The inaugural Women’s Tour of Scotland was organised by events management company Zeus Events. It attracted riders from 18 nations, competing for 16 teams, including 4 national teams. It is the first women’s only tour and offers parity of prize money equivalent to a men’s race from day one. In terms of the media, the print, digital and radio coverage of the inaugural tour reached over 6 million people in nearly 100 countries.
Motorola Solutions was a tour partner and sponsor. Firstly, in conjunction with trusted partner Roadphone NRB, it provided a MOTOTRBO™ digital two-way radio RF linked system for the event, to enable easily coordinated communications for the race. Secondly, it also sponsored the race’s red sprinter’s jersey, a colour associated with its previous cycling jerseys. Winners of the Motorola Solutions Queen of the Sprints Jersey were Scotland’s Neah Evans, Australia’s Brodie Chapman and America’s Leah Thomas, who was presented with her jersey by Motorola Solutions’ John Charlton. Leah went on to win the whole event, with a clinical sprint to cap off a frantic finish in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park.
“As a major sporting event organiser, one of the key priorities is to ensure both athletes and spectators are safe, and, in order to achieve that, we sought a reliable communication solution. As a leader in the critical communications industry, together with a long history of supporting international cycling events, Motorola Solutions seemed like the perfect fit for the task. Indeed, Motorola Solutions was the first organisation in cycling history to provide radio communications between the peloton and the teams, redefining the sport; and it is breaking new ground again, by becoming communications partner and key sponsor for the inaugural Women’s Tour of Scotland, the first major women’s only international event. The support Motorola Solutions has provided has been absolutely fantastic; and the service and delivery we’ve received from Motorola Solutions trusted partner Roadphone NRB was also impeccable. We look forward to a long-term partnership with both companies.”
Roadphone NRB has been working with Motorola Solutions for over 50 years and is a Motorola Solutions Platinum Reseller. Roadphone NRB specialises in the provision of two-way radio communications and, from its base in Bourne, South Lincolnshire, it hires out high-quality temporary systems to some of the largest and most prestigious events in the UK and Europe.
Commissioned with deploying the radio system for the Women’s Tour of Scotland, Roadphone NRB needed to design a solution that would operate smoothly and give continuous high-quality coverage along a rolling event, with support vehicles travelling at speeds of up to 60km/h. Additional challenges to be considered included the sometimes mountainous and extremely remote terrain along the race route, the large gaps that can open up between the leaders and the back of the race and, of course, the Scottish weather.
Roadphone NRB supplied a hired MOTOTRBO system comprising four MOTOTRBO SLR 5500 repeaters enabled with MOTOTRBO Link and 150 digital radios. Roadphone NRB’s engineering department set to work designing bespoke roof racks to safely mount the antennas on the cars housing the four MOTOTRBO SLR 5500 repeaters, which were connected via RF backhaul using MOTOTRBO RF Link technology, to increase rolling coverage.
Roadphone NRB worked in very close collaboration with the tour, integrating well with the team and providing excellent service; the organisers, including seasoned race director Alan Rushton and route director Chris Naylor, had nothing but praise for how the system operated and for the Roadphone NRB’s team. Roadphone NRB spent several days on site prior to the start, installing the system and radios, and training and setting up talk groups – one for organisers, one for Radio Tour live race updates and messages. Every motorbike and car in the convoy was equipped with a radio, so the race and route director could communicate clearly with all involved, at all times. Race officials, team cars, marshals and assigned police officers could all communicate on the network.
The nature of major sporting events requires reliable communications, which allows organisers to keep both athletes and spectators safe. At this inaugural Women’s Tour of Scotland Motorola Solutions, once again, provided the technology to do just that; and, despite exceptionally heavy rainfall, mountainous terrain and the race really opening up on day two, with a 30km gap between leaders and the rear of the race, the MOTOTRBO system continued to work optimally.
Roadphone NRB played a key role in the success of the event and Matt Bostock, Project Manager from Roadphone NRB, summarises: “We were delighted to be able to support Motorola Solutions in providing radio communications for the inaugural edition of this event. Robust, reliable communications play a vital role in the success of cycling races, especially in poor weather conditions like we experienced in Scotland, where visibility is reduced. I’m incredibly proud of our team’s efforts; a combination of utilising new technology, the latest equipment and custom engineering solutions enabled us to deliver a system that exceeded our client’s expectations. We provided two vehicles in the convoy, each containing a repeater site, linked via RF backhaul, which enabled us to provide extended coverage of up to 30km across the race convoy. This event was one of the first deployments for MOTOTRBO Link, and I’m thrilled that this worked so successfully, providing a really resilient link between the two mobile repeater sites in tough terrain; we will definitely look to use the MOTOTRBO Link technology again. It was a pleasure to work with Zeus Events and the Women’s Tour of Scotland; we look forward to working with them again next year, as well as supporting more cycling races in the near future, including the UCI World Championships in Yorkshire.”