On Friday night, I started a conversation on Twitter with Matt Haughey of Metafilter and A Whole Lotta Nothing fame. When I worked at Six Apart I worked with a lot of his personal friends, but he doesn't really know me.
What I asked him about was use of wearables in Pro Cycling. I thought he would have an idea of what the current rules are because he is a big cycling fan, probably rides more than I do right now, etc. (Just in case the UCI doesn't answer my inquiries because they have even less of an idea of who I am than Matt does.)
Anyway, Matt gave me a lot of information that I was not aware of. Let's start with a YouTube video he showed me from Stage 1 of this year's Amgen Tour of California, which shows Team Giant-Shimano rider John Degenkolb sprinting. The stage was ultimately won by Mark Cavendish. Amazing stuff.
Matt also said that the UCI relaxed the ban on use of GoPros and other mountable / wearable cameras recently. I haven't been able to find that info in the UCI rules, and that's why I am inquiring with UCI media relations.
The other thing he told me is that the Giant-Shimano Pro Cycling Team is running a new Shimano camera which is not a GoPro-branded product.
@daveaiello The Giant/Shimano boys are running new Shimano cameras, not GoPros as far as I know.-- Matt Haughey (@mathowie) June 21, 2014
This is confirmed in some of the titles embedded in the YouTube video clip attached to this article.
The camera they are using is a Shimano Sport Camera, which I've never seen in person before. According to Velonews, this camera was announced in February and is supposed to have been released for sale to the public in May. A third party seller has it currently available on Amazon.com for about $375.00. The camera is so new, I haven't had time to find out who else sells it.
This exchange, and the information that I was able to uncover as a result, make me wonder what camera was used to capture the video from Stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse that we discussed in a previous article. I assume that every video I see of this type is coming from a GoPro, but that may not be a safe assumption anymore.
I think this is fantastic information, and it will definitely help me get a lot more knowledgeable about things that we might see in the upcoming Tour de France. Thanks to Matt Haughey for his time, and for sharing what he already knew.