A Trial To Watch

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Chris Froome Mont St Michel Tour de France

Time trials are crucial in the Tour de France. Yet for all their importance, watching a rider pedal solo rarely offers great TV. Barring a crash or puncture, the only action comes at the time checks and finish line meaning 95% of the video output features a rider tucked into an aero position, face masked by a visor. It’s like watching a metronome set to 90 bpm.

Can more be done to make a time trial more interesting on TV? The answer is yes, from low tech ideas all the way to telemetry and graphics software and other sports show the way.

When a duck swims across a pond all you see is the graceful floating action but underneath its feet are paddling furiously. Pro riders are the same, a time trial might look smooth but of course they’re at the limits of exhaustion. But if the effort is not obvious then it’s hard to relate to what is happening.

A time trial’s importance comes from the way it reshapes the GC, rather than a solo act it’s all about the relative performance. It’s why a pursuit race on the track is more exciting than a 4km time trial. On the road the only suspense comes when a rider approaches a time check or the finish line because this is when we see who is up and who is down. It’s this relativism that gives us a clue about improving the television production: the entertainment comes not from watching a lone ride but from seeing their performance relative to others. Sadly the only production technique in the last 10 years seems to be the concept of the “hot seat” where the rider with the fastest time is filmed waiting to see if someone can beat their time.

Tech Time
The concept of a time check on the course is very quaint. Passing a large clock on the route to get an intermediate time is something from the sports earliest days when a reporter might stand by the road to watch the race go by and then rush in to a café to send a report by telegram. Today we have better technology and surely don’t need two fixed points along the course to measure a rider’s speed? It’s possible to fit the course with timing mats to pick up the transponder every kilometre and measure pace this way. Better still, use GPS to measure progress in real time. With some software this would allow a virtual course to be screened where the rider’s position on the route could be mapped and plotted in relation to others. It’s like a swimming race where you see a bar on the screen to mark the world record pace or a car race video game where you can compete against a ghost image when trying to set a lap record on a circuit.

Telemetry is another area to explore as it helps tell the story. Showing on-screen graphics can help us see what is happening. Now I suspect the kind of people who make it to a cycling blog would like to see a TV-screen version of an SRM display, plus live info on what gear the rider is using. However, remember most viewers have never used clipless pedals and physiological data is likely to confuse rather than inform.

Post-Race Analysis
With all the data another point of interest could be to see how the rider performed along the way. Who started fast? Who finished fast?

Blame The French?
Away from cycling and TV sports coverage in France is basic and has evolved little since the 1970s when Robert Chapatte commented on the race. Amusingly presenters still rely on those giant microphones that vanished elsewhere during the 1980s. Whether it’s football, tennis, rugby or more, live images get commentary but there’s rarely any pre-match analysis or post game debate so the idea of analysis and deploying graphics and data would be a leap to make. Also I think the first time I saw a virtual yellow jersey on-screen graphic when Cadel Evans took yellow from Andy Schleck in Grenoble in 2011. In fact time trials all over the world seem to get the same treatment, the Giro offered split screen images but this was meaningless, just two smaller images of men pedalling without the context of speed.

However other sports don’t have this problem. Motorsport can make qualifying for Formula 1 more interesting although this involves an ever-changing because a lap takes just two minutes. But cross-country skiing is experienced in making the suspense happen over long distances and cycling needs to speak to its winter cousins.

Low tech ideas
Telemetry is expensive and on-screen graphics even more so, plus a real technical challenge for an event that takes place on the road rather than the confines of a defined stadium. But if some things are easier said than done, on a limited production budget there are still some things that could make the event more lively:

  • zoom in on the face of the rider. A helicopter shot rarely works but a close-up on the face of the rider or a close-up of their heaving chest as they breath can give a clue to the effort
  • replay technical aspects, for example film riders taking a sharp corner so we can see who has the best line
  • use a plain stopwatch to time the riders more often. Roads in France have bornes every kilometre which allows a follower on a motorbike to time their speed over a section with some precision rather than the cliché of pointing the camera at the motorbike’s vibrating speed dial
  • change the seeding of the race. Reverse GC has its logic but when Tony Martin sets the best time for hours, perhaps the world’s best TT riders should be placed with the best GC riders, a seeding done by the race. Or perhaps a rule that the reigning world champion is given a place amongst the final ten by default?

TV viewers get the rear view

Summary
A time trial might be a race against time but watching one on TV can be a waste of time. Yet the discipline is so important to a stage race that surely there are more compelling ways to tell the story?

Better production techniques can bring the race alive. This can start with simple things like more time checks but telemetry and computer graphics can help tell the story too and are surely the future. Other sports already do it, when will cycling change?

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{ 66 comments }

Russ July 10, 2013 at 7:33 pm

The change I’d like to see is to make the final time trial of a grand tour a pursuit – ala biathlon – where the leader goes first and the rest chase. If it was done with the top 20-30 riders we’d get to see positions determined on the road, and the gap expand and shrink as riders moved around the course.

But yes, graphics too. The graphics in cycling, in general, are pretty uninformative. A graphic of the route that showed where all groups were on the stage would be so much better than a time for some of the riders on the road.

Vanilla_Thrilla July 11, 2013 at 3:19 am

Best idea I’ve heard is the reverse time trial, maybe as the very last stage of a race.

All the also-rans go first but then the top 10, or top 20, go in reverse order, ie leader goes first, 20th goes last. Each rider starts after the time gap that they are behind the leader. Whomever finishes first wins the entire race.

To avoid team riding, have a no drafting rule – as with current TTs (or triathlon), with maybe a one warning system then a stop-go penalty for a clear drafting infringement (a la triathlon).

For a further twist, could allow drafting in the final kilometer, so effectively if you catch the leader in the last km it turns into a sprint finish. Imagine that, the TdF yellow jersey coming down to a sprint between the top 2 or 3 contenders on the Champs. Now that would be spectacular

Garuda July 12, 2013 at 8:52 am

Oh mein gott. That is pure genius. Vanilla thrilla for aso president

Brian July 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm

God forgive me for this, but how about sending out the GC guys closer together so it looked like a triathlon with the no drafting rules in place. They kind of ride in a group so you can tell who is dropping off the pace but not close enough for drafting? (No way in hell I realize)

The last interesting memorable TT in a grand tour was the one in the 2009 Giro. Road bikes basically, with some climbing and descending.

How about a 100km road bike only with a couple of decent sized climbs thrown in for a change?

Roadie61 July 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Yes, throw in more climbs and more descending and roads that have twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2011 prologue (I know, short and not a TT) in the Tour of Utah; very technical course at high elevation with technical turns and extreme terrain that was always changing. I prefer these type of prologues and shorter TTs that challenge the riders at the extremes of effort and skill. Not traditional in a Grand Tour, but isn’t change typically a good thing? Certainly for us viewers, it provides excitement over a short course, challenges the riders’ skills to extremes and leaves no room for boredom.

Because the riders start these short courses rather close together, the action is constant and we get
a very exciting “stage” that gives selective results. Ascending, descending, tight turns, steep climbing, elevation challenges to the lungs, lightning-quick decision-making by the riders to best navigate whatever comes next.

Short 2:19 video of Utah’s 2011 prologue — particularly watch after the first minute:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLsa_TrUO88

“…prologue that left legs fried, lungs burning…”

Russ July 11, 2013 at 10:00 am

One possibility would be to have two short TTs on the same day, where times are combined. Two 20min TTs with varied courses would add to the intrigue. If the first was used to seed the second all the contenders would come in as a bunch too.

Roadie61 July 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

More “up close and personal” shots of riders. As you say, show the heaving chest of a rider who is at his max heart rate…show his efforts that reflect in his face when he has gone anaerobic and giving it his all towards the finish line.

Motos with skilled cameramen who can hold a fairly still image for more than a few seconds. Show the riders’ pedaling cadence. Mix up the views — viewers are already somewhat bored by the status quo, so get creative, zoom in and give us close-ups from varying angles. And we know how much viewers love “eye candy.” Show us their kits, their components and their gear. At least it generates some interest while the rider is doing the same thing over and over and over on the flats of a TT course.

hahostolzem July 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I’d love to see more analysis of riding positions. For instance Mollema today was waggling on his saddle a lot, which looked uneconomical and inefficient, yet he rode a stellar time. I’d love to see more comparison of position and efficiency of paddle etc.

Dan July 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I would love telemetry: cadence, heart rate, watts. Yes, most viewers aren’t experts but everyone gets watts: more watts=more power. Easy to do, way to give SRM or Garmin more exposure.

Thank you for the Gérard Holtz picture. So very French.

Marty J July 10, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Like a car dashboard. No need to be a scientist.

Greg July 10, 2013 at 11:22 pm

In the past I have been told this sort of telemetry would give away too much to other teams. Sometimes SRM will release data after a stage, but it would be nice to see on screen. Even in motorsport coverage (F1 for example) the onscreen display of Revs is estimated based on a computer algorithm based on the sound of the engine, and nothing more. F1 teams guard all their telemetry and secrets far better than the NSA.

Tom July 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm

The way to make TTs exciting is seed the riders first then have them ride 2-up. One rider on the left side of the road and the other on the right. Head to head competition would do it.

bmj July 10, 2013 at 9:44 pm

This would be great, but I assume it would require the organizers to do quite a bit more homework on the parcours–overall distances could vary slightly depending on which lane you drew.

Charles July 11, 2013 at 1:30 am

It would also be very tricky on corners. How do you define what’s an acceptable line and, if both riders are together at the bend, it would be hugely advanteous to one rider and disadvantageous to the other

Goonie July 11, 2013 at 5:47 am

Make it a two-lap course with a crossover point, perhaps?

thetobyjug July 11, 2013 at 11:10 am

This is a great shout right here…

buffzilla July 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I believe that one of the writers for NYVelocity suggested that the starting time gaps for ITTs should be done according to the time gaps in GC. Sounds interesting.

The Inner Ring July 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

The problem with this is that today you’d could have Ten Dam ride with for Mollema, a 2-man team time trial. They do this in XC skiing but the team aspect is not as strong.

velofacts July 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

On the Post race analysis, here are the split times in a spreadsheet
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgdESEQ9OZAydEYyZXI0Q1d3Sklod01xckVsUGpOZkE#gid=0

Luddite July 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Ban TT bikes – everyone rides their regular mount
Ban race radios – no time checks allowed
Start time set by lottery except for top 10
Top 10 start at 30 sec intervals

Sergio July 10, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Ditto Ludite.

Even if the chances of a ban of TT bikes is slim to non-existent, no radio would make things a lot more interesting. NBC Sports showed today a cue sheet that OPQS had in its car. There over 50 different pieces of info, all related to the course and fed directly to Tony Martin (and others I suppose). If riders had to rely on their memories, and on their feel (not on the time checks relayed by radio), thing would be very different.

And the best TV there was today I didn’t get to see: someone throwing a bag of pee at Cavendish.

:P

RocksRootsRoad July 10, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Idiot.

A. Geller July 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Why not take it to the logical extreme. If advanced preparation and planning are bad, let’s not allow any at all. Don’t let the riders know the course before they’re on it. Maybe they can know the distance to help pacing, but they wouldn’t know the route or how hilly it is or if there are technical challenges. That way we could see who can improvise and adjust on course during the race.

Sergio July 10, 2013 at 11:34 pm

That is obviously not the point. Riders were always allowed to familiarize themselves with the course, but only fairly recently have they had the luxury of someone telling exactly what is coming up on the road.

Nick Evans July 11, 2013 at 11:27 am

That’s not really extreme. If you want extreme why not have a puzzle at each junction, and the riders only learn which way to go next when they solve it? There could even be a phone-a-friend/ask-the-audience option, to add to the viewer interest.

Luddite July 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm

UCK!!

Not to raise the race radio issue again, but it’s not just time trials. I am actually getting bored watching the inevitable catching of the day’s 3/4/5 man breakaway EXACTLY 4-5 Kms from the finish, followed by the a fairly (ex crashes) predictable sprint. Ban the radios and let the riders race on their wits and old fashioned tactics. The Tour’s offiical race radio can inform managers of any dangerous situations. This technology has spoiled cycle racing from the spectators pov.

RooBay July 12, 2013 at 5:59 am

+1.

All journalists who hear pros whining about banning race radios should put this point to the offending riders. Very hard to argue against this approach in my view.

Let’s introduce a bit more unpredictability back into racing – the Tour is already in danger of sliding back into being an Indurain-esq yawn fest.

Anonymous July 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Ban Carlton Kirby from commentary booths

The Ladder July 11, 2013 at 11:26 am

+1

Somebody needs to tell him to stop shouting into the microphone, we can hear him.

RooBay July 12, 2013 at 6:04 am

-1. I have to say that I don’t mind Kirby.

In any event, first cab off the rank has to be the Phil and Paul show.

Bundle July 11, 2013 at 11:55 am

More importantly: ban power-meters and heartrate monitoring.

BC July 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Agree that the TT is important in GTs. The major problem with any presentation is that whatever technical gizmos are employed, watching paint dry is never going to be exciting to the average viewer !

psd July 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Would love to see a figure of eight route devised that allowed riders to be sent off side by side (either by careful routing or a temporary bridge, to even out the difference between lanes) so that there’s an easy way to compare riders against each other, and an easily understood race with a race (rally racing does something similar).

Desmond July 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Erm….I like watching the individual tt just as it is. more graphics etc would be great, but I honestly enjoy siting watching each rider go out, the riding positions, gear, cadences etc.

Ok i need to get out more : )

STB July 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Time Trialling is an essential element of cycling sport and difficult to make interesting to the casual viewer in its pure form.

To make the broadcast interesting it needs a scenic/interesting course (like today), post ride interviews, maybe some filming from the team cars and chat with the DS during the TT. Good analysis, better use of telemetry. Maybe using a 2 or 3 lap circuit so static cameras can capture more of the riders from head on. Shorter TTs like today also keep the time gaps short and the interest higher. I would like to see accurate time checks every 1km so we can easily see how a rider is going, not just two intermediate checks.

Brenton July 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Run on a really narrow technical course, a la MTB! Thinking a bike path… Make it something where you need strong technical ability – not just about fitness. It should encompass finesse!

The TT should be won by the best bike RIDER, not the most efficient power producer.

The way it is is similar to them all sitting on a wind trainer with a computer calculating who is the most efficient.

The ‘unknown route’ idea is a great one! As is the 2-up race.

There’s so many ways to spice it up…

Chuck in something like a 100m section in the middle where you cannot exceed 20kph…but no speedos let alone power meters on bikes…you come screaming up at 55kph then have to brake hard and self judge your speed for 100m before you can carry on!

How about single speed bikes only??? And have to run a 58/11!

Come on there’s lots of wacky ideas that would make it über exciting!!

MT July 11, 2013 at 10:11 am

Metal spikes on hubs

Swamp section

Clothes lines at varying heights across the road

Burning coals bunny hop comp

Mid-course recital of La Marseillaise (time bonifications)

PB July 10, 2013 at 10:42 pm

There is some amazing technology out there to handle time trial situations. For example, Virtual Spectator is used in both Rallying and Sailing. It gives graphical images which clearly shows where each competitor is in relation to others. Swimming is another example where they have that virtual World Record line. This isn’t a conversation about technology availability; this is about the motivation of the organisers to implement it.

Big Sky Simon July 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm

inrng… Given that you have the likes of Sharp / Garmin / Polar all involved in sponsorship or product placement why is there not more information for the viewer? So many action sports now are using Go Pro type mini camera. Can they not be mounted either in the team car ( lots of bleeped out swearing in the OGE car I saw in Corsica) or even on the bikes during stages that are not a TT. I love F1 and we see great shots in real time of another car overtaking mm away from another. Cycling needs to move into the 21st century and be using all this amazing technology

Greg July 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Like an F1 team, telemetry is well guarded and not commonly disclosed. Onboard shots are one thing in motorsport, but the weight would be an issue. Consider that these guys are all very concerned about body fat, diet, etc throughout the Tour and every gram counts at this level.

Plus, onboard of a guy plugging away on a nearly straight road would be pretty dull. I am also a F1, MotoGP & WEC fan and overtaking, racing lines, slow-mo suspension shots, etc in motorsport are far more interesting because the effects of suspension damping, tire deflection, etc is more pronounced given the g-forces exerted on the chassis.

amy July 10, 2013 at 11:03 pm

I’d love to see the complete ride of one of the riders. I’d suggest a bike mounted camera, but the weight would be an issue. But a designated moto to follow one of the favorites through the entire course would be nice.

Greg July 10, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Why not introduce primes and special prizes along the route for setting the best sector time? With so many riders out of contention, or certainly not a TT specialist, perhaps this would spice up action and allow for some excitement for riders who are not top of the pile. We have intermediate sprints and KOMs during each stage, and perhaps this sort of thing can be introduced independent of the ‘normal’ race? Pick three to five tough sectors (twisty bit, climb, etc) or sprint zones and offer prize money, green jersey or polka points? Perhaps special TT points and a new jersey?

Uhj July 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Crazy as it may seem, no onboard cameras, gps tracking devises or transmitting devises in general are allowed under the regulations. Why?
Because these are considered “technical innovations” and the UCI has not received any applications to consider. So from a regulatory point of view, they are not – yet – allowed.
If used – this has been seen in the past – this was one-off dispensations.
Ulf

Bundle July 10, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Oh, but I’m fine with televised TTs as they are! Their spectacularity comes form their GC crucial importance, so you don’t want to lose a second of it, and by the chance it gives to take a good look (and givo some thought) at all top-20 riders. With some experience, you learn to derive as much information and “feel” from a rider trying to keep his aero position while exerting maximum, endurable power (the very essence of cycling) as you would seeing them push their lumbars up the Angliru.
One thing I agree with: the helmets hide information. Ban them, at least from TTs. And who could oppose banning aerobars too, when it would be so much more real to see them time trial in the classic Merckx position?

Mark July 10, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Surely they can work out a way to get on-bike pictures . A small issue with weight and aerodynamics but nothing major .

UCI Regulations ? I guess criterium are not regulated by the UCI then ?

Some innovation is good , especially if you are trying to sell a product and attract sponsors

Rich753 July 11, 2013 at 12:24 am

I suspect a lot of viewers behave as I do – pop in now and then to check on progress. And it’s frustrating, no way can I easily get a snap-shot of the race position, the commentary (Eurosport) is geared more to colour than information, and the screen tells me hardly anything about the race status.

Across France lots of folks will be watching in cafes or on campsites with the sound down – why don’t they make it easier to see the status at a glance?

Anonymous July 11, 2013 at 1:26 am

Time trials – as dull as dishwater. the British love em.

TourDeUtah July 11, 2013 at 7:20 am

Roflmao !

I am not a fan of the ITT, but have a secret fetish for the TTT. I like t see the teams working together. But that’s just me.

W/o changing the ITT concept, I like the idea of a more challenging parcourse. Technical, hilly, requiring lots of change of pace. The stage 15 ITT will resemble that. Todays was an exercise for the big engines. I don’t think Tony Martin or CF dominate like they did today

otherSteve July 11, 2013 at 1:37 am

I know how to spice up the TT.
Lets give the crowd a real chance to take part in a stage for once, let them throw water balloons at the riders they dislike!

Riders will demonstrate bike handling ability, toughness and patience.
If a rider gets off or attacks a spectator add a time penalty.

Just thinking of spicing things up it.
BTW no urine allowed thats just rude

SillyOldBugger July 11, 2013 at 1:55 am

The last ITT at a GT I attended was so boring (/sarc) the organisers removed it from the program. It was the last stage of the 1989 TdF.

Doubter July 11, 2013 at 3:46 am

Call me a contrarian, but how about they enforce PED use so that the apparent world’s best climber isn’t also one of the world’s best TT riders. Not normal.
Every time this has happened in the last two decades, the rider has been shown to have doped.

max July 11, 2013 at 4:29 am

I have a home brew workarround solution for watching two riders at the same time using my PVR.

E.G. for yesterday’s TT,
1) When Contador starts his ride, pause the PVR.
2) Watch race on Live TV
3) When Froome starts, un-pause the PVR.
4) Now you have Froome on Live TV and Contador on PVR riding the same virtual race. Switch between one source and the other (or do picture in picture on your TV) and you can see where they are relative to each other. Obviously you can only compare when the editor cuts to the correct rider but it is workable. Ish…

Robby Rodriguez July 11, 2013 at 5:24 am

call me old fashion, but I really like the current TT fomat, if you have ever ridden a TT, and you think you are good at it (of course we cannot compare to pros) you really enjoy watch them pedal, their cadence, position, gear, etc etc. the grand tour TT is what it is, but show telemetry, and other gizmos on the screen would be awsome.
Just like Tony Martin average speed, 54.2 kmh! now that is amazing

SUFFERvision July 11, 2013 at 6:02 am

Here’s a display of Juan Antonio Flecha’s TT data (power curves, speed, cadence, etc.):
http://suffervision.appspot.com/v/651001?seek=1875
Unfortunately there’s no video to put this over, so it’s just displayed over the map.

Les Revenants July 11, 2013 at 7:01 am

I don’t mind the current format. Of course, it would be good to get some more simple data up on the screen, including indications of a rider’s position on the course relative to other riders, but I don’t think it is necessary to radically alter the way current individual time trials are run. I usually dip in and out of the coverage. Before they got to the final four or five riders, I was watching an on-line video feed (here in Australia we are lucky to get life pictures over the Internet from SBS as well as the TV coverage) in part of the computer window and looking at the official Tour de France site, which had lots of updates on the riders start times, intermediate times, and final times, etc.

Brr July 11, 2013 at 9:18 am

how about a speedometer built into the camera lens for all stages, including TT

Swuzzlebubble July 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

The ‘reverse TT’ format effectively turns the stage into a pursuit.
Basically too radical and not needed.
However I do think the women’s events could adopt something like this as a ‘made for TV’ format that could help generate new interest to their events.
In other words losing some ‘purist’ qualities could be worthwhile considering the likely gain in viewing audience and therefore sponsorship value.

One side benifit to this format would be that, given the potential for teamwork in chasing down riders who start ahead, there would be motivation for more riders from each team to stay in touch during prior stages so as to be in postion to contribute.

thetobyjug July 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

Do you not feel this would devalue women’s cycling? You acknowledge that this would make the sport less “purist”, but would drive up TV viewership. By that logic, why not just get them to ride around in underwear?

roadslave525 July 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Great article… Spot on, and good suggestions (particularly the high tech ones)… ASO or whoever needs to make a little, some, ANY effort to spice up how they screen it, which hasn’t really changed since the mid-eighties. In addition, as someone who typically lives in the same time zone and has a job, I tend to catch up the day’s events with the Highlights show: here they could really go to town with synchronised film footage of the riders on a virtual course, and have had the time to do the analysis to show which corners, which sections the race was won or lost… I still don’t know whether Froome faded in last 9km, or Martin sped up, and how much the increasing wind was a factor?

Rider Council July 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Still better than watching a triathlon, no disrespect to a tough sport however. Better camera work to try and capture the speed, particularly on corners where you get an idea of just how fast they are going. They could learn something from cyclocross coverage in Belgium.

Otherwise bring back Chicken so we can have a good cringing laugh as we quaff our crisp summer beer.

Dave July 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

“Or perhaps a rule that the reigning world champion is given a place amongst the final ten by default?”
- this is a great idea as was proven yesterday. It could also be extended to include any national TT champions in the race. The only downside being that having a few names going off early on does provide a bit of interest early-on.

“zoom in on the face of the rider.” – not currently possible with existing rules preventing motos passing the rider, thus only being able to film from the side/rear. However this could be achieved with the rail mounted cameras that are used in athletics. They could set one up on a dedicated (straight) section of the course, although it wouldn’t be that long and at the speed cyclists travel wouldn’t offer many seconds worth of footage.

Max July 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I suggest that riders in the bunch use GoPro cameras on their helmets (perhaps also on their bikes), especially during flat stages so that fanatics of cycling, watching the event (for instance Tour de France) on TV, can enjoy life inside the bunch. This, I think, would also be a good opportunity to listen to riders different conversations. Why not?
Imagine as well if a sprinter like Marcel Kittel would have used one of these GoPros during a massive bunch sprint!

TailWindHome July 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm

For me the ideal TT TV experience would be the overlaying of one rider’s ride with another, like in video games.

The prologue of the Tour of the North (NI) in the grounds of Stormont Castle set the riders off along a c1km course in pairs, racing one on one. Ok, it was a straight course and might not be appropriate for a TT circuit.

Prologues could be improved by simple sticking with one or two of the earlier riders the whole way around the circuit rather than constantly flicking back to the start ramp.

I’d have the prologue on the Friday night..

I should be UCI president or something.

Flying Squirrel July 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm

I would like a live wind tunnel but i dont know if sth like that is possible. But maybe if not a Wind tunnel then a meassurment off the total front area off a rider compared to his height like Watt/Kg a ratio that gives u an Idea of why a certain rider is good and an other one not.

Sam July 12, 2013 at 3:50 am

Are gopros actually abled to stream live pictures?

Levi July 12, 2013 at 8:01 am

It is crazy how far behind the French are when it comes to stuff like this. I don’t know whether it’s the slower pace of life or just that they can’t be bothered to put much effort into technology. A good example is the local bike club website here. It got a revamp a while ago and it still looks like a basic word document complete with awful WordArt and those rubbish bits of clipart! I guess they’re just pretty old fashioned; why spend loads of money on a website, forum, email addresses when you can just pick up the phone and have a regular Sunday morning ride that leaves from la salle des fetes? Simple.

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