Having seen the piece by Joe Lindsey about the less than impressive coverage of cycle sport in the US, I responded saying it wasn’t all that great in France, that whilst it might be the land of the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix, the sports reporting isn’t always that good.
In response I had a few messages from French fans saying they often follow a lot of English-speaking media for their news, with one saying “if you’re a french cycling fan who can’t read english you get really poor information“. Then today I was reading French website slate.fr which tells of “the misery of the sports press“, pointing out how most newspapers hardly cover sport, yet alone cycling. Slate’s argument is that if you want sports news buy the excellent L’Equipe.
The French media does have sports radio and plenty of coverage on TV. But within this, there is not much cycling. It’s only in July that things go crazy. Cycling fans in France have some good internet sites like cyclismactu and velochrono and there are others. But in general, the keen cycling fan has to cast around the internet for their cycling news. I tend to scan the news from Italy, Spain, Belgium and Holland but there’s a huge amount available in English. A lot of the English news is based on foreign language stories, saving the English-speaker from picking over so many websites. It works the other way too of course.
Coverage of cycle sport is increasingly led by the what the French call “anglo-saxon” media. Gone are the days when a fan in Australia, America or Britain lost out to Europeans. English-speaking fans have never had it so good.
Thanks to the internet it’s possible to stay fully informed to the point where many fans in Europe head for British and American websites for their news, albeit the specialist online sites. Indeed for many Europe, English is fast becoming a requirement to keep up with all the news.