Italian ProTeam to ban power meters during races for 2020 season

The team manager said some riders had become 'obsessed' with numbers during races

Vini Zabù - KTM, formerly known as Neri Sottoli - Selle Italia KTM (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Italian team Vini Zabù - KTM, formerly known as Neri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM, has decided to ban riders power meters and heart rate monitors during races this coming season.

The ProTeam squad, the new name for UCI Pro-Continental teams, has said some of their riders had become "obsessed" with the numbers side of their performances and wanted to give them greater freedom during races.

"We have banned them," team manager Luca Scinto told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Many riders were obsessed with the numbers and were influenced. I'm done with it, I want them to be able to ride around freely. It is good to use the meters during training, because then you can improve yourself."

Scinto elaborated that the decision has partly come from what he was hearing from his riders during races. "I was fed up when I heard 'I was doing 400 watts but still lost' and 'I am not putting out more than 300 watts so I have had a bad day' and 'my heart rate is not going up, so I am tired'," he said.

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While not everyone in the squad agreed with the decision, the team's most notable rider Giovanni Visconti, who has previously won two stages of the Giro d'Italia, agreed with the call to dispense with the technology.

"I don't want to lead robots, but riders who listen to their bodies and can control themselves," Scinto added. "I know there will be some dissatisfaction in the beginning, and there has already been some, but our leader Visconti immediately agreed with me. We are heading this way with conviction."

Previous riders of note who have raced with the team include Dayer Quintana, Nairo's brother who transferred alongside the Grand Tour winner to Arkéa-Samsic, Daniel Martínez (EF Pro Racing) and Alessandro Petacchi.

Italian sprinter Petacchi ended his career with the team, retiring for a second time after the Giro d'Italia in 2015. In August 2019 he was given a two-year doping ban in connection with Operation Aderlass.

Vini Zabù - KTM will start their 2020 season at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina on January 26. They will then return to their home Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia, in May after they didn't receive a wildcard spot in 2019.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.