It is July and we are in store for 3 weeks of outstanding cycling from France as Lance Armstrong tries to win his 7th Tour de France. I know I’m blogging about this a little late (we are already 1 week in to Le Tour), but there is still plenty of action to be seen and plenty of stages to watch Lance ride to victory.
Luckily for us Americans, OLN does a great job of covering Le Tour on TV. Each stage of the tour is broadcast 3 times during the day, live in the morning, and delayed in the afternoon and in prime time. They have a first rate group of commentators, that are both entertaining and wildly knowledgeable. I especially love the dry humor of the two “play-by-play” announcers. But honestly, they have the hardest commentator job out there. The video feed for the race is fully controlled by the French, so Phil and Paul never have any idea of what shot they are going to cut to next. Are they going to go in for a close-up of Lance? Or maybe a helicopter shot of the breakaway? Or maybe even a scenic view of the church in the town they are passing through? Phil and Paul are always on their feet and always ready with a quick quip about what is going on.
Given my choice, I prefer to watch the live showing on OLN, even if I still watch it tape delayed on my Tivo. Why? Because it feels like European coverage to me. Nothing but the sport, with only a few jumps to more “in-depth reporting”. But even the in-depth reporting is interesting, covering things like the riders diet, special details about their bikes, and even the equipment in the team car. Some people may enjoy the extended reporting in the afternoon and evening. Since they have more production time in between the end of the race and the later airings, they can put more into it. This include in-depth interviews with famous people at the race, Lance, Sheryl Crow, etc. But I feel that they take away from the race to add this extra coverage, and the race is really what I’m interested in.
This year is the first year that I’ve seen some more tech-savvy coverage of Le Tour. Apparently Lance (in conjunction with Sirius Satellite Radio) is doing daily in-depth interviews. They were kind enough to make them into podcasts, for those of us into podcasting. Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France Podcast.
- He provides excellent coverage of Le Tour.
- He is the son of OLN announcer Al Trautwig. (i.e. he knows his stuff)
- He is only 14!
Alex is going to make an excellent reporter when he grows up, and I am looking forward to hearing more from him on this years Tour de France.
Oh yeah, before I sign off: Go Lance!