"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.
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...
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.
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
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.