Federico Bahamontes: Team radio is hurting cycling
Feb 08 2017 06:45 am CET

Federico Bahamontes: Team radio is hurting cycling
Federico Bahamontes: Team radio is hurting cycling

Former Tour de France champion Federico Bahamontes spoke about the disadvantages of modern cycling and the current state of the sport in his native Spain.

After the death of French rider Roger Walkowiak, the Spaniard became the oldest Tour de France winner alive and in an interview with sports radio Marca in his home country he gave his opinion on the way he sees the sport in the 21st century.

Bahamontes believes that races should go back to the basics and be based more on attacks and less on tactics. "The team radio that the directors use during races is hurting cycling a lot," he said.

"It is ruining all the sport because now they just tell the riders: 'don't attack, just stay there and don't show your face'. How can you finish a race at 3 or 4 seconds behind the leader until almost the end?"

The former champion also remembers the training that used to be done when he was a rider and believes that Grand Tour candidates should start the season a little later to have fewer kilometers in the legs than the ones that start in the first months of the year.

During the interview, he also showed his concern about the near future and the lack of young Spanish talents to take the place of those that have recently retired or will do so in the next few years. "When Contador, Purito and Valverde are gone, how many new riders are there? We have to start to develop riders from early age otherwise in the near future we will miss them. If we don't start building up with the young ones, Spanish cycling is going to finish," he concluded.
Photo of Federico Bahamontes (cropped) by Dutch National Archives, The Hague - License: Cc-by-sa 3.0