Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Augmented Reality - Tour de France Edition

Or, How To Use Twitter To Watch the Tour de France

One of the things I love about Twitter is the fact that you can read commentary from other people while an event is going on. (When I was a teenager I occasionally created a low-tech version of this by watching TV over the phone - two friends in different houses, watching the same TV show.) I use it when watching hockey games, and it enhances my appreciation of the game. Other fans post insights and details I didn't know. And it's witty.

The same happens with the Tour de France, only the difference with pro cycling events is that instead of listening to other fans you're also reading news from the participants! A lot of pro cyclists and staff post on Twitter - and they're surprisingly candid. I've posted before about Kurt Asle Arvesen's photos of his road rash in a past Tour. Lance Armstrong has been tweeting almost every time he gets drug tested (though he arguably does have something to gain by that). Here's the photo Armstrong sent update this morning, before a seriously tough stage over cobblestone roads:

Deceiving Profile by Lance Armstrong

In the first few stages we had the Schleck brothers reporting on each other's injuries. First, Andy was in a minor crash and his brother Frank sent this:
@andy_schleck do U guys is that he is going to have a good sleep? Ich don t think so http://tweetphoto.com/31034360
Sadly, Frank had a more serious crash the next day. Still, Andy was there for us.
He need surgery http://tweetphoto.com/31160227
And also this, since his team kept the yellow jersey as overall leader:
@schleckfrank out with broken shoulder yellow is 4 him today!he be back stronger
Before you complain about their grammar, keep in mind that their first language is Luxembourgish - which I didn't even know existed until recently. So I think they're doing fine with English.

So here's a big list of Tour-related commentators on Twitter. Or you can just follow my public list for cycling (it has some of my friends on it too): http://twitter.com/#/list/erinkpgh/cycling or search Twitter for the #TdF tag.

Tour de France Cyclists on Twitter:

Twitter Cyclists Not In the 2010 Tour:
Tour News Sources on Twitter:
More Useful Websites:
Share and enjoy.