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De Matrix

Ahead of a full race preview, a short note to explain the new communications system being used by the Dutch team for Sunday’s road race.

With race radios banned for the worlds, the Dutch will use telecoms and roadside matrix display boards to give unique tactical advice to their riders.

Team boss Leo Van Vliet will watch the race on TV from a “control tower” office on the Cauberg. From this vantage point he will send SMS messages which get relayed to matrix display screens on the course to be read by the passing Dutch riders.

Obviously these screens can be seen by everyone, from riders to roadside fans, so they will be sent in code. This is not yet known but perhaps “het kangoeroe sprongen” (the kangaroo has jumped) could mean Simon Gerrans is up the road or “de bonen gaar zijn ” (“the beans are cooked”) could mean Tom Boonen is looking tired. Dutch fans have been busy with suggestions on Twitter.

And no, I’m not making this up. You can see the video online (from 1m30s) with Dutch broadcaster http://nos.nl.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • David Mclean Friday, 21 September 2012, 2:31 pm

    Now this kind of ingenuity I can appreciate. We need more.

    Ban radios and hup Holland!

  • Malaya Friday, 21 September 2012, 2:32 pm

    Dutch cycling forums are all over this. Our national coach is well known for his creative mind (he did come up with the Amstel Curacao Race), but this particular move is mocked mostly…

  • Maarten Friday, 21 September 2012, 2:32 pm

    “de bonen zijn gaar” or “De kangoeroe is gesprongen”.

    Dutch grammar is weird as that.

    • Paul Jakma Friday, 21 September 2012, 10:11 pm

      +1. The dutch in the article is wrong. 🙂

      • The Inner Ring Friday, 21 September 2012, 10:17 pm

        I know, my dutch is basic. Sorry.

        • Maarten Friday, 21 September 2012, 11:03 pm

          Most of times it’s actually pretty OK. At some point I was wondering if your nationality was Dutch or Flemish.

          • StevhanTI Saturday, 22 September 2012, 9:18 pm

            that will pro’ly remain one of the unsolved miseries of the interhole but i put my money on INRNG being French.

  • AK Friday, 21 September 2012, 2:43 pm

    Innovative. But not quite fair if the others don’t have access to the boards. If I was in charge of this race I wouldn’t allow this trick unless every coach gets to use the boards. That would be nice, we could start guessing what all the codes mean.
    it’s ‘De Matrix’, btw, not ‘Het’

    • AK Friday, 21 September 2012, 2:44 pm

      Hey, that changed as I was typing my comment.

  • @tourpro Friday, 21 September 2012, 3:36 pm

    Somebody hacking into that system during the race would be chaos!

  • Chris Brown Friday, 21 September 2012, 3:46 pm

    Perhaps rival teams could put up fake boards and carefully sited campers or hoardings to obscure the real ones.

    • Blacky Friday, 21 September 2012, 4:12 pm

      love to see that 🙂
      chaos on the road

  • Reno Friday, 21 September 2012, 4:00 pm

    De INRNG legt een bom onder onze taktiek! Hij rijdt ons karretje in de poep! Ban radio’s en verban INRNG! j/k 😀

  • ron cook Friday, 21 September 2012, 4:58 pm

    I’ve always thought sms was the way to go. Garmin could add sms capabilities to their bike computers and the teams can have one way communication that way.

  • drs Dré Friday, 21 September 2012, 5:06 pm

    Which team will be the first to use google glasses for messaging?
    See gps distances to other riders, up/downhill percentages, heartrates in augmented reality.

  • Fietsta Friday, 21 September 2012, 6:32 pm

    The board is on the last bit of false flat of the Cauberg, no? Would the riders be even able to read it? Whatever was on that board I couldn’t read for the world. I wonder what you see when you’re a rider barrelling full speed ahead. Do the Orange glasses come with binoculars this weekend?

  • Dave Friday, 21 September 2012, 10:01 pm

    Perhaps the UCI should spend more time looking at this than pettily checking bikes for ‘inexcusable’ presence of rainbow bands.

  • Darren Friday, 21 September 2012, 11:27 pm

    The matrix has you! Kind of like the idea of hacking into the system and foiling the message relay, much like the Brits did with encoded messages the Germans were using during WWII!
    Still, methinks it’s typical Dutch to use such tactics! There was a 150 odd yr old poem unearthed in an excavation in London, England, that had been written by a British trader, and who had done plenty of international trade during his career. He had written the poem about his impressions of the Dutch, basically saying that they are sly/sneaky, and would play for every cent possible, without the slightest hint of conscience! Having lived there for 7 yrs I concur!
    Being so close to the Belgian border, and with Belgian’s chances of winning being as strong as they are (at least on paper) I foresee a sizeable fan contingent, hopefully covering all the digital boards with Belgian flags! Mwuhahaa!!!!

  • Peter Friday, 21 September 2012, 11:51 pm

    If Gerrans is the Kangaroo, then how will they refer to Evans?

    • Maarten Saturday, 22 September 2012, 1:37 am

      How many Evans are riding?

    • Cameron Saturday, 22 September 2012, 12:41 pm

      He becomes Snave

  • Serge Saturday, 22 September 2012, 12:08 am

    Remember the Olympic road race when the timing systems didn’t work (using mobile networks) because of all the fans clogging the networks? I’d stick with chalk boards.

  • Wal Saturday, 22 September 2012, 2:34 am

    Hmmm me thinks this fits the letter not the spirit of the rule.

  • Kevin Monday, 24 September 2012, 6:33 pm

    This sort of communication reminds me of the race-info placards MotoGP crews hang out of pitlane to relay key information to their riders every time they pass through start finish.

    Pedrosa OUT – would convey a key rival in the championship series has crashed out.

    Rossi +1.23s – says that Rossi is 1.23 sec behind you
    Rossi +0s – means he’s sucking your tailpipe

    Difference b/w this and the dutch version compared to a moto w/ a chalkboard is that the information is customized for your team.