Romain Bardet has come out in support of taking away team race radios, arguing the measure would help make racing more unpredictable by ‘elevating the rider as an athlete.’
Acknowledging that his stance on the matter had changed, the Frenchman said he would support a ban on the earpieces through which riders are fed in-race information from their directors, such as alerts to key junctures of the route and updates on who is where on the road.
It’s just one aspect of a wider debate that is currently raging over how to make the sport more exciting, with Bardet himself making reference to the sense of frustration at the way Team Sky have come to dominate the Tour de France with an ever-tightening stranglehold.
“The true concern, in the minds of certain people, is the predictability of the race. That’s the greatest thing at stake,” Bardet told reporters in a long interview at the AG2R La Mondiale team’s training camp in the French Alps this week.
“That notion that Sky could almost win the Tour with any of their riders – that’s what race organisers want to tackle, to try to create more unpredictable scenarios.”
Tour de France organisers ASO have indeed tried to do just that. The amount of time trialling has dropped markedly in the last few years, while race director Christian Prudhomme has openly voiced his desire for a more open race, proposing a ban on power-meters and successfully pushing for a reduction in team sizes.
‘I’m not in cycling to be Sky’s enemy number one’
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com