Team cars open door to TV for Tour of Flanders
Heinrich Haussler at the team car, Paris-Nice 2011, stage one
In a bid to prove the worth of rider radios, several team cars in tomorrow's Tour of Flanders will be fitted with cameras and microphones that will allow TV coverage of the interaction between riders and their sports directors.
In a move that race organisers Flanders Classics are claiming is a first, the cars of Leopard-Trek, Quickstep, Omega Pharma, Garmin and Saxo Bank will all be fitted with broadcast equipment. Images and sound from each team car will be beamed to a relay aircraft flying above the race and then cut into live coverage.
As a WorldTour event, Flanders is an event in which use of rider radios is currently permitted. Teams have heavily objected to a ban on radios in lower ranking races, a regulation that the UCI intend to extend across the board in 2012.
Flanders Classics say the new venture which mimics Formula One style TV coverage is the result of intense collaboration with the teams.
"They are still convinced that modern means of communication when used properly can make cycling more attractive," read a press release. "They hope this novelty can contribute to future constructive discussions on communication in cycling."