Cycling news

Armstrong plans return at Tour of Italy

"I go out on the bike every day and ride just like I did before (the injury). I don’t want to fall on it again right now, but I think it will be fine for the Tour of Italy. I fully anticipate being there and being strong and fit and being ready to race."

Read more here.

Re: cycling.tv/Silverlight and our relationship to CTV

As a follow-up to yesterday's post regarding cycling.tv soon switching over to a Silverlight player, here is more information:

It will be Silverlight version 2.0.  I am not a big Microsoft fan but I have heard good things about this, particularly during the Beijing Olympics last August.  The hope here is that for most people this will result in a better experience on cycling.tv.  But as you no doubt know, any change, even for the better, ultimately, can introduce issues of its own for some users.  We will monitor this and look for your feedback.

CTV tell me they are in final testing right now.  If you are on their email list, you should receive notification and an explanation of the benefits as well as steps to take in order to start using the new player.

CTV also tell me: "We will want to launch during a window where there are at least two days respite from live racing."

We'll post more info here as we get it.

On another note:  A couple of you emailed regarding a comment I posted on Wednesday: "Note: cyclingfans.com is a cycling.tv affiliate partner"

To clarify: cyclingfans.com is NOT owned by cycling.tv.  They have an affiliate program by which websites that bring them customers earn a commission and I joined that program a couple of years ago.  cyclingfans.com is paid for out of my own pocket....and with the hard work and sweat of a few people, notably U.K. correspondent Bernie S. and me.

So nothing has changed with regard to our editorial position, live race coverage, listings, etc.

Milan-San Remo live coverage info coming later today...

- Pete

CTV to Switch to Silverlight Player

Cycling.tv tell us they are about one week away from implementing a Silverlight player.  Silverlight is Microsoft's answer to Adobe Flash which dominates the market.  (Flash is used in applications such as the Tour Tracker employed during the Tour of California.)

Silverlight was notably used by NBC to stream the Beijing Olympic Games and is used by the Netflix streaming service.

Silverlight promises new interactive features as well as "adaptive streaming" which allows the player to choose a bit rate based on available user bandwidth and CPU resources.  Of interest to users of Apple Macs is the fact that Silverlight supports Safari and Firefox Macintosh browsers.  CTV's Ben Golding indeed expects their new Silverlight player to meet the needs of Mac users.

We will of course be monitoring this.

Breaking news: CTV lands Milan-San Remo

Paris (cyclingfans.com) - One might think that with Lance Armstrong's return to cycling, negotiations for broadcast rights for races that Armstrong competes in would go smoothly.  After all, Armstrong is a big draw wherever he goes.  Organizers and broadcasters alike benefit from his presence.

Think again.  There isn't much easy about negotiating broadcast rights in today's world of complicated geo-restrictions, TV vs. online rights, and package deals.  And the presence of Armstrong raises the stakes for everyone.  If a race organizer or other rights owner packages, say, a race in March such as Milan-San Remo (Saturday) with an even bigger event such as the Giro d'Italia in May, and it isn't even clear by mid-March who an online broadcaster will be dealing with for Giro rights, online rights for Milan-San Remo can go unpurchased.  Everyone loses, especially cycling fans.

Fortunately, the unthinkable (no M-SR to a big market like the U.S.) has been avoided thanks to Ben Golding of cycling.tv/jumptv.com.  In a phone conversation this afternoon, Golding told me he sought and has secured rights for Saturday's Milan-San Remo.  The trick was to separate M-SR negotiations from Giro negotiations, not an easy task.  "I didn't want to lose Milan-San Remo," Golding told me.  Final paperwork is pending but Golding came to an agreement with rights owner RAI and the result is that cycling.tv will be broadcasting Saturday's race to cycling fans in the U.S. and Canada.

Cycling.tv's Milan-San Remo live race coverage Saturday is scheduled to run from 9:30am to 12pm U.S. Eastern with Anthony McCrossan and Brian Smith in the commentary box.


Anthony McCrossan, cycling.tv
Copyright © 2008 Pete Geyer/www.cyclingfans.com

More MS-R details to come...

cyclingfans.com will of course publish a full Milan-San Remo Live Coverage Guide later this week.

- Pete Geyer, Publisher, cyclingfans.com

Note: cyclingfans.com is a cycling.tv affiliate partner

25 Teams for Paris-Roubaix Announced

Race organizer Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.) today announced the 25 teams that will be competing in next month's Paris-Roubaix (April 12):

"ProTour" teams: AG2R, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis, Française des Jeux, Lampre, Liquigas, Caisse d'Epargne, Euskaltel, Quick Step, Silence-Lotto, Rabobank, Saxo Bank, Milram, Columbia, Garmin-Slipstream, Katusha, Astana.

Also invited: Cervélo, Skil-Shimano, Vacansoleil, Topsport, Landbouwkrediet, Agritubel, Amica Chips, BMC.

cyclingfans.com will of course once again be covering Paris-Roubaix: Live video, audio, tickers and graphics.  And of course photos.

2009 Tour of California final stage wrap-up


2009 Tour of California, Stage 8:  Frank Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) wins the final stage in Escondido.
Photo shows running time since Schleck crossed the line as well as elapsed time in hours, minutes and
seconds since the stage start in Rancho Bernardo.
photo Copyright © Laura Alber/cyclingfans.com


2009 Tour of California: Frank Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) with podium girls after his Stage 8 victory in Escondido.
photo Copyright © Laura Alber/cyclingfans.com


2009 Tour of California:  Overall race winner for the third consecutive year,
Levi Leipheimer (Astana) holds a giant check for $14,000.
photo Copyright © Laura Alber/cyclingfans.com

- Escondido stage update from "The 3 Riders of the Apocalypse Featuring Christy Craig" here.  (Talk to your neighbors, thanks Christian Vande Velde, best towns, goals for next year)

Still to come:  full 2009 Tour of California Photo Galleries

 

 

2009 Tour of California video highlights

Levi after Stage 8, and the Win!
(Levi drops an F-bomb.  Bike Monkey is the local cycling magazine where Levi lives.) (02:29)
Bike Monkey
Announcing the LiveStrong Global Cancer Summit in Dublin Ireland
(Armstrong to race Tour of Ireland) (01:23)
LiveStrong
Escondido Gets Ready for TOC (01:52) NBC KNSD
Stage 6 Highlights (02:57) SCVTV
Amgen Stage 5 Recap (04:36) ABC KFSN
Amgen Stage 5 begins in Visalia (04:38) ABC KFSN
Amgen Tour Cycling Through the Valley (05:16) ABC KFSN
Amgen Tour Hits the Central Valley
(Includes Levi's crash) (02:34)
ABC KFSN
Lance Armstrong Before Stage 2 (01:50) livestrong.com
Stage 3:  Amgen Racers Reach the Valley (03:23) ABC KFSN
Stage 3: Cyclists deal with stormy weather (01:13) NBC KNTV11
Armstrong, Tour cross Golden Gate
 (02:38)
ABC KGO TV7
Lance Armstrong talks about
the race start
(01:20)
livestrong.com
   

 

 

Tour of California Stage 6 - Solvang Time Trial Start Order and Times

The complete Solvang Time Trial Start Order and Times:

Amgen Tour of California Kick-Off Press Conference Quotes

Press conference quotes from Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton, Christian Vande Velde, Ivan Basso, Mark Cavendish, Carlos Sastre, Oscar Freire, Phil Liggett, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and others.

Tour of California Preview Show on Versus today

Versus in the U.S. is showing several cycling programs today.  The following times are U.S. Eastern:

3:30pm-4:30pm:  Tour Down Under Recap Show
4:30pm-5:00pm:  Lance Armstrong: The Return
5:00pm-6:00pm:  Tour of California Preview Show

Check our Versus Schedule link and/or your local listings.

Latest cycling videos

You'll always find the latest video highlights and clips from pro bike races, including today's Cyclo-Cross World Championships (Women's and Men's races) and the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise (the start of the European road race season!) in our Recent cycling videos section at the top of our Cycling videos page.

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