Race radios: what’s changing, what’s not changing

Race radio

If you were reading the cycling news back in March and April, one ongoing saga was the story of race radios. I’ve had a couple of readers email for the latest. To recap race radios are the portable devices carried by riders that allow two-way comms with the team car. The UCI had banned them for 2011 except in World Tour races and in time trials too.

The idea is that radios allow teams to organise and shut down breakaways, thus making the sport more boring to watch and therefore banning radios could make racing more unpredictable for TV viewers. Like any change, some liked it and some didn’t and those against the ban started to protest and a couple of races almost didn’t go ahead. At times it was about more than the radios, it was an issue on which some team managers decided to push back at the UCI in order try and ensure they have a say in how the sport is run.

After a partial ban in 2011, the plan was to ban radios in every race for 2012. But this won’t be so.

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Radioshack, Nissan, Trek: pick any two

As announced earlier today, CSE Pro Cycling LLC is proud to announce that RadioShack and Nissan are joining the Leopard-Trek World Tour Team as sponsors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The team will hold a license in Luxembourg and be named the RadioShack Nissan Trek Professional Cycling Team.

That’s the press release from 5 September announcing the team resulting in the “merger” of the Radioshack and Leopard teams. Note the long name of Radioshack Nissan Trek, a mouthful already.

In fact it’s undigestable. It’s been pointed out that the proposed team name w0n’t fly because UCI rules only allow for two sponsor names. Here’s the relevant bit:

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When two become one

Leopard mating

The news that Radioshack and Leopard-Trek are “merging” confirms Flavio Becca’s interest in cycling is not on the same level as Swiss billionaire Andy Rihs, although that’s been clear from the start, just not so obvious.

Luxembourg’s Becca has decided to invest in pro cycling and wants to have a team with sponsors paying the wage bill and operating expenses rather than funding things from his bank account.

It’s been easy to snipe at Leopard this year as a nearly team. Legendary cycling manager Cyrille Guimard said it took him three to five years to make a team start working; Team Sky needed a season to learn the ropes. So it feels impatient to shake things up so suddenly, you wonder if the newly merged squad goes back to the beginning again.

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Ranking points, incentives and race results

I want to pick up a point touched on in this morning’s L’Equipe: are the UCI ranking points influencing the outcomes of races? With several riders in the top-10 overall, Team Radioshack went into the final stage of Paris-Nice in a strong position. Although short, the route had five climbs, some tricky descents and the … Read more

Nissan to replace Radioshack?

I’d been meaning to look at the sponsoring future for Team Radioshack. The US team was built around Lance Armstrong but now he is retired, the sponsor’s interest is bound to be waning. Especially since the US electrical retailer has very little presence outside the USA. So what’s next for the team? Well I’d hinted … Read more

Phinney leaves Radioshack

I am the future now Sometimes things can be obvious but you don’t say them. Maybe it’s because it’s polite not to point, other times just because it’s obvious. But that doesn’t mean you can’t say it. So here’s a reference on Twitter from user wesko: no one seems to be commenting on a talented … Read more

Radioshack sponsorship review

There’s an interesting article from InstoreMarketer.org that reviews the Radioshack sponsorship deal with Lance Armstrong’s cycling team, brought to my attention via Twitter’s FestinaGirl. Back in March, I commented that the electronics retailer was sponsoring a team without mentioning it. For me, it looks like the deal is clearly about associating with Lance, the campaign … Read more


Stagiaire is French for intern. Like many prospective employers, the best way to judge if an employee is suitable to join the firm is to watch them in the workplace for a period of time, as opposed to an interview or a read of the CV. Cycling’s no different and now’s the time of year … Read more

RadioShack takeover rumours, updated

I’ve been keeping a close eye on Radioshack for some time. Not the team… but the company and its stock price because the company is a potential takeover candidate, potential prey to rival electronics retailer Best Buy or to a bid from private equity. It’s an interesting back-story to the team. I wrote about all … Read more

Bruyneel’s got a point

Johan Bruyneel is fuming at Unipublic’s decision not to invite Team Radioshack to the Vuelta a Espana. And he’s got a point. Here’s the UCI rankings for the top-25 teams in the world:(click to enlarge) Note that Radioshack sits in eighth place. Use the alternative Cycling Quotient Team Rankings and the team is in fifth … Read more