Media Coverage of Cycling Events

Posted on June 29, 2012

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Bradley Wiggins of Sky

I suspect I’m not the only one who gets frustrated by the almost complete lack of mainstream media attention paid to professional cycling events. Their perspective seems to be “if it ain’t the Tour de France, you won’t see or hear about it from us.” I thought that perhaps with the recent acquisition of the channel formerly known as Versus by NBCSports, we might see an increase in coverage. No such luck. Well, ok, we did get to see Paris-Robaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but we did last year as well. I’m looking for transformational change.

I wrote the previous paragraph a couple of weeks ago and I was going to follow it up with all of the spring classics that weren’t covered by the main stream media: Giro d’Italia, Tour of California, Tour de Suisse, Tour de Romandie, but now what I’m going to say is “THEY’RE NOT EVEN COVERING THE TOUR DE FRANCE!!”

TDF starts tomorrow and even the New York Times failed to mention this fact in today’s edition, let alone the StarTribune. What’s up with that? There couldn’t be more potential drama or unlimited opportunities for the riders and teams in this year’s tour. The heir apparent of a Tour dynasty, Alberto Contador, was recently dismissed in disgrace after one win and won’t be racing for at least two years. The runner-up of the two previous Tours, Andy Schlenk, was seriously injured earlier in the spring and isn’t entered this year. It’s a wide open race.

But the mainstream media is hooked on the Tiger Woods syndrome when it comes to professional cycling: we’re going to report on Lance Armstrong until hell freezes over, even though anyone who has any interest in current cycling (or golf) doesn’t really care about Lance Armstrong, cyclist, anymore. There are other reasons why one might want to follow Lance, but since he’s not entered in any races  (he retired, remember?) he’s irrelevant. The stuff they’re focusing on about him  should be put in a different section of the paper or website. It’s freakin’ pathetic.

Cadel Evans, winner of the 2011 Tour de France

Meanwhile, the more pressing question is, can Cadel Evans and BMC Racing repeat this year or is Wiggo going to continue his blazing spring performance? It’ll only take three weeks to find out! The prologue starts in less than 12 hours.

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