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Tour de France may feature "bikecams"

Cycling bosses consider whether to install cameras on riders' bicycles during races

FANS of the Tour de France could soon get even closer to the action, as cycling’s bosses are considering whether to install cameras on riders’ bicycles during races.

International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson said he is mulling over the idea.

He said: “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.”

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 Mr Cookson 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,” he said in a UCI statement.

“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.

“And why stop at cameras? What about having microphones on bikes or sharing rider data on screen?”

Similar 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.

The stages of the 2014 Tour de France - which runs from Saturday July 5 to Sunday July 27, takes in 21 stages and covers a distance of 3,656km are listed here.

© AFP/Connexion

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