Tour de France 2019: Race director Christian Prudhomme wants to ban power meters
The Frenchman said the technology ‘annihilates the glorious uncertainty of sport’
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Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme said he wants to ban power meters to ensure more ‘uncertainty’ in cycling.
The Frenchman reiterated his disdain for the technology while unveiling the 2019 Tour de France route in Paris on Thursday.
His comments about Tour organiser ASO’s desires to remove power meters from the sport were met with large applause from the crowds.
>>> Tour de France 2019 route revealed: Five summit finishes to celebrate 100th anniversary of the yellow jersey
Speaking in front of current and retired pros amongst others from the cycling world, Prudhomme said: “We assert our desire to see the end of power meters in races, that annihilate the glorious uncertainty of sport.
“So we’d like to get rid of those power meters.”
The controversy over power meters has rolled on in recent years, in part due to the Grand Tour dominance of Team Sky.
According to some, power meters negatively impact racing as pros measure their attacks and steadily chase down those racing on instinct.
Team management weighed in on the debate last year, with Quick-Step Floors boss Patrick Lefevere and Team Sky directeur sportif Nicolas Portal agreeing that the technology does not change the racing.
That has not stopped Prudhomme, who has directed the Tour since 2007, from calling for meters to be banned.
While announcing the Tour route, Prudhomme gave further details of the organiser’s intentions for the race.
>>> Power meters: everything you need to know
He said: “Our desire is not to make things harder but to vary things. The Tour is climbing very high – there will be less HC climbs.
“However, there will be more second category climbs. Medium mountains where the race will be harder to control will be well present.
“We’ll keep the bonus points with bonus seconds to be gained systematically in climbs – eight in total, so an invitation to attack and gain seconds.”
Prudhomme added that Tour organisers would consult with the UCI about the possibility of increasing the number of bonus seconds handed out at mountain summits.
The 2019 Tour will be raced over 3,460km starting in Brussels, Belgium, with five rolling hilly stages, one team time trial and one individual, seven mountain stages and five summit finishes.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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