Joining the rest of broadcast sport, the UCI will introduce the use of onboard cameras in its live broadcast of the 2015 UCI World Track Championships, in Paris.
By
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

The move, which follows sports like Formula One, and the MotoGP, comes after a long period of trialling from broadcast partner InFront/HBS. The biggest issue to be overcome was the technical challenge of mounting a transmitter on a bike, light, and discrete enough to have no impact on a competitor's ability to handle their bike.

With the aerodynamics of the bikes finely tuned, the cameras will be rear-facing rather than forward, set behind the seat post.

According to the UCI, "the images captured by the cameras during the UCI Track Cycling World Championships will be broadcast live on the big screen at the National Velodrome and by the event's up to 30 broadcasters."

It's hoped that this will open the way for more extensive use of onboard technology in the next 12 months, including in the WorldTour. Onboard cameras have already been trialled extensively in "non-live" settings last season, and the footage has been well-received, but the integration of the footage live would add another dimension to existing broadcasts.


Onboard with Luke Rowe last year as part of the Revolution Track Series.

Creating a more dynamic cycling product has been a big part of UCI President Brian Cookson's vision for the UCI. Speaking after the announcement, he said the move marked a major step forward for cycling broadcasts.

"The UCI wishes to increase cycling's appeal among the fans. We already introduced cameras and geo-localisation at the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, and have also carried out camera tests at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup.

"Now we will offer the public at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and television and Internet viewers throughout the world the chance to experience track racing live from the inside for the first time. This is important and exciting progress for the track and also for cycling as a whole, which will benefit from these technological innovations."

SBS will broadcast the 2015 UCI Track World Championships from Thursday 19 to Monday 23 February on SBS2 and online at Cycling Central.