The Union Cicliste Internationale (UCI), the world wide governing body for competitive cycling, is rumored to be drawing up rules to limit the radio technology used in bicycle races, according to this report in the French sports daily L’Equipe.
An anonymous staffer at the UCI officer in Switzerland says the goal is to preserve the purity of the sport by restricting radio technology to what was available in 1972. Race directors and coaches will be required to use vintage CB transmitters from their cars while cyclists will use transistor radios with 9 volt zinc-carbon cells that have been modified to receive CB frequencies. Though cyclists will also be permitted to use transmitters, the power and electronics required effectively restricts their use since they would more than double the weight of the bicycle.
Two way radios were first used in the early 1990s when Motorola sponsored a bike racing team and have since become ubiquitous in the pro peloton.
Several cyclists and teams have been outspoken in their opposition to the race radio ban for Stage 10 Tuesday and Stage 13. The UCI effort to use “traditional” radio technology is thought to be a compromise between those fans who wish to completely eliminate the technology and the teams who benefit from electronic communication.
English translation of the L’Equipe article on the technology restriction here.