During Thursday’s 2019 Tour de France route announcement, race director Christian Prudhomme appealed to the UCI to ban power meters. Perceived by Prudhomme as removing the “uncertainty” of bike racing, Tour organizer ASO are requesting the UCI ban the use of power meters. The hope would be banning power meters would liven up racing to make it more exciting with riders racing on feel rather than data.
ASO putting in request to UCI to prohibit use of power meters says Christian Prudhomme #TDF2019
— Peter Cossins (@petercossins) October 25, 2018
“We assert our desire to see the end of power meters in races, that annihilate the glorious uncertainty of sport,” Prudhomme said during the unveiling for the 2019 course. “So we’d like to get rid of those power meters.”
Power meters have become a point of contention in recent years, in part because of their extremely successful deployment by teams like Sky. The British outfit has dominated the Tour de France in recent years winning six of the past seven editions of the French Grand Tour.
“Our desire is not to make things harder but to vary things. The Tour is climbing very high – there will be less HC climbs,” Prudhomme said about designing a course for 2019 that would make the outcome less predictable. “However, there will be more second category climbs. Medium mountains where the race will be harder to control will be well present.”
Sky have become notorious for setting a relentless tempo on climbs during the Tour to deter attacks and whittle down their opponents. With the use of power meters, attacks are arguably more measured and domestiques steadily bring back attackers with calculated efforts.
The ASO are trying to disrupt this format of racing. “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 said about the route.
The announced route includes five summit finishes, seven mountain stages, a team time trial and only one individual time trial.