I'm worried... worried about the Tour

How to keep up to speed with the Tour real-time, or not...

by SamShaw   June 15, 2012  

Le Tour © Owen Philipson

I'm worried.

Am I worried about the Lothian Flyer that I'm racing tomorrow?  No.  I've already got my plan sorted – it's the same as last time – just try to stick with the bunch.  It's going to rain, and I'll get wet, but I'm not worried about that.

No, I'm worried about the Tour de France, specifically how I'm going to watch the Tour given that I work full time in a traditional quiet office environment, it's not one of these new über-cool places with plasma screens adorning the walls and I'm not able to half-focus on something going on in the background... such as a someone putting in a massive attack up Port de Balès.

So what am I going to do? (Pt.1)

I know I'm worrying about this prematurely, there are ways to keep in touch with the racing but the main question is do I watch it live at all?  Watching the highlights programme (options on ITV4 and Eurosport) is a great way to spend the evening, and if I avoid all social media/internet/friends then there's a chance that I can get to 8pm without finding out what's happened during the day's stage.  I'm not sure I want to do that though, it's all well and good waiting but there's nothing like living the Tour real-time.

Real time options.

There are various ways to experience the Tour 'live', even if you're not in front of a TV screen.  The first option is possibly the highest quality and that's to de-register SkyGo from my wife's iPad and register my work computer for the month of July.  This would be fairly easy to do as a) my wife never uses SkyGo (it's registered so I can watch 2-wheeled sports when she/kids are watching some other tat in the living room) and b) it's only for a month, possibly the most important month of the year for us cyclists.  The added benefit of working in design is that I've got a 27” screen in front of me, and a boss who loves cycling... this one could be a go-er.

If you've not got access to Sky then there's the option of buying a Eurosport subscription, but I don't need to do that, otherwise there are various live feeds available from certain tweeters who collect video feeds from around the globe.  A great way to watch is to tune into the French or Belgian feed and try to decipher what's happening – one thing you do know is when it's all kicking off as the commentator will get to within 7 microns of a fit of conniption.

Other, more discreet, options include following live tweets from various twitterati.  This includes people such as our very own @roadcc along with others like @velovoices, @tourfrance, @inrng, pro team twitter accounts, pro tour wives, personal friends and many others to build a picture of what is going on.  The trouble is that this is more time consuming and distracting than keeping half an eye on a live feed, usually offered by the major news sites, and it certainly requires more clicking than sitting with an earphone in feeding me information from a video feed in the background.

So what am I going to do? (Pt.2)

Well here's the good bit.  I'm off to France on the 15th July until the 23rd to visit my parents.  So that sorts the 2nd half of the Tour... sort of.  It means watching the Tour in French (live) but luckily my French is fairly good so that won't be a a problem, spending 4hrs or more in front of the telly on our summer holiday won't go down well though so it might well be a case of staying away from it completely and watch Phil and Paul later on.  I think I can handle that.  A plan has also been afoot for a while to go watch either the Bonneval > Chartres TT or the Rambouillet > Paris Champs-Élysées stage, or both, but again we'll see how that goes, it may depend on who's likely to win as that TT could be a decider if people play it safe in the mountains.

I've got options.

So there are the options.  None of them will work on its own, I'm sure that a combination of all of the above will keep me up to speed with what's going on, but there's a good number of ways to make sure I don't miss any of the action.  It starts 15 days from today... would you guess that I'm excited?


10 user comments

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There are always tickers like live.cyclingnews.com or the official one at letour.fr which are handy if you want to keep an eye on the situation and still actually get some work done Smile

For live streams there is www.cyclingfans.com which always has a good selection from various broadcasters - although I'm not sure of the legality of these.

Where there's a will there's a way Smile

posted by smoothhound [39 posts]
15th June 2012 - 14:57


I tried to get round the legality issue by saying "various live feeds available from certain tweeters who collect video feeds from around the globe". But yeah, you're right smoothhound, I was talking about cyclingfans! Big Grin

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [318 posts]
15th June 2012 - 15:04

1 Like

Watching the tour with a foreign commentary just adds to the tension. Watched the whole of the Giro in Italian - my god it was exciting and I have little or no Italian.

I'll be going for the full immersive experience TDF in French with baguettes.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [180 posts]
15th June 2012 - 16:37

1 Like

Interesting topic. I can work from home one day a week, but try not to make it Monday as I combine home working with an hour on the bike, and on Monday I'm still sore from Sunday's ride. So, given that, which day each week should I choose to work from home and have a live feed on in the background? Suggestions please!

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3707 posts]
15th June 2012 - 18:27


do what i do, be self employed and start work early and finish by 2pm Smile

posted by russyparkin [578 posts]
15th June 2012 - 19:11


russyparkin wrote:
do what i do, be self employed and start work early and finish by 2pm Smile

Oh yes. You can even get a couple of rides in a week as well. I stopped the office in 2000. Best move ever.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1195 posts]
15th June 2012 - 20:03

1 Like

I'll be using a combination of live text and a freeview+ box, follow the text live to the finish then watch the last hour when I get in. I'll also be making good use of half day holidays to catch the stages I really want to see live.

If there was a way to follow the actual coverage I'd be using that but I can't and even if I could my boss is an ass. I wish my office used flexi-time, early start and home for 3 would be perfect.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
15th June 2012 - 22:19

1 Like

Here's a funny thing, but (russ and mercury) you're not helping! Rolling Eyes Big Grin

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3707 posts]
17th June 2012 - 16:36

1 Like

Just Fromsport it.

I normally do half the screen homework, the other FS.

Easy peasy

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
17th June 2012 - 16:54

1 Like

I'm living on a french campsite until the 12th of July, but then I'm coming home. I fear my recovery from 3 weeks at altitude on a diet of pasta and lardons will include quite a lot of Tour-watching.


posted by stewieatb [299 posts]
18th June 2012 - 20:00