Mixed reception as Tour de France proposes broadcast of team radio conversations

Tour de France 2022 final classification winners
Tour de France 2022 final classification winners (Image credit: Getty)

Tour de France organisers ASO have proposed to this year’s participating teams that their race radio conversations be made public, according to Ouest-France.

The French newspaper reports that multiple teams have accepted the proposal but others, like Groupama-FDJ manager Marc Madiot, have rejected the idea.

If the project goes ahead, radio conversations during all the stages of the 2023 Tour de France would enable the public to hear selected samples of conversations between riders and teammates as well as their conversations with the team car.

As part of the deal and to preserve other teams from eavesdropping on 'live' conversations, the radio exchanges would apparently be broadcast with a time delay, having first been monitored by team officials.

This innovation was already a part of coverage of last year's Tour de France Femmes, and the idea has reportedly brought majority support from men's teams, though not all are convinced. Groupama-FDJ team manager Marc Madiot was vigorously opposed to the idea, Ouest-France reported.

"Can you imagine we’d reveal our conversations on TV? ," Madiot told the newspaper.

"Do you really conceive a TV camera being allowed to film a football team trainer giving his players their half-time instructions.”

On the other hand, Jean-René Bernadeau of TotalEnergies was far more open to the idea, saying “we have nothing to hide, so we’re ok with this.”

His sports director Benoît Génauzeau was equally positive, saying “that forms part of the evolution of our sport, and I don’t think this will give away any secrets. It will be screened [before being broadcast], I can work with this.” 

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.