Goodbye to the Tour helicopter?

Road 13/03/24 17:30 Migue A.

The realization of the Tour de France by the French public television France Télévisions is being considered, after the experiment carried out during the team time trial of the recent Paris-Nice, to incorporate drones more intensively in their broadcasts for the next edition of the Grande Boucle.

Television networks look favorably on the use of drones for broadcasts

A new way of watching road cycling seems to be on the horizon, at least that is what can be inferred from the statements of the broadcast director of FranceTV, the French public television that produces the signal of the Tour de France and other races organized by ASO such as the recently disputed Paris-Nice.

Obviously, drones, at least in the short term, are not going to replace the use of helicopters in races, if only for the autonomy and range of action of helicopters, which also serve as repeaters for the television signal generated by the motorcycles along with an airplane that usually flies at a higher altitude to provide full visibility of the television signal.

However, drones provide a new perspective in broadcasts and an extra dose of dynamism in the shots as we could see in the spectacular images during the team time trial of Paris-Nice or, just over a year ago, in the time trial of O Gran Camiño, a pioneer in using drones in a road cycling event.

A modality that discovers the possibilities that drones can bring to broadcasts as they have been taking advantage of in mountain bike or cyclocross events where these devices literally fly into the circuit following the cyclist, providing a unique perspective of the race.

It is unlikely that we will see such close approaches over a road peloton due to the risk that a drone failure could pose, however, these devices are capable of getting much closer than helicopters, adding versatility to the shots.

FranceTV is considering using drones in the two time trials included in the next edition of the Tour de France, the second of which will feature the spectacular landscapes of the French Riviera as a unique setting. The other option they are considering for their use is the stage with dirt sections in Troyes. In any case, a meeting between the producers of the French television, ASO, and the UCI is pending to determine where they could be used and how to do so in a way that ensures the safety of riders and spectators.



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