Tag Archives: podcasts

Tour de France podcasts

I’m in France on holiday but as ever, managing time is a bit a juggling act, with family to see, children to chase after, bike riding to be done (as much as possible), weddings to go to, and so on.

I’ve always been a fan of radio and at Tour time, podcasts are a great way for me to keep up with all the aspects of the race- I don’t have time to read all the written media and if I’m lucky I’ll see an hour of live coverage, but when I get home and have to go back to work, I sometimes even struggle to catch the highlights.

This year there have been several shows, after what was something of a light summer in 2011.

My favourite, The Velocast, returns to daily Tour coverage. Hosts Scott and John have taken a bold step in asking for A £10 subscription upfront and I am supporting this venture and hope it leads to more shows and more time for the two of them to produce content. This may not be for everybody but

Cycling Central
Australian journalist Anthony Tan is doing what looks like it will be a daily show with Cycling Central. Scottish writer Richard Moore joined him for one earlier show- a partnership that has been seen before on the now-defunct Cyclingnews show, that was sponsored by Rapha one year, and ran to publicise the cyclingnews.com website in 2011 (as I understood it). ‘Tan Man‘ and Moore have a good chemistry and seem to thrive by slagging each other. Others may prefer their commentary more ‘straight’ but I enjoy listening for the nuances in the relationships- after 2 weeks of Tour madness, you can tell that cabin fever sets in amongst the journos and often more honest assesments of poor tactics or bad conduct come to the fore. As well as the banter there is good analysis and interviews- it’s Aussie in focus though, with audio from Allan Peiper, Matt White, Matt Goss and plenty of others so far. Cadel may be elusive but they keep a close eye on his exploits. There’s still plenty of British interest with views from Moore and today Daniel Friebe and Will Fotheringham.

Cycle Sport
Richard Moore hosted a show with Cycle Sport (and Cycling Weekly) writer Lionel Birnie. This one looks like it will be more occasional but also had some really good analysis.

This show backs up the UKs main terrestrial highlights show on ITV4. It has a professional feel with clips from the English language live commentary by Phil & Paul and interviews with the stage winner or some other man of the day by Ned Boulting. Matt Rendell is cerebral as ever but there is plenty of humour between him, Boulting and the ex pro Chris Boardman. The Scouser’s humour appeals to me, there may be impressions and possibly even some ukelele from the technical staff if we are lucky.

This week in cycling history

To my delight, the Velocast is back with a music-and-cycling banter show called Velocast Race Radio. Check it out.

One of the gems of the show are the ‘this week in cycling history’ snippets from Irish fount of historical cycling trivia, Cillian Kelly. He posts good articles over at his Irish Peloton blog, but the radio snippets are something interesting and different that you won’t find elsewhere. Every week he will enlighten us with facts from cycling history, ranging from the 1880s to the 1980s. His twitter feed is also good for some really interesting facts and trivia during the big races.

In 1975, Sean Kelly, Pat McQuaid and Kieran McQuad and two Scots broke the apartheid boycot and travelled to South Africa incognito to get some winter racing miles in the Rapport Tour. If you don’t know, all sporting contact with South Africa (and trade imports and exports for that matter) was banned. This boycott was in force right up until the mid-90s and the end of Apartheid. I remember my Mum tutting when Cape and Jaffa oranges began to appear in the supermarket.

The Scots were Henry Wilbraham and John Curran – some mention of them along with other Scottish riders banned for various other transgressions are mentioned on a typically delightful misty-eyed thread on the Braveheart forum.

They were photographed by a journalist covering then A-Listers Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s second marriage. The photo of the riders alongside Burton and Taylor was published and the riders recognised. The Irish initially got 7 month bans and lifetime exclusion from Olympic competition. (although Pat McQuaid now apparently sits on the Olympic governing body)

There’s more on this story over at the Cyclismas blog. Thanks to Cillian for flagging it up.

Podcast update: Cyclingnews

I have done a fairly comprehensive (but not exhaustive) review of cycling podcasts over the past few years, and Cyclingnews was one that I liked, although it did have its critics.

It usually takes a hiatus in the off-season, but as the early races kicked off and the classics got underway, it still hadn’t re-emerged. I spoke to Daniel Benson, editor of Cyclingnews.com and got the lowdown.

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Cycling podcasts: Velo Club Don Logan

I should really have covered this show before now, so you’d be forgiven for accusing me of being shallow, given that I only review it now that I am on it. I met Graham and Gary at Stirling’s Macrobert cinema after the screening of Chasing Legends.

The VCDL pod is a fun, banter-filled fans view of pro road racing, mountain biking and cycling in general. Graham aka bmfw is the master of ceremonies, Gary (aka Stumpyrider) is the mountain bike expert and Colin Clewsy Clews drops in comment and gags from the background, as well as being the butt of jokes.

The podcast appeared after the Velocast stopped- the VCDL guys, like me, were big fans of that show. Instead of moaning about its demise, they just went out and started their own show, which is great! They may hail from Sausage Roll City but they sure don’t sit on their arses all day eating pies.

There is some good coverage of road news, and the presenters are well clued up, seemingly reading every magazine and website out there. But it’s an accessible listen- the VCDL crew make no pretensions to be Phil and Paul or Matt and Ned, just three fans like you and me, shooting the breeze about cycling.

Episode 7 (the one I’m on!)

Velo Club Don Logan blog
VCDL on itunes

More of my cycling podcast reviews

Legends of Cycling podcasts

Narrated by Graham Jones, former elite road racer and currently race director of the Tour of Britiain, Legends of Cycling is more of a mini radio documentary series than a podcast.

[edit 29/01/2012: it wasn’t the Graham Jones I was thinking of… please check comments to see who the real author and presenter of these podcasts was… apologies!]

The shows start at the very beginning of cycling, with episode 1 spanning the period of tremendous innovation in the 1800s and episode 2 covering the role the bicycle played a major role in breaking down late Victorian barriers of gender, class and race. While interesting, I liken these shows to the early chapters of a biography that you skip over to get to the good bit. I listened to them once though, and they are short enough (less than 10 minutes) to be an interesting “bite size listen”.

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David Millar’s ‘Bat Wing’ skinsuit

I’m not hugely into time trialling but this item, heard on the Joe Beer podcast, and about Scotland’s top pro racer was interesting. I also hadn’t heard or seen it anywhere else so thought it was worth posting.

At about 55:50 on this podcast, coach Joe Beer talks about ‘aero going bonkers’ at the 2010 Tour de France. Items included Lance Armstrong’s ‘burner’ rear mech and Dave Millar’s ‘Batsuit’. Co-host Martin Crocker commented that his wife noticed that Dave Millar seemingly hadn’t pulled his skinsuit on correctly. In fact it was a special cut to create a smoother line between the body and the arm area.

57 David Millar - Garmin
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Reveiew of ‘podcasts’: BBC live Tour

Here is another new media way to enjoy the Tour de France. It’s a contradiction in terms, because it isn’t a podcast, it’s a live feed from the BBC website.

Every day the BBC Tour de France reporter Peter Slater commentates on the last hour or two of every stage, and this feed is available via the cycling section of the BBC website. There are no podcast downloads, but it’s a good way to keep up with the race as it happens, if you can’t watch it on tv or sit watching twitter all afternoon.
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Review of podcasts: Procycling

With the Tour de France on, there are a few podcasts that suddenly pop out of the woodwork.

During the Tour, the cyclingnews podcast transmogrifies into a daily download under the banner of Procycling, which is the print stablemate of cyclingnews, under the Future Publishing banner.

Those who dislike the regular podcast (see comments in my cyclingnews review) would do well to check it out again as it’s very different.

You have the host, Daniel Friebe who is the Procycling editor, along with author and journalist Richard Moore, who should be well known to Scottish cycling fans. This year they have a cyclingnews reporter Anthony Tan, a lively Aussie who I haven’t heard of before.
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