No radios in Tour de France stage 10

Teams still against ban, but agree to race

A teams' protest over the banning of race radios for the 10th stage of the Tour de France failed to prompt any kind of action before the start on Tuesday.

Organisers, following agreement with the International Cycling Union (UCI), have banned the all-important race radios which allow team managers to talk to their riders throughout the race for two stages this year.

Fourteen of the race's 20 teams launched a protest, however Tour organisers and the UCI have stood firm and so far refused offers of a compromise.

The banning of race radios on stage 13, however, is still up in the air.

Garmin team manager Jonathan Vaughters, one of the few managers in the peloton to have "no strong feelings" about the issue, is the president of the international cycling teams' representative body.

Vaughters told AFP before the start of Tuesday's stage the issue did not particularly bother him, but he hoped the UCI would overturn the initial decision and allow teams to race with radios for Friday's stage from Vittel to Colmar.

"Of course we're hoping there's a reconsideration by the management committee of the UCI by Friday," he said. "But we'll have to see on Friday, I don't know just yet."

Because it is the first stage since the Pyrenees which heads into the mountains, of the Vosges region, the absence of radios could, in theory, benefit the teams hoping to distance the powerful Astana team of Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong.

Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel has been one of the most vociferous protesters against the banning of race radios.

© AFP 2009

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