Insiders Notes – Pro Cycling – Stage 3 Vail

by fans of Pro Cycling

The Technical Director of USA’s Pro Cycling race in Vail last week – is Charles Hodge.  Charles is also a licensed Ham Radio operator (N4CRH).  Charles borrowed ECT contributor Clayton Moore’s portable Ham Radio to pass on a hello, before the race, to all the local Ham’s listening to the Repeater on Vail, Mountain – 146.610Mhz.

Pictured above (click on photo to zoom in) is one of the many motorcycles that have a HDTV camera and a microwave transmitter mounted on the back of the bike.  The microwave transmitter sends its signal to a (fixed wing and or helicopter) aircraft overhead.  Charles said the aircraft “just files doughnuts” above the race all day.  Charles continued – the cost of the fixed wing aircraft is much less than a helicopter because the fixed wing can “loiter” for much longer than a helicopter.  Charles said the Le Tour de France has a ‘fleet of helicopters’ running into the millions to operate them for the 3 weeks of the French tour.  Charles also reported their Pro Cycling fixed wing aircraft had problems with icing during Stage two – circling above Independence Pass (12,095ft.).  The frequent HDTV (freeze/pixilation) problem was caused by a loss of signal from the ground to the overhead aircraft back to the ground.  Charles admitted that using helicopters (in general) cuts down on the number of times the TV loses it’s signal.

ECT wishes to congratulate USA Pro Cycling Champion Levi Leipheimer

Levi – it turns out took the lead in the Pro Cycling Championship here in Vail, during the individual time trials – then went on from there to hold his lead  for the next three days and win the event!

Exclusive Photos – from the Championship’s stop in Vail last week!

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