July 04, 2009
Tuning up for the Tour
If you're new to the site, welcome! If you're back, thanks!
When I started TdFblog, back in 2003, there wasn't a lot of cycling coverage on the web. CyclingNews and VeloNews already had websites, but neither had much audio or video, and VeloNews didn't really create much content beyond what went in the magazine for the web.BBC, and original sources not in English, like L'Equipe and AS.
Today, there are dozens of great bicycle sites, many of them focused on racing. Why come here? I hope to help English-speaking fans, who may only watch the Tour (and especially with Armstrong's return this year), gain an appreciation for the beauty and savagery of our sport. During the Tour, I'll link to dozens of stories in the main content column here, and hundreds more in the “Tour Posts at Other Sites" section of my left sidebar. I'm not picking those because they're from my content partners, or because they're part of my site -- the things I link are the things I like, whether I agree with them or not. I hope you'll like them, too.
The explosion of interest in the Tour and in outlets covering the Tour means it gets harder every year to find all the great Tour content out there, so I welcome (nay, beg for) your help. If you see something you think TdFblog readers would like to know about, please send it along.
And, if you're on Twitter, feel free to reply or to direct-message me (I'm @TdFblog) with content or comments. The Twitter feed will be the only place for my as-it-happens race updates, and I'll usually post links to content there before I post stories about that content to the site. If you've got to know everything first, you'll want to follow the Twitter feed.
I think it's important to attribute links, so I'll usually add a “via” on Twitters and always try to at least abbreviate the news source I'm citing. “CN” is CyclingNews.com, “VN” is VeloNews, “CW” is Cycling Weekly, “Euro” is Eurosport. I'm using #tdf as my Tour hashtag; I prefer it to #tourdefrance since it saves 9 precious characters in a 140-character post. I'll probably use the #22 tag for Armstrong (that's his race number), and may adopt that convention for other riders, as well. That's also why I use the tr.im URL shortener -- when you see a link to “tr.im” in my Twitter stream, it's a shortened version of a link like http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/ cavendish-aims-for-stages-and-paris — that's 67 characters by itself! Feel free to retweet anything I've posted to Twitter.
When I post a photo on the site, clicking on it will always take you to a larger version in its original location. In the sidebar, I do that instead of attributing the photos in the limited sidebar space. If there's an uncredited photo in the main content column, it's probably one of mine: You can see many of my cycling photos on Flickr.
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Which country is best in road cycling? Depends on how you measure it! How about aggregating a country's top 3 places in Le Tour - Top 1 is just an individual, top 5 or more and it distorts in favour of those who enter most cycists not who are best.
My formula would make Spain top, followed by USA & France; and then Germnay, Italy, Luxembourg and Russis all within 20 points of each other. Uk 8th. Fair? Spain would drop to 3rd if Astarloza's thrown out though.
Posted by: Charles at Aug 4, 2009 12:15:10 PM