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 LINKS

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STAGE REPORTS



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

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TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 PHOTOS



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



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