Like a schoolgirl I am!
Giddiness. High-pitched squeeling. Random bursts of adreneline-soaked calisthenics. Just a typical morning for me during these first 4 days of Le Tour. I’ll readily admit that I haven’t had this much fun since the 2004 Tour. Okay, 2005 was good just for Lance’s 7th, but 2006 was destroyed by Floyd Landis, ’07 had its heart removed by the Chicken, and well, 2008 was a snore-fest except for Christian’s ride. So what gives?
The power of @lancearmstrong
Obviously the action so far has been great. Everyone wondering how Lance will do, how will the Astana team dynamics play out, and Cavendish dealing everyone some pain have created an intense bowl of intrigue soup. But there’s been something that’s taken this Tour over the top. The answer is Twitter; well Twitter and a host of other web-related tech niblets whipping our Tour frenzy into actual mania. Following various cycling lovers and publications allow us to get a myriad of responses and views of the action while it’s happening.
Before and after the stage you get unprecedented insight into the race and lives of the riders from their own Tweets. @lancearmstrong is the obvious king, but there are plenty of other riders who’ve seen the light and are adding to the mix. Here’s a good list that also happens to be my follow list!
Some of my favorites include, @LeviLeipheimer, @johanbruyneel, @ghincapie, @allandavis27, @CadelOfficial, and @taylorphinney to name a few of the riders I follow. I also follow a couple of the staples in the cycle-reporting industry and you can’t forget about the rest of us cycling nuts out there who make Twitter as instresting as it can be.
The most multi-media Tour yet
Also adding to the mix is Lance’s back of the bus videos. Posted on his Livestrong site he was massively prolific during the Giro. Frequently he has guests as well as a co-host like Levi. These videos give you another glimpse into the life of a professional cyclist and a view that normally wasn’t available before. Sure there have been movies and specials done, but nothing to the extent and timeliness of what we have now. Previously you might get a quick bite of an interview post-stage with Lance, but now you’re getting an intimate (sorry) account of the day’s race, whether it be good or bad.
Those with something to lose…
Of course there are the dissenters (the media) who claim that the coverage provided by him and the riders is one-sided. That’s one way to look at it. The other way to look at it, is this is unfiltered, unadulterated words straight from their mouths. Too many times have rider’s quotes been misconstrued to be tweaked to sell more papers, or get more hits on their site. The media definitely needs to be there to ask tough questions, but I want access to the riders without any filters.