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what do they use radios for?(3 posts)

what do they use radios for?ishmael
Jan 4, 2003 11:15 AM
I had first-hand experience with them at a crit in Philadelphia. I listened in on the radio personality/speaker for the womens race. I think it was a Pro/1/2. In this crit all the racers could see everyone on the course so the need to warn of a breakaway getting too far ahead wasn't there. Other than wanting to have someone constantly saying incouraging things in their ear (which is all he did) I never understood why they bothered. Other than possibly warning of an attack brewing behind the team that wasnt visable to the riders I cant think of anything worth having a radio for. And that also seems like a bad reason. But then again this was a crit in which you could see all the racers.
My only other experience with them other than just seeing them in people's ears on TV is limited. There was a quote in some cycling mag in which, I think Hincapie said, they were a waste of time. Whenever there was a breakaway it wasnt worth waiting the 2 or 3 minutes to hear if anyone important was in it. It was safer just to hunt them down first instead of having to make up the time they had lost while waiting for the radio to tell them what to do. Are they two-way thereby enabling the rider to ask the sag wagon to pull up for supplies? I think not. Is the radio speaker in the sag wagon out of sight watching it on TV?
After all, what would the pros know?Kerry
Jan 5, 2003 5:44 PM
Could it be they would be used to tell the riders when someone was off the back or held up in a crash/mechanical so they could either wait for a team mate or start an attack? Could it be they were used to tell somebody to chase or not chase a break? Could it be that they would be used to tell somebody to work or not work in a break? I don't know, but these things, and many others seem to make perfect sense for why pros would have radios. And yes, in the big races, they have a TV in the team car and are relaying information to the racers all the time. If the race develops transparently, the radio serves no purpose. However, according to the racers and the directors, radios have significantly altered the character of pro races because of the big step up in communication (two-way) between the riders and the team cars.
For stupid riders like LanceSpoiler
Jan 9, 2003 12:13 PM
Watch some TDF or Amstel videos. Lance can't take a pee without asking Johan how to shake his wang. Any rider goes off the front and he's on the radio asking what to do. "Is anybody dangerous in this break?"
Even when he gets off the front, he has to ask what to do. "Do I keep it going or do I shut down?"
Now riders can let breaks go. Why chase a break if they're just going to loose steam and come back anyways? With radios, a rider in the break can sit on and give his teammates back in the pack updates on whether the break might stay or if it will die.
Hincapie probably said they were a waste of time just in a particular race or circumstance. USPS uses them all the time in Paris-Roubaix, but they don't do them much good, other than letting Johan yell at the other guys to get moving and help George.