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  1. #1
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    Giro (all race) coverage critique

    i'm catching the one hour wrap up on OLN at 10pm CST and wonder how to make bike racing more t.v. friendly.

    -i want to know gears and gearing
    -i want to know speed
    -i need a color commentator that assumes i know nothing
    -i need commentary on strategy (individual and teams)
    -i want to know more history of race/racers
    -i want to know 'why' things are happening

    i like bob roll
    Last edited by RiPHRaPH; 05-14-03 at 10:01 PM.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  2. #2
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    I would like to have much better info on who (what groups) are where in comparison to each other. The coverage of the Tour usually does this well, often showing gaps and showing which jerseys are in which pack.

  3. #3
    Off like a prom dress... Ba-Dg-Er's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RiPHRaPH
    -i need a color commentator that assumes i know nothing
    -i need commentary on strategy (individual and teams)
    -i want to know more history of race/racers
    -i want to know 'why' things are happening
    Might I suggest reading books and websites on race strategies and history then... this will give you an idea of why things are happening and what's going on in more detail.

    I think the OLN commentators do an excellent job considering the audience they are catering to. If they were to assume all their viewers knew nothing they would frustrate the viewers that understand it and would prefer to know what riders are where and what the gaps are.

    Regardless of how they commentate on the races, anything is better then the ESPN/ABC 30 minute tour of the french countryside with video of an occasional cyclist coverage.

    If you have any specific questions about something that happens in a stage, ask here, I am certain someone will be able to clarify it for you.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    I like Cycling News
    for technical info, they have section about team bikes etc.
    they also have some good analysis of the race, comments
    from winner and other players.
    I'd read something like Eddie B's book (don't ask me to
    spell his surname, or the title ) on racing for tactics etc.

    OLN is doing a great job (hey, I get to see daily coverage,
    ok?), and I love Bobkie (did you catch his Giro History
    commercial?).

    Marty
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    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  5. #5
    bac
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    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RiPHRaPH
    i like bob roll
    What's not to like!!!

  6. #6
    extra-t Resident's Avatar
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    I think Paul Sherwan and Phil Liggett are excellent commentators. They don't belittle their audience with technical babble, and offer educated insights about the action.
    Taking photos of your lovely planet...

  7. #7
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    I never used to be able to watch football until I went to college. Then I got all the guys in my dorm to explain the rules and suddenly it was fun to watch. The problem with cycling is that it is equally riddled with nuances, but much less understood in the US. I think it's a tough balance OLN must make between educating its audience and not frustrating the more knowledgeable folks. I, too, was very confused by cycling but after watching a couple of tours closely and paying attention to the little side comments that Phil, Paul and Bob make, I was able to get the hang of it. It's much more interesting now. TV coverage quality is also key. I watched a Paris-tours thing last year and had no clue what was happening. The Vuelta, however, was always clear because of the neat diagram they had at the bottom. I think you just have to invest some time watching the tours and talking to fellow riders.

  8. #8
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    ok then. some questions then.

    who are the top american riders in the giro?
    is USPS there?
    why doesn't lance do this classic (or any classics)
    how does the giro match up to the TDF (majesty,tradition,toughness)
    if lance entered how would he fare?
    will there ever be a helmet cam (like car racing)

    general cycling questions:
    why is it expected for members of other teams to share in the work needed to get back in the peloton? wednesday, cippo was lagging and clearly needed to get back to the front. the commentators made it seem as if other teams should share in the burden rather than just his teammates (maybe i heard wrong)

    what are the 'unwritten' rules of cycling? like no boxing in, sharing food/water?!

    i'd like to see the riders eating. what they eat, when they eat

    at the end of the coverage they don't tell you the wrap up stat's (length of course, avg speed, top speed, riders out, who benefited the most from that day's action, who moved down the most)

    i guess it seems as if liggett is so matter of fact about everything that is happening that it doesn't seem to be exciting for him. his accent is beautiful and all, but i guess i am used to american commentators, often ex-jocks who color the action and get excited and instructional (now there is a lesson for all you young 2nd baseman out there....)

    i guess i am just frustrated because i really love cycling and i can't understand the nuances nor can i begin to get others excited about it. after seeing the last world cup and how americans were into it for the first time, i had hope for this european sport as well.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  9. #9
    Junior Member txroadie's Avatar
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    Set your VCR and record the 1.5 hour "live" version that is on in the morning. They usually have a good discussion at the start about who is where and stuff like that. During the slower parts of the race, they talk about a lot of different things. Bob Roll is the man.

  10. #10
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    1) Technically, there is one American in the Giro, Guido Trenti. However he's really an Italian who carries a US cycling license - I believe his mother is a US citizen.

    2) USPS isn't there - they haven't run the Giro in a number of years. They normally use the Dauphine Libere in June as their warmup to the TDF.

    3a) The Giro isn't a Classic - it's a Grand Tour. It's hard to do both two Grand Tours back to back as they are really draining. Even the sprinters who will be in the TDF also (such as McEwen) will probably drop out of the Giro after stage 10 so that they don't wear themselves out.

    3b) Lance does race some Classics. This year he's raced Amstel Gold and Liege-Bastone-Liege and he's done others in the past. He uses them as training runs for the TDF - although he wants to win them - he won't jeopardize his TDF hopes by going full out.

    4) As how would Lance fare if he was in the Giro, he'd probably do fine.

    5) A camera adds weight so I doubt any cyclist would want to be disadvantaged by wearing one.

    6) When Cipo was stuck in the back, everyone knew that he needed to play catch up and he would have his team work to make contact with the peloton. From a selfish standpoint, why should you work hard when you know Cipo's team will do all the work and you can just tagalog and not waste energy. Depending on what team you're on, you're also preventing Cipo from beating one of your team members who could win the stage. That being said, by not helping Cipo out, you could be hurting your GC contender's chances later on in the Giro because Cipo's team won't help you out.

    7) I don't know much about unwritten rules other than keep your line, go to the back of the peloton if you're taking an on-the go bathroom break, and make sure if you toss a water bottle , toss if wide so that you don't take out anybody behind you.

    I've seen riders share their food and water - I don't know if there is a certain protocol or not.

    8) OLN has no control over the coverage of any of the Grand Tours. For the Giro, OLN is getting a direct feed from RAI, the italian television network. I personnally think the French and Spanish coverage for the TDF and Vuelta are better at showing all of the different gaps and who's in which group.

    9) OLN has only budgeted an hour for cycling coverage so there's no time for them to give all of the day's stats. It would be nice if they expanded coverage for an extra half hour after the race ends to give that commentary.

  11. #11
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bac
    What's not to like!!!
    The thing that drives me crazy about Bob Roll is his hand jestures. I would bet he could not complete a sentence if he had to sit on his hands and do it.

    What him tonight on the Summer SportsZone and see what I mean. I love to hear some of the quips he comes up with though - very funny guy!

    Zack
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  12. #12
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    I think the coverage is great. This year has been a good year for cycling on TV. OLN is doing fantastic.

    Summer Sport Zone at 9PM on thursdays has some good info if you do not know a lot about racing. Plus it is a great highlight show of the weeks cycling.

    Watch a race with someone that is experienced and you will pick up on a lot of things. My 7yo daughter knows what an attack is, how a gap is formed, why different teams pull at different times and many other things from watching races with me over the last couple weeks.
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    If you can, try to get on a local team. I recently did and I learn a lot about racing because group rides give you a good idea what it's like to be in a peloton. They also give you great respect for those pro riders!

  14. #14
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    I like the way Phil, and the boys do the races... they inform, without being insulting... they do usually assume that the viewer knows the basics of what is going on... I think it would be hard to instruct newbie viewers all the time without insulting people who know what's going on... I believe FOX Tv did this a few years ago with hockey... they said "hey, hockey is hard to follow since it is sometimes hard to follow the puck on the ice.... let's make the puck a glowing blue blob on the screen.. and make a red swish on it when it gets a fast whack" For the people like myself, who are reasonably knowledgable about Hockey, it was annoying to say the least... even my mom who has never really watched hockey at all thought it was lame... There is a baseball announcer who does the Anaheim Angels games, Rex Hudler, here in SoCal a former player himself, he does color commentary along with another guy.. he gets enthusiastic, like Phil Liggett, but at the same time he is pretty instructional, often times showing the camera what different pitches look like, and how the pitcher grips the ball in order to throw them... I've been watching baseball since i was 5 years old, and still learn things by watching him... I guess what I am trying to say is... inform people about things, but still keep it interesting for the veteran watchers...


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  15. #15
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Tape the earlier coverage, either the 1.5 hr live feed in the morning or the 1.5 hr replay in the afternoon. The first year I got interested in watching racing I had most of it figured out after watching the Giro, TDF, and Vuelta coverage. Supplement that with a little reading if you can, like the live coverage reports at CyclingNews.com, VeloNews.com, etc.. As far as specifics like gearing, they do occasionally mention the gears they might be using on climbs etc.. Paul and Bob often mention the tactics at play. We could try to explain it to you, but it won't mean much out of context. Enjoy the learning experience; it is really a fascinating sport. There have been other threads on this topic, and posters have written good explanations of some of the stuff going on. Scroll through the old pages.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  16. #16
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    RiPHRaPH, besides the above mentioned sources, your library may have some good cycling related selections. Sometimes they will borrow a book from other libraries or even purchase them if they can't find it. Some of my favorites are "Hearts of Lions" , "The Yellow Jersey", "A Rough Ride", "The Malliot Jaune", "Poison, a Mustache, and Blue Glasses", and "An Intimate Portrait of The Tour De France" to name a few. Velogear.com among other online booksellers also has some excellent selections. Reading accounts of how past races unfolded can be a real knowledge enhancer when it comes time to watching a live race unfold before you. Gino
    All around good guy.

  17. #17
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    As you all know, here in canada, no one covers cycling at all ,except OLN canada does the TDF, and that's it. However, I found that with the TDF, the live morning coverage was far better- for one thing, it's live, and the evening coverage had all kinds of stupid stuff like interviews and dopey features.

    However, with the giro, we discovered that TLN (a spanish and italian network) has been airing giro coverage from RAI international one hour a day at midnight, except no coverage on saturdays. This means we've totally missed two big mountain stages. I have no idea why they wont' air saturdays, who knows. But it's better than nothing! Of course, the color commentary is in italian, but who cares, it's not like we can't figure out what's going on. One of the commentators is former pro, Silvio martinello. The other problem is they just end the hour right after the finish, no podium presentations, nothing. If I want to see the whole thing I'll have to wait until video!

    However, as I'm watching I wish I could hear the OLN team, I could imagine them saying "oh phil, the zoncolan is an absolutely BEASTLY climb".
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  18. #18
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    I would like if I could hear the sounds that occur in the view that I'm watching. Even when its on a motorcycle, surrounded by people cheering, all I hear is a slight sound of a motorcycle engine, and the commentators speaking in what sounds like an empty room.

  19. #19
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    Less then 5 minutes until the Giro.See ya later.
    Sick BubbleGum

  20. #20
    suitcase of courage VegasCyclist's Avatar
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    Originally posted by wabbit
    However, as I'm watching I wish I could hear the OLN team, I could imagine them saying "oh phil, the zoncolan is an absolutely BEASTLY climb".
    or bob roll saying "when the riders discard their helmets today the fans will certainally get some bling bling cach ca"
    -VegasCyclist
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  21. #21
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RiPHRaPH
    what are the 'unwritten' rules of cycling? like no boxing in, sharing food/water?!
    A couple come to mind, they apply mainly to the leaders...
    Don't attack in a feed zone, don't attack during a competitors misfortune (wreck, flat, etc.).

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