Friday, 30 May 2014

Bergerac - Racing to win

In the Tour de France, it's not uncommon for the race for overall victory to remain wide open right up until the penultimate stage time trial, which this year will start in Bergerac in south-western France. By this stage of the race the main contenders will all have a fairly good grasp of each other's form, and as one-by-one the riders descend the starting ramp to begin their solo journey towards Périgueux, the time-checks will trickle in and the Classement Général will slowly reshuffle itself into its final configuration. Late in the day, as the crowds swell, the leaders of the race will face their final test, and they will be holding nothing in reserve.

Cadel Evans rides himself into the leader's jersey on stage 20 of the 2011 Tour de France (Photo from CyclingTips)
In the competition for the ultimate job reporting at the Tour de France for CyclingTips, we face our own Race of Truth: our formal entry submission is due today, and whilst we hope that our efforts blogging, tweeting and making Strava art will put us in a good starting position, our fortunes will rest on this final test.

We intend to hold nothing in reserve.

Yesterday we got a chance to see the form that some of our competitors are in and it's clear that this will be a very close race indeed. The competition organisers have given clear instructions on what they want to see:
Be creative. We want to see you thinking outside the square. So many media outlets cover the Tour de France in so much detail that it’s often hard to find something different to say. We want your coverage to be different. Show us how you’ll do that.
So we've responded with a written submission that highlights our enthusiasm and versatility, whilst outlining our overarching theme: there's nothing quite like being there.

Watching a bike race like the Tour de France on TV and reading about it online is great fun, but a lot of the coverage we get here in Australia can make the event feel like it's happening a million miles away (or at least ten-and-a-half thousand miles away). We want to give people a taste of what it's like to stand at the side of the road yelling "Allez! Allez!" as the sprinters' grupetto grinds its way up a fifteen percent grade and a drunk Belgian tells you for the third time about the day he out-sprinted Eddy Merkx to win a kermesse race in Flanders in the 1960s. These are the stories you don't get to see on TV, but they're the ones you remember decades later.

Our formal submission to the competition, which you can download here.
Lastly, we want to thank you for reading our blog this week. We were out and about yesterday morning and we filmed this short little video in front of Sydney Harbour. It's really just a "hello" and introduction, but we wanted to share it with you and say "Thanks".

Keep Pedalling.

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