On yer bike and in yer face

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cookson AFP UCI cycling president Brian Cookson wants to put cameras on bikes to capture the emotions on riders' face during races. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini

Paris – International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson said he is mulling over the idea of installing cameras on professional racers’ bicycles to bring fans closer to their heroes.

Already, Belgian broadcaster Sporza have experimented with dashboard cameras in certain team vehicles at Gent-Wevelgem and Sunday’s Tour of Flanders with great success.

It is one of the few recent cycling innovations to have received almost universal approval, capturing the emotions of the sports directors and team officials at key moments in the races, as well as hearing first hand some of the orders barked out at riders.

Now Cooksen wants to extend that trial to putting cameras on bikes looking at a rider’s face during a race.

“We need to embrace innovation and sell our sport,” said Cooksen.

“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.

“Imagine being able to share the view of Chris Froome as he rode up Mount Ventoux or came up the Champs-Elysees to win last summer’s Tour de France.

“And why stop at cameras – what about having microphones on bikes or sharing rider data on screen.”

Such innovations have worked well in sports like rugby, where the referee has a microphone and television spectators can hear his exchanges with players, or Formula One where broadcasters can tune into radio contact between teams and their drivers. – Sapa-AFP

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