Riders will be allowed to use earpiece radios for Friday’s 13th stage of the Tour de France, after the UCI over-turned its rule allowing the race organisers to ban the technology as part of a two-day experiment.

On Tuesday, riders were not able to communicate directly with their team cars and although there was no formal protest, there was obviously an agreed go-slow as they dawdled from Limoges to Issoudun.

Despite a tailwind, the average speed was only 40kph, one kilometre per hour slower than the slowest anticipated time schedule published by the organisers.

Riders and their teams had been disappointed that ASO and the UCI imposed the ban on technology which has become commonplace in recent years.

Citing concerns over safety, the riders objected to the ban, but also to the way it was implemented, without, they said, proper consultation or enough warning.

But instead of embarrassing the race with a sit-down protest or by stopping on the route as the peloton had in Milan during the Giro d’Italia, in protest at unsafe racing conditions, the bunch agreed to ride at a leisurely pace.

At one point each team put two riders on the front of the bunch, rolling through to share the pace-setting work, but it looked staged.

In the end, the pace did hot up and Mark Cavendish won the sprint.

But, as www.cyclingweekly.co.uk first reported on Tuesday, it was widely anticipated that the experimental ban on radios would be dropped for Friday’s stage.

The UCI’s management committee decided to reinstate the radios to end the controversy, but said that the debate on appropriate use of the technology in cycling would continue.



Tour de France 2009 – the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.


Stage 11: Cavendish takes fourth win to equal Hoban’s record

Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win

Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire

stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out

Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance

Stage six: Millar’s brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs

Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage

Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second

Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage

Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador

Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint

Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial


Tour de France 2009 News Index>>

Arvesen out of Tour with fractured collarbone

Tour analysis: Why the go slow did cycling no favours on Bastille Day

Cavendish’s odd stage 10 finish celebration explained

No radios today, but experiment could be a one-off

Tour audio: Mark Cavendish after stage 10

Contador brushes aside talk of Armstrong conflict

Cavendish odds-on favourite for Bastille Day victory

The Tour de France Comment: Monday, July 13

How the favourites are doing (first rest day)

Wiggins stays with leaders at Tour

Armstrong: ‘If Contador wins, I’ll be second’

Wiggins ‘on cloud nine’ at Tour de France

Armstrong says Contador attack wasn’t in the plan

Cavendish survives the first Tour mountain stage with ease

Wiggins, the Tour de France overall contender, has arrived


Garmin-Slipstream’s HQ before the Tour

David Zabriskie’s time trial bike

Mark Cavendish on the Tour’s team time trial

David Brailsford interview

Mark Cavendish on the Tour

Jonathan Vaughters on Bradley Wiggins’ chances


Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four TTT photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Andy Jones

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Team presentation by Andy Jones

Team presentation by Graham Watson


Tour de France 2009 – the hub

Tour de France 2009: Who’s riding

Tour de France 2009: Team guide

About the Tour de France


Tour de France 2009: Who will win?

Tour de France 2009 on TV: Eurosport and ITV4 schedules

Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France

Tour de France anti-doping measures explained

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Cycling Weekly’s rider profiles


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