Feb 6, 2011 – A controversial decision to ban two-way radios in professional cycling was met with defiance Sunday as several teams and riders turned up equipped to use the banned equipment here at the Mallorca Trophy.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) hopes the banning of race radios, effective as of this season in elite races, will add thrills and suspense to a sport which it feels has become too radio-relient.
Many teams have argued that radios are essential for security reasons, with sports directors – and riders – able to warn of dangers on the road such as oil spills, pot holes or dangerous bends in the mountains.
And they seem determined to prove a point.
A number of teams turned up at the start of Sunday’s opening race in the Mallorca Trophy series equipped to use their radios.
That move, however, only served to delay the start, with UCI officials threatening to refuse to validate the race results.
In the end, the race was finally held with American Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Cervelo dominating a bunch sprint to hold off Spaniard Francisco Ventoso and German Marcel Kittel at the end of 116km of racing.
The Mallorcan Trophy is a series of separate races held over five days, with riders having the option of competing in all or just some of the events.