Cameras could be introduced to the professional bike races to give TV viewers a rider’s eye view of action inside the peloton, the president of the UCI has suggested.
Speaking at the Sport Accord Convention in Turkey, UCI president Brian Cookson said cycling needs to follow the trend set by football and rugby of allowing on-field cameras to enrich the viewing experience of the sport.
Cookson said: “One of the biggest challenges – not just for cycling, but for many sports – is the need to evolve while staying true to the essence of your sport. How do you progress and embrace innovation in order to make the spectator and viewer feel even more engaged?
“We will look at technology, such as cameras on bikes and in team cars, to see how they can be used to enhance the viewer experience,” Sky reported.
Flanders Classics, the race organiser behind events such as the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem, has put cameras in the team cars.
Broadcasters have been working on in-race, telemetry to provide TV viewers with a richer experience of the action too. Last year, BikeRadar revealed that the Euromedia Group, a sports broadcasting specialist, was working on a project to provide real-time data on cyclists in the peloton at the Criterium du Dauphine. Further trials with the small GPS transmitters fitted to riders’ bikes was carried out at Paris-Tours, a late season Classic in October.
The trial was declared a success. However today, Bruno Gallais, international business development manager at Euromedia told BikeRadar that the technology would not be rolled out this year.
“It’s still in discussion there is no plan to introduce a system at the Tour de France or anything like that.
“It’s something we working on because we strongly believe in it but we are looking for partners or UCI support, but it is still in discussion.”