I begin by informing you that in 2008 I was convened to a meeting with the biggest producer of television images of cycling, France Television, and was told by senior executives clearly that if radios were retained in cycling and used as they were being used that the coverage of cycling on television would be reduced. I was given several examples of the reasons for this which I will go into later.
As for the reasons that pushed the UCI towards the progressive banning of earpieces, they are fairly obvious and above all well-known, so I will simply summarize them: return the rider to the centre of action, make him fully responsible for his strategy and evaluation of the situation during each phase of the race in order to avoid all outside control, which considerably reduces the unpredictable character of an event and therefore the thrill that our sport can offer to its millions of fans. Our sport is one of intelligence and physical ability with elements of chance thrown in.
The support of the media – particularly television – for this readjustment is a demonstration of the necessity to intervene on this point: the course of too many races is now a foregone conclusion, and this limits enormously the large scale visibility of cycling.