Cycling News

Visma – LAB ‘control room van” banned from Tour de France

Visma - Lease a Bike to have mobile ‘control room’ at Tour

Well that didn’t take long. Before the start of Stage 1, the ASO–the organizers of the Tour de France–said sorry man, no van, to Visma – Lease a Bike.

The van is a joint effort between the title sponsor Visma, a business software company, and BetCity, a Dutch online sports betting provider. It uses technology to analyze real-time data during the stages. It is then relayed to the team cars in the caravan. This data includes TV footage, weather information, and race radio to optimize race decisions. Visma’s data collection and visualization, combined with BetCity’s “insights,” provide an additional tool for the staff during the race.

Non, says ASO

However, before the start of the race, the ASO said, “The Team Visma-Lease a Bike ‘control room’ vehicle shall not be authorized within any of the premises of the event and shall therefore not bear a vehicle accreditation.

After Visma announced the van, the UCI was quick to say they would be looking into it.

UCI was already looking into the van

“Our priority is to maintain the integrity of the sport, ensuring sporting fairness, equitable access to technology and the primacy of man over machine,” the UCI stated.

A day later, and the ASO was quick to kibosh the van. When it was announced, head of performance Mathieu Heijboer commented. “We are very happy that we were able to develop the Control Room with our innovative partners. It allows us to collect and analyze even more live data and get a better overview of the race,” he said. “This will enable us to support the coaches in the car.  And help them make the best possible tactical decisions faster.”

Visma says team should be allowed to use it

Upon hearing the news that the UCI would be looking into it, CEO Richard Plugge was not impressed and said they were doing nothing wrong.

“We are not breaking any rules. We use publicly available information for the control room,” he said to Wielerflits. “We are not in any way entering a grey area, we are making the work of the team leaders safer. We will inform the UCI, and they are of course more than welcome to come and take a look.”

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…