UCI to stream live footage from onboard cameras at track worlds

The UCI will stream live footage from onboard cameras during select events at next week’s track world championships in France

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The UCI will stream live footage from onboard cameras during select events at next week’s track world championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, the governing body announced Friday.

The event will mark the UCI’s first attempt at live streaming onboard footage, and is born of a partnership with Infront/HBS, a broadcast organization.

In order to ensure fairness, every rider’s bike will be equipped with the same camera and transmission equipment, in the events selected for live streaming. The cameras will be fixed under racers’ saddles, capturing footage pointing backward.

The UCI has been testing its equipment at the Sant-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome, and at its own velodrome at the UCI World Cycling Center. Following the first public test at worlds next week, the governing body plans to spread the use of the onboard cameras to other events on the UCI International Track Cycling Calendar.

“The UCI wishes to increase cycling’s appeal among the fans,” said UCI president Brian Cookson. “We already introduced cameras and geo-localization at the UCI road world championships in Ponferrada, and have also carried out camera tests at the UCI cyclocross 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,” Cookson said.

Live onboard camera footage was successfully streamed in Australia earlier this year, but that event also took place on a closed course — albeit one much larger than a velodrome. Moving the technology to the open road presents a host of technical and logistical problems that have yet to be solved.

The UCI provided the following teaser video as an example of onboard camera footage:

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