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bicycle bob 09-09-13 03:48 PM

Tour of Alberta thoughts
Hi folks -

The Tour of Alberta just finished up its inaugural race last weekend. I have my own thoughts on it, but I'm an Albertan and I'd like to hear from anyone else who tuned in. What did everyone out there think of the race in terms of its interest, quality of broadcast, quality of competition, whatever?

There were a lot us who were thrilled to have big-time racing so close to home. Thanks,


DXchulo 09-09-13 04:09 PM

I think it has great potential. It's too bad the toughest stage had to be altered due to the floods. It would have been a much more interesting race if not for that.

Added in with Utah, Colorado, and the other Canadian races, it seems like North America could become a place for good Worlds preparation for guys who don't want to do La Vuelta. 2015 could be really big with the Worlds in Virginia.

Athens80 09-09-13 06:37 PM

I enjoyed it. It's nice to see another part of the world, and there seems to be some beautiful country in Alberta. It came across as a welcoming place. It's also good to see Garmin continue to support good, young riders.

Sagan provided a good show. The race does need either more course variety or more world class sprint competition so that fewer stages consist of catching the break and Sagan distancing all the rest in the last hundred meters.

Zinger 09-09-13 08:19 PM

I'm hearing complaints from viewers in the US about the spotty coverage but I don't have cable and work the second shift so I've been missing it.

Sagan made me a fan for his efforts over here. Nice contrast to Sky's phoning it in at the US Pro Challenge.

The organizers did some good rerouting of a stage after some flooding and I think they'll only get better next time and after.

bicycle bob 09-11-13 11:46 AM

Thanks for the replies. It's good to hear how things looked from the outside. I was a little concerned it would turn into a sprintfest, given the routes, but you can always count on Alberta weather to throw in a wrench or two. Who knew Sagan would fold so badly in a little wind? Anyway, word to the wise - look for some real mountain stages in next year's version. Regards,


jimblairo 09-11-13 01:08 PM

I thought it was the worst telecast of a bike race I've ever seen. Really spotty coverage and way too much advertising. The courses were too flat. In most stages the telecaster had a 2 hour block but most stages were over in the first 45 minutes and the race was joined live with 30 to 35 km to go.

Ken Brown 09-11-13 02:43 PM

I thought the broadcast was very poor. I have no interest in interviews with dignitaries and travelogues about Alberta. I did a lot of fast-forwarding. I heard that they had technical difficulties on Stage 1 and that might be excusable, but a really good broadcaster would have had backup in place.

I had expected to see beautiful Alberta scenery and mountain climbs. Except for the badlands and the prologue in Edmonton, I was disappointed. As mentioned above, too much flat land.

I would love to see it succeed and I am sure the organizers will learn from their mistakes.

bicycle bob 09-11-13 04:13 PM

Can't help but agree on the quality of the broadcast. I'm told a UK broadcaster actually dropped the ToA because of it, and I don't blame them. Again, should see more mountains next year.


bikesandcode 09-12-13 12:55 PM


Originally Posted by jimblairo (Post 16055220)
I thought it was the worst telecast of a bike race I've ever seen. Really spotty coverage and way too much advertising. The courses were too flat. In most stages the telecaster had a 2 hour block but most stages were over in the first 45 minutes and the race was joined live with 30 to 35 km to go.

I'll agree with the horrifically bad coverage, but most stages were not over in the first 45 minutes. I may get the stage numbers wrong, but two of the days, I think it was stage 2 and 3, the winning break did not get away from the field until 100km in. Sadly, 2+ hours of eschelons hammering it in the wind each of these days was not broadcast and we did not get to enjoy it.

(Or I totally misunderstood you and you meant that there was only 45 minutes of actual racing covered. Yeah. That sucked.)

SpeshulEd 09-12-13 02:44 PM

I'm behind as I've been watching the Veulta, so I've only seen part of the prologue (I hate time trials, zzzzzz) and stage 1, which was mostly just a video of a flag waving in the wind.

The end of Stage 1 reminded me of the small town I grew up in...tractors everywhere and the guy that kept holding up the motor home sales sign at the finish line was funny.

I'm downloading the Eurosport HD copies from cyclingtorrents. I don't think there was local coverage, or at least I never found it. I will update this later when I've seen everything. However, it sounds like a lot of people are complaining about the same things I complained about during the Tour of Utah - two hours of air time and only 45 minutes of racing, while the rest is interviews, podiums, and a commercial for tourism. I get it, but if I wanted to learn about Utah tourism, I'd google it - I'm watching a bike race for the bike race.

In general, I'd like to revamp all cycling coverage. It drives me nuts when the commentators just ramble on about anything rather than what you're actually seeing on the screen. The guys have numbers, is it that hard to have a list of names and a write-up for each rider. When the camera is on said rider, the commentator could tell us more about that rider. I've complained about this in the past. I also don't understand why there aren't more video clips, replays, etc, especially when there's bad weather or delays in the coverage. I don't need to see people walking around the finish line, or an aerial view of the parking lot, why don't they show what happened at the last sprint, or replays of action from the day before. When I watch football, there is a constant stream of information being displayed on the screen, when there's a break in the action, I'm notified of whats happening in other games, the commentators are talking about the players and the teams and what they need to be doing throughout the game...constant information. During a bike race, I hear ramblings about the country side or that there is a lull in the action due to bad weather and then hear about the weather for next half hour. I sometimes wonder if this is why people could care less about pro cycling in America - if you don't love riding a bike yourself, you have no interest in watching others ride a bike and hearing about the rain for 2 hours. Tell viewers about strategies, the reasoning behind the different riders in a team, etc. I spent my entire lunch yesterday explaining to coworkers the point of teams in pro cycling. When I had finished, they were all more interested and were looking up various things on youtube. I felt like I had done my civic cycling duty.

SpeshulEd 09-16-13 08:21 AM

I have to take back some of what I've said now that I've watched all of it. I actually thought the coverage was pretty good as the week went on. Much better than the Tour of Utah which I compared it to. I'd like to see more cameras - it seems like when the break happened, they stayed with the break and never showed the peleton again.

Overall, i enjoyed it quite a bit. Yay Canada!

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