Twitter and the Tour de France

mick rogers tweet stage 15

I am fan of procycling an particularly the grand tour events, the Tour De France (TdF), Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana. It all started years ago when I started cycling and SBS started showing selected stages. I quickly realised it is not the best cyclist that wins, but a combination of cyclist, team and strategy and I was hooked.

Back then, I did not look for information online while watching the TdF. I would always catch up the next morning with the results and preview that day’s stage. Over the years that has slowly changed. Last year, while watching the Tdf, I used FriendFeed to talk to cycling fans and kept up to date with various websites. Even managed to find streaming video to catch stages before SBS started broadcasting and some stages of the Vuelta.

However, everything changed at the Tour Down Under when Lance Armstrong introduced Twitter a large number of top professional cyclists. Once you found them you get a better understanding of what is happening and finding out the news quickly. For example Levi Leipheimer broken wrist and having to abandon the tour, the same way most news outlets did by a Lance Armstrong tweet. Again today’s abandoment by Tom Boonen via a Steven de Jongh tweet.

In addition to riders, you have twittering team managers, mechanics and other personnel, cycling journalists as well as other cycling fans. The big advantage of being in contact with other fans on twitter is you can find resources quickly, including streaming video, I watched every stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and Giro this year, thanks to Twitter. When races did not have streaming video or audio, there was a twitterfeed of what was happening in the race.

A few tips

Search on #procycling hashtag, find the hashtag for the event, for the Tour de France it is #tdf and open a search window in tweetdeck to follow a race.

Follow Steephill and Cycling Fans for the latest resources.

Go follow some procycling twitters and you will often find that procyclists follow other procyclists.

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