Live race coverage via twitter

“This is going to be 17k of full Euro man contact…” (nyvelocity)

“Tomorrow’s winner gets a Donkey. Pretty sure the winner today gets a Aardvark and a years supply of duck fat for Frites” (Race Radio)

“For you US cycling fans, Versus is showing live Squirrel wrestling” (nyvelocity)

Over the weekend the carnage of the Belgian road season opened with Het Nieuwsblad (formally Het Volk) and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. I have watched these both on subscription satellite before but was stumped this year (as were many) by a lack of TV coverage. I have in the past used a number of ticker services (including the cyclingnews one), and watched streamed coverage (my older son said it was like watching ants on bikes; see the inner ring blog for some interesting commentary).

This time around I was (in)accurately informed and highly entertained by a number of twitter feeds (especially by nyvelocity)… much better than watching as my imagination provided a colourful counterpart to each tweet:

“Flecha asks Langeveld if he has Paypal” (nyvelocity)

“Flecha wants to um, come from behind…” (nyvelocity)

I tried combining the a live feed and twitter for KBK, but I have to say the previous day had me more involved, especially since my feed was about 5 seconds behind nyvelocity’s commentary.

Unfortunately, as some observed, offering such a level of detail via twitter may seriously impact upon the ability to keep your followers!

“And, for the record, today’s commentary has lost us twitter followers” (nyvelocity)

Well not me, for one. Many UK cycling fans of a certain age relied on belated magazine and newspaper reports for their knowldege of road racing on the continent, and dodgy radio transmissions from European stations (never mind the 30 minutes on ITV’s World of Sport during the tour). I am beginning to wonder if following cycling via sms and out-of-date still photography is the best way forward, if it means I don’t have to translate supposedly English TV commentary and watch adverts every time there is some action…

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