While teams were riding their legs off and racing there hearts out at Milan-San Remo, the race radio fuelled debate between the UCI and the teams was getting nasty.
UCI's Open Letter to Pro Riders Regarding Radio Ban
According to this letter from UCI President Pat McQuaid, when riders were surveyed in 2009, only one in four responded and was evenly split between those for and against banning two-way race radios. It goes on to question why the riders' opinions "suddenly" changed and if they were being pressured to change their stance. I find it interesting that McQuaid is criticizing riders for caving in to the wishes of their sport directors, when he admits earlier in this same letter to caving to pressure from television networks.
And now, news comes down the pipe that some teams are thinking of leaving the UCI and starting their own cycling league.
Eleven Major Teams Considering Plans to Break Away from the UCI
The teams are, understandably, keeping mum about a possible break. This whole fight is about so much more than two-way radios, it's about control. The UCI controls every single aspect of the sport: Who can ride, what teams get licensed to race, the race calendar, doping regulations and consequences, what equipment is legal, the list goes on. The riders themselves have very little say in how the sport is governed and run from day-to-day. Perhaps one good thing to come out of this whole thing will be more input from the riders on the sport that they give the best years of their lives to.
Is there no way these people can share a sandbox?
Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.