Social Media and Grand Tours

News & Results

08/13/2013| 0 comments
by Neil Browne
Tom Danielson and Chris Horner Slipstream

Social Media and Grand Tours

Pro tips for social media and shorter stages.

We've had some great racing here in the States. The Tour of Utah just concluded and we had several days of exciting racing. Now I'm going to say something radical. Remember, I'm just throwing it out there as a potential idea, so hold back on your hate mail.

Stage 4 of the Tour of Utah was a circuit race around downtown Salt Lake City. The course was almost seven miles in length and the racers would bang handlebars for only 34 miles. The video feed was spotty, but from what I read the action was aggressive and entertaining. Jens Voigt took to Twitter after the race and posted, “That was some intense fast race, loved it. More races should be shorter, would be more action and fun to watch.”

I'm not suggesting that the Tour de France reduce the stages to city center circuits that are completed in 90 minutes, but how about incorporating one of these city-center-circuit stages as part of a stage race? Again, not in one of the grand tours (those are too sacred), but start with the UCI ranked 2.1 events. This is something the average television watcher could wrap their head around. Let's face it, some of those longer, flat stages that end in a field sprint are snorefests until the last thirty kilometers. With these shorter circuit races the middle man is cut out and we just get the “full gas” action. Just food for thought.

Speaking of full gas action the Tour of Utah also provided some post-race action that made its way onto Twitter.

Sick of finishing second, BMC Racing’s Greg Van Avermaet made the social media mistake of trying to reach out to a podium hostess via Twitter. Initially he tried to direct message her, but was blocked by the micro-blogging site because they actually weren't following each other. What ensued were awkward middle school attempts of trying to connect at a post race party. All of this was caught by the always funny and informative @_mmmaiko_ on her Twitter account. Check out her Tumblr “ CaliforniaStreaming” for all the details. All of this public fumbling around to make a connection got me thinking and I put together a few tips to help out a professional cyclist trying to meet that someone special.

1. Your window of opportunity to rendezvous with the object of your desire is limited. You might have a flight first thing in the morning - and if you did well at the race, you need to strike while the iron is hot and the alcohol is flowing. Whatever fame you might have from the stage victory or GC/jersey win is short-lived in the eyes of your attraction. Heaven forbid Tom Boonen is also in attendance and quite frankly, if he sets his steely brown Belgian eyes on the same person you have an interest in, it’s game over. You might as well call it a night and ask the masseuse for a late night deep massage to relieve any frustrations.

2. Yes, you can send a private message

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