ITV4 to show Vuelta live - but BBC to air only brief highlights of Olympic test event
Spanish Grand Tour coverage confirms channel's commitment to cycling
Cycling fans in the UK who don’t have a subscription to Eurosport won’t miss out on this year’s third Grand Tour, with the news that free-to-air channel ITV4 will be broadcasting live coverage of the Vuelta, which starts with a team time trial in Benidorm a week on Saturday.
Earlier this year, the channel revealed that it planned to show more cycling, and confirmation it is showing the Vuelta demonstrates that it is keeping that promise. The news comes shortly after ITV4 revealed that nearly 1 million viewers had tuned into the channel to watch Mark Cavendish win the green jersey in the Tour de France.
All stages of the 66th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour will be shown live, reports the website Touchline.tv.
A quick look at the online ITV programme guide confirms that the opening stage of the Vuelta will be shown on the channel on Saturday 20 August from 4pm to 6pm, with coverage of the following day’s Stage 2 scheduled from 2.45pm to 5pm.
Meanwhile Touchline.tv also reports that the same weekend, BBC will be showing brief highlights of this Sunday’s Olympic test event, the London-Surrey Cycle Classic, in a special programme focusing on Olympic sports, presented by Clare Balding.
The programme, called Olympic Countdown, will run from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday 21 August, with the road race highlights running from 1.55-2.15pm, followed by coverage of the BMX test event.
There’s no news as yet of any potential online or red button coverage of the event through the BBC.