is a member of one of two USA teams in the Tour de France this year. "I had thought of attacking right when the first attack went [by Dumoulin], but my directeur was in the ear-piece saying, 'Don't pull now, careful of Dumoulin.'"
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Old 07-07-08, 11:07 PM   #20
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I'm not sure if it's still the case, but rugby coaches used to sit in the stands.
They still mostly sit in the stands but have radios etc and send messages out via the water carriers

OP , I think it would be awesome but have no doubt its not going to happen
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Old 07-08-08, 06:17 AM   #21
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Seems to me it works well as a team sport with team support.
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Old 07-08-08, 06:19 AM   #22
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I read in the Cycling Sport magazine that it's only a rumor.. however, it's actually illegal to ride your bike with your iPod (or cassette player, depending on preference ^^).
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Old 07-08-08, 06:52 AM   #23
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NFL Quaterbacks have headsets in the helmets.
Right, and they are not allowed to be used other than to call in plays. They are shut off during plays. So his initial comparison is correct, it would be like NFL Coaches telling the QBs which WRs are open mid-play.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:55 AM   #24
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And make Tiger Woods carry his own clubs too.
MAYBE that would level the playing field!!

Seems that some of the "purity" is lost with radio to rider. Oh well, things always evolve (or de-) so must adjust to what is here and now.
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Old 07-08-08, 08:17 AM   #25
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Quote:
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However, US football won't let coaches talk the QB in the middle of a play. What cycling does is similar to the coach watching the monitor in the skybox telling the QB which receiver is open.

Good point. Still, information on time splits and breakaways was available before the advent of race radios. It just involved more motorcycles and chalkboards.

It seems like what you're proposing would be a race run in a complete media blackout with riders just guessing as to how far out the breakaways are and who's in them.

While that sounds interesting, and is probably more "pure", I think the way it's done now is fine. It's still a level playing field since all the teams have radio communications.

(To further your NFL comparison, it would be as if every player on the field had a radio, and the defense was also alerted to pass/run, or even which direction the pass/run was going during the play. I think the advantages could go both ways)
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