1. Team cars helping riders back onto their bikes after toilet breaks or mechanical problems
It doesn't confuse me. I guess in a sense it is a form of cheating, though i think that at the business end of the race, there is still no way a rider can get back in the peloton through taking a tow. It is also usually flagged by the commissaires who will allow it for a few hundred metres and then flash the headlights or beep the horn. Most other sports the game stops for injuries (football, rugby, safety car in motor racing) Of more concern to me, is the proximity of the motorbikes at the front, which are regularly chased down by attacking riders for shelter and a tow.
2. Unzipped Jerseys
Seems a bit pointless. I can hardly imagine cyclists riding without jerseys: for one they will burn, and for two, they will be chased down by Oxfam and force fed protein biscuits. It's not like they are doing it to show off rippling torsos. Perhaps not great for sponsors, but I've always enjoyed the "professionalism" at the end of the race when the lone breakaway looks around, zips up his jersey (used to put on his little cotton cap, with the peak turned up) and shows off the sponsors.
I'd rather football fans were forced to wear tops. The sight of 20-odd stone Geordies chanting and wibbling their bellies has always been quite off putting. Also, I don't think it was banned in football because it "didn't look nice", but because the players were often showing messages on their undershirts (sometimes political), or, in the case of Diego Furlan, because it always took him too long to get the shirt back on again.
3. Race Radios
They’ve been looked upon as zombies, no brains, for years, and all the credit for tactics has been given to the team managers in the car. I wouldn’t have liked to have had people thinking all my results and tactical skills had come from the car behind.
Inclined to agree with him on this one, though I am not close enough to the sport to see how much difference it makes. Intuitively I feel that a DS watching the race from a car can easily talk tactics and (e.g.) tell the leader when/how to attack. I know there is the safety argument, but again I'm not close enough to know that Bruyneel is telling Lance about bollards two kilometres further down the road....
What do others think? Are these pressing issues? Vaughters disagrees:
Because of the unique nature of cycling and drafting, if you're out of the draft you can't get back in - it can't be compared with other sports. You can't call a time out if someone gets hurt or has a puncture. Because we can't, we have to be able to adjust for those mishaps on the fly, and one way we can do that is to allow riders to use the caravan
FWIW, his key issues seem to be:
2. Rider retirements and pensions
3. UCI Points system
I think his issues are much less trivial than Roche