Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tour of California Coverage Sucks

So last year I was on vacation watching Tour de France each afternoon. I remember thinking how much better the U.S. coverage of a bike race would be than the coverage of the Tour de France. I would now like to retract that statement.

I've watched all of the Tour of California on Versus this week, and I have not been impressed. Some of their mistakes I can understand. The weather can't be controlled, and weather problems led to transmission breakups. Frustrating, but not their fault.

How about watching a race for two hours, and just as the racers start gearing up for the finish, Versus decided to cut away to the hockey game. Well, let's hope they learned from that mistake, ugggh.

How about today's race. After investing a few hours of my life, the racers enter Pasadena. They come to the last lap, things are tight. The breakaway group is attacking constantly. And what does Versus do? The pan out and show the Rose Bowl and the surrounding mountains just when the racers are making their last moves toward the finish line!

And with all of the technology that Versus has available, wouldn't you think they could have constant time checks? Is it too much to ask to know how far ahead the peleton is? Too much to ask to know how many miles are left to the finish? Nope, we have to wait until the throw it up on the screen about every 20 minutes.

And the rider information is not much better. When they put up on the television the list of riders in the breakaway group, how hard would it be to list all pertinent information? I mean, it would be nice to have the cyclist's name, the country they're from, and the team name all at the same time. I mean most of the viewers are casual fans who only watch the last day of the Tour de France, don't you think they could help them out a bit?

Sure, they do some good stuff. The announcers are good, the quality of the video (when it works) is crisp. But all the other stuff easily outweighs all the good stuff. Well, let's hope they learn from their mistakes this year.

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