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ITV4 to provide live coverage of Amgen Tour of California in May

Free-to-air channel pledged to increase amount of cycling it shows in 2011

Free-to-air digital TV channel ITV4, which earlier this year said that it planned to increase the amount of cycling it covers, will be showing the Amgen Tour of California live from 15 May. The news was confirmed on Twitter by Ned Boulting, who will be presenting coverage from a studio in London, together with a “mystery guest.”

The TV station has regularly broadcast highlights and occasional live coverage of the Tour de France in recent years, as well as the Halfords Tour Series and Tour of Britain, and in recent weeks has also aired highlights of races such as Paris-Roubaix.

Boulting recently used his twitter stream to urge cycling fans wishing to see more mainstream coverage of cycling’s big races to lobby the TV station, although clearly there are limitations – when asked why ITV4 wouldn’t be covering the Giro d’Italia, he replied, “Because it is eye-wateringly expensive for a free-to-air Channel to afford.”

However, he added that hopefully the Tour of California wouldn’t be the last event to be shown on the channel for the first time this year.

The race starts at Lake Tahoe on 15 May and ends in Thousand Oaks, near Los Angeles, eight days later. Each of the eight stages scheduled to finish by around 3.30pm local time, or 11.30pm UK time. Full details of the race can be found on its website.

Hopefully the renewed emphasis on the sport will prompt someone at ITV4 to give the cycling section of the channel’s website a bit of a refresh – the latest news item relates to Edvald Boasson Hagen, then with Columbia-HTC, winning the 2009 Tour of Britain more than 18 months ago.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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