On-bike cameras are a no-brainer for the sport’s broadcast future, but we’ve known that for years.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:38 PM

The dynamism provided by small cameras allows race perspectives an audience could once have only dreamed of, but are now more accessible than ever.

GoPro have led the way. Their Hero HD cameras have revolutionised the camera industry and been heavily embraced by several other sports, and indeed, other disciplines within cycling. Road cycling, and the UCI, however have struggled to go with the times. Existing rules ban the use of on-bike cameras, a rule that has equally perplexed and frustrated broadcast innovators.

Not that the blame can rest only with them. ASO's Tour de France broadcast hasn't evolved significantly in the last 20 years, a stagnation that is doing unnecessary damage to the marketability of the sport - the same can be said of RCS.

But a recent series of experiments by the UCI and broadcaster IMG in allowing cameras to be equipped to bikes at the Tours of California and currently running Tour de Suisse might well be a sign that things are, finally, moving in the right direction.

The footage is game-changing.

It's not just how close the cameras bring the viewer to the action, right amongst the hustle and bustle, but what it exposes of the heat-of-the-moment rider communication that we often miss from cameras perched on motorbikes and indeed choppers.



Right, left. Slow. I'm off. Slow. GO. GO. GO!

It injects a whole new level of drama to a sprint, previously unseen but for those involved directly.

The possibilities of extending this technology are endless. Descents, the moment an attack is launched on a climb… Crashes… Punctures. Team conversations.

Imagine watching Quintana's descent off the top of the Stelvio - from his perspective.

Cavendish doing his thing, a last launch off the wheel of Mark Renshaw, threading an impossible gap - from the stem.

Contador and Froome staring at each other on the last kilometre of Hautacam - with a helmet cam.

Chills. Spine.

And while footage like that below is brilliant to watch after the fact —



— It's the possibilities for LIVE broadcasts that really excite me, and are the obvious natural next step.

If road cycling is to move into the 21st century and extend its commercial reach, organisations like the UCI and ASO need to embrace this technology totally.

The potential is huge. The technology is there. Let's just roll it out already.