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USA Cycling switches course, bans radios at NRC events

By Steve Frothingham • Published

USA Cycling on Tuesday reversed course and announced it would ban race radios at national level events, including National Racing Calendar and national championship events.

The organization said the decision was made “based on concerns raised by cycling’s international federation, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).”

“After consultation with the UCI, it is apparent that allowing race radios in domestic NRC races would negatively impact the UCI registered teams and riders who would no longer be allowed to compete in these events,” Bill Peterson, president of the USA Cycling board of directors said in a statement.

“The absence of UCI registered teams and riders would have a highly detrimental impact, not only on the team sponsors, but also on the hard working NRC promoters and the sponsors and communities who support these races.”

USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson said the organization remains “convinced of the value of race radios.” However, Johnson said “we will respect the UCI’s request to continue the ban of race radios in national calendar races and national championships.”

In an interview with VeloNews’ Andrew Hood, published earlier Tuesday, McQuaid charged that USA Cycling had been ‘hijacked’ by professional teams, including RadioShack, Garmin-Cervelo and HTC-Highroad. Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters and RadioShack’s Johan Bruyneel are both outspoken critics of the radio ban.

Vaughters told VeloNews that he had had no contact with USA Cycling officials in more than a year.

In the interview McQuaid told VeloNews that the UCI had sent a letter to USA Cycling informing them that the unilateral decision to allow radios was not allowed.

“USA Cycling must be in line with UCI rules,” he said. “UCI rules apply to all races. You cannot have a situation where a national federation makes its own rules. What if someone said they wanted to race without helmets? Or race without brakes?” McQuaid said. “USA Cycling simply cannot do what they have said and they have been informed.”

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