Partnering with Infront Sports and Media and its broadcast subsidiary HBS, the UCI plans to attach cameras to the bikes of certain riders and broadcast from the in-race perspective over all five days of the championships in Paris.
The cameras will be fixed under the seats of the riders, filming the action from behind, and in the interest of fairness, will be placed on the bikes of all participants of each event the cameras are used in.
Cycling’s governing body said it had been carrying out tests at its velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland, replicating the conditions that the cameras will need to operate in during the track champs.
If all goes well, the UCI says that it plans to expand the idea to other track cycling events in the near future.
While recorded on-bike footage has become quite frequent in road racing, it’s still currently not possible to broadcast the images live due to the difficulties of signal transmission.
The live broadcast on the track comes after several statements by UCI president Brian Cookson that he is keen to innovate the way cycling is shown on TV to increase its appeal to a wider audience And Cookson believes that the track champs will be an important step towards making that happen.
“The UCI wishes to increase cycling’s appeal among the fans,” he said. “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.”
The UCI Track Cycling World Championships take place in Saint- Quentin-en-Yvelines, France between February 18 – 22. You can keep up with all the latest new on our dedicated page here.