Matt on race camera duty
With nothing much exciting going on in the world of Matt Brammeier this week, I thought I would air my views on the current race radio fiasco. What do I think? Well, being a first year pro and having a good few years as an amateur bike rider under my belt, I have experienced racing both with radios and without them. I’m trying hard to find a big difference or something that stands out and, to be honest, I’m struggling.
One race that springs to mind is Wavre Rijnaman, a Belgian Top Competition race I was in last year. We had no race radios. After about 10km we crested a climb pretty fast, a climb I knew well. What I also knew was we were about to turn right down one of the worst condition roads I’ve ever ridden on. Bits of cobbles, bits of gravel and to top it off it was raining. Unlucky for the majority of the other riders, they didnt know what was coming. Cue multiple crashes, broken bones, screams for help, ambulances etc. It was like a scene from Saving Private Ryan.
As I said, I knew what was coming, so I knew to take it easy. Now, if we had radios, would this have happened? Would these guys be in hospital?? I doubt it very much. That moment that we all love, the breakaway goes, last kilometre and it’s still away, the bunch are closing in, will they make it? Will they stay away? We’re all on the edge of our seats…
That won’t happen so much anymore. Without radios we will always ride on the cautious side and ride that little bit harder and catch the break that little bit sooner. In the Tour of Qatar this year (2011), every break was caught more than 10km before the line… Boring… 65kph echelon and cars driving up the gutter……Crazy…..
I guess you now know my view on radios! The racing will be no more exciting, just more dangerous… I’m sure there are a million more things we can do to make the racing more exciting… One thing I do know is this battle has only just begun. I hope the UCI will listen to the riders and understand we are not circus clowns, we just want to race our bikes and race them safely!