I don’t know what to make of the radio ban the UCI is putting into place. Seems rather silly to ban the radios, but then again, the UCI is not known for being pragmatic about embracing new technology, or in this case, old technology. The UCI, going backwards again. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, it makes racing more predictable and so on, I hear those stupid arguments, but it also makes it safer I think. Especially when we see stories like this about race radios potentially saving this guy’s life. Do we really want to go backwards? Radios have been around for a long time now, why take them away? I’m sure there are guys in the peloton, or actually, most of the guys in the peloton who have never raced without a radio over the years. Is it a crutch? Sure, it can be. It leaves reading of the races up to the DS back in the car with the radio, and the TV going. Want to make it better? Don’t let the DS’ watch the live race feed on TV while they’re driving in the race caravan. That being said, in the US, there really is NO reason to race with radios at any level, well, OK, I might make an exception for longer road races, and or stage races, but they should just ban that shit in crits for sure. And wisely, in this case, USA Cycling banned radios in lower categories, which is always a good thing.
An example of that. Back in my struggling Cat 3 days, we were riding a fairly long road race, I think it was like almost 80 miles, and this was when 3’s were allowed to use radios (never mind that the road races hardly ever broke up, and most of the time, if they did, you could see the people dangling off the front of the pack, but I digress). Some dumb ass is riding next to me in the middle of the pack, about 5 miles into the race, and he starts fiddly fucking with his radio, hands off the bars in the middle of about 100 guys. He then slams his first wheel into a road reflector, and eats major league shit. In the process, he comes back INTO the back, and takes out every single spoke in my Zipp 404s (first race I had ridden them in after purchasing them 2 weeks prior). All I had was a rim, a hub, and a bunch of busted ass spokes. And, due to the wheel truck, and or the guy driving it not knowing anything about bike racing, I got a super slow wheel change, and he wouldn’t draft me back to the pack. So, 5 miles in, after chasing by myself for about 40 minutes, nope, never made it back. I’m out one expensive wheel, and a race, just because some jackwagon was fucking with his radio.
Moving forward in my later race years, riding as a 1/2, we used radios a few times, but most of the time, we were just making fun of each other, instead of using them for anything resembling helping out with the race.
The pros though, I think they need them. Let them have them. Stop being fucking stupid old men over there in Switzerland. I swear, all of these assholes are like the grumpy old man from SNL of yore. “Back in my day, we didn’t have these fancy radio receiving things, and WE LIKED IT!”
How about that Lars Boom knocking it out of the park at Qatar? Look, I knew he was a baller, but I didn’t know he was this much of a baller. I mean, the dude beat Fabian. I don’t care who you are, that’s a fucking awesome result. I have no idea what is going to happen in this race. It’s still early season, so not too much should be read into it, that’s for sure. Boonen might win a stage, but I think his best sprinting days are behind him anyway. Cavendish went down, again, so he’s all messed up, but that probably won’t affect him much coming into finishes this week. What I really liked though, was seeing Flecha rolling in 4th. Always one of my favorite dudes out there, he’s a hard man. I hope to see him come into impressive form, once again, for the Spring Classics, and for him to finally win a Monument. I can’t think of anyone else who deserves it more at this point in his career, except maybe Hincapie. Yeah, I like Hincapie too. I just feel bad for him most of the time. My wife and I gave him our own nickname, in our house, he’s known as “Sandwich”. We named him thusly, mostly because when he’s riding, he has this look on his face that makes us think in his head, he’s just thinking over and over again, “Man, I really wish I had sandwich right now.” Ride on George, ride on brother.by