Between a Rock and a hard place

With ITV announcing a ‘red button’ interactive TV service for the Tour of Britain – see story below – we’ll get to see lots of Tyler Hamilton racing in the UK.

For those who believe he’s guilty as hell it’s worth reading the full arbitration ruling. Starting on p. 14 of this PDF, tribunal member Christopher Campbell identified many aspects of the case against Hamilton that didn’t stack up.

As can be seen by the past dispute over fairness of doping case arbitrators, these hearings are far from impartial.

Hamilton’s case didn’t stand or fall on the so-called ‘chimera defence’ but he will be for ever a blood doper to the majority. Sadly, the Rock Racing rider will get a cold reception in Britain, with the cycle press attacking him from all quarters long before he arrives for the London start of the Tour of Britain.

For footage of Tyler – and Tugboat RIP – get the ‘Brainpower’ movie rushes from the spot on iTunes.

That’s a full nine minutes of high-quality Tour de France footage, shot on IMAX cameras. The lo-res, shorter version has been watched 125,000 times on YouTube:

The footage is a series of rushes from ‘Brainpower’ that later turned into the IMAX movie ‘Wired to Win’. The rushes included footage of Tyler Hamilton, footage that was chopped from the final film. The movie started life as a semi biopic of Hamilton but was delayed a year when the then CSC rider was embroiled in the blood doping saga. reader ‘deekayed’ recently emailed with an anecdote about meeting Tyler Hamilton:

“After see ‘The best Tour De France footage ever shot’ from your sit, me and a group of friends that I ride with went to Philly’s Frankilin Institute Imax and watched ‘Wired to Win’. We were blown away.

“We all live in the Reading PA area and a week later the Commerce Bank Reading Classic came to town. Who do I end up having an extended conversation with but Tyler Hamilton. Before I knew it there were at least fifteen people with microphones standing behind me. Unfortunately then was the time that I said to him just what a shame all that time and expense was lost on ‘Brainpower’. It was as if I had asked how Tugboat was doing. His eyes filled with tears, he said nothing, put his head down and a few moments later rode away, speechless. As I turned around to make my own way there was all these stunned looking people with microphones who had no idea what just transpired but gave me the look of, you just killed his dog.”

Want to see video of the Team Columbia launch at Tour de France?

Cycling: Tour De France / Team High Road

Team High Road is now Team Columbia. The new jerseys were unveiled today in a press conference held in the Tour de France HQ, a few kms north of Brest.

Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett introduced the riders. There’s a video on the podcast on iTunes. Subscribe, now, it’s free. The video is also available as a direct download from Libsyn.

Cycling: Tour De France / Team High Road
George Hincapie

cavendish and ciolek
Pro cyclists don’t like standing. Too taxing for the legs. Before entering the salle de presse for the team launch, Mark Cavendish called for chairs for him and his lead-out man Gerald Ciolek

Le Street View avec Google

My compact flash cards died on me yesterday. Looking on Google for a PC hypermarche near the race HQ in Brest I stumbled on Google Map’s Street View. I thought this was only available for certain cities in the US.

It turns out Google has partnered with the Tour de France to create the whole dang route in super-detailed spy-van mode. Cracking.

Check out the Google/YouTube vid detailing the fly-through potential:

If the voice in that video doesn’t float you boat, there’s a more melodic French version here.

TdF vid optimised for Apple TV

I’ve re-released the ‘Best Tour de France footage ever?’ video, the one that’s had 118,000+ views on YouTube. But the YouTube version is short and lo-res. A higher-res, nine-minute version was released on iTunes in May last year but it was iPod size only.

I’ve now done a version for Apple TVs. It’s available right now, for free, on’s home on iTunes.

The video is made up of ‘rushes’ from the IMAX movie with the production name of Brainpower but which morphed into Wired to Win when it was released to IMAX cinemas in 2006. Much of the video footage never made it into the final movie…because it featured Tyler Hamilton.

Get in the mood for Le Tour

The Tour de France starts in Brittany on 5th July. I’m a lucky bugger, I’ll be there.

I’m getting warmed up for the event by re-watching this video:

I billed this as ‘Best Tour de France footage ever?’ and it’s had 117,000+ views on YouTube. But it’s only the short and shonky version. The higher-res, nine-minute version can be found on’s home on iTunes.

The video is made up of ‘rushes’ from the IMAX movie with the production name of Brainpower but which morphed into Wired to Win when it was released to IMAX cinemas in 2006.

The IMAX movie, as you’d expect, is larger than life and truly stunning. But it was distributed much later than first billed. Following the initial shooting in 2003 there had to be an extensive reshooting of scenes to accommodate the removal of Tyler Hamilton from the movie.

At the time Hamilton was embroiled in a drugs hearing, which he sadly later lost. Had he embarked on the same course of action as Floyd Landis – request for an open hearing, wiki-style posting of all hearing evidence on his website so experts could crawl all over it – the outcome may have been different. Well, perhaps not the outcome because Continue reading “Get in the mood for Le Tour”

Will you be 100,000th viewer of this TdF vid?

Last year I put out the video above. It’s had 99,419 views on YouTube. It will soon be my first vid to break through 100,000 views.

Billed as the ‘Best Tour de France footage ever filmed?’ it’s a collection of rushes from the IMAX movie with the production name of ‘Brainpower’ but which morphed into ‘Wired to Win’ when it was released to IMAX cinemas.

The YouTube footage is just a couple of minutes of fuzzy stuff, there’s nine minutes of higher quality material on the podcast site, on iTunes here.

The rushes footage isn’t from a trailer, it contains movie editing timecodes.

It also contains rider footage that never made the movie. Guess who was cut?

Get online-HD bike racing content

Vimeo has a velo channel. I didn’t know that. Do now. Soxiam, a staff moderator, added my bike vids, including Bicycle Anatomy for Beginners. Thanks, mate.

I don’t yet have an HD camera, but when I do I’ll def load hi-def vids to Vimeo. When you embed Vimeo vids they don’t play in HD. You need to go direct to the site. This is no chore, it’s a beautifully designed site.

If you have fast broadband and a desire to view online vids in 1280×720, Vimeo HD is the place to hang out.

This Tour de France HD vid is from Eurosport and features some funky graphics and, of course, Kraftwerk’s emblematic TdF anthem.

There’s lots of other HD content on Velovimeo, such as:

Independence Valley Road Race (HD edit) 03/22/08, Men PRO/1/2 from Dessa on Vimeo.

Don’t forget, it’s not HD until you go direct to Vimeo.

Next Spokesmen chat due out later today

We’ve just recorded another Spokesmen roundtable podcast. The Skype connection was crystal clear. It’ll be pumped out to iTunes and other podcatching software soon. Check on The Fredcast’s twitter updates for the actual second of publication.

Donna Tocci, David Bernstein and lil ‘ol me talked about van Impe, Landis, locks, Slipstream’s inclusion in the Tour de France, David Cameron’s freewheeling faux pas and other such stuff.

Watch out on Weds for another London cycling announcement

On Wednesday, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, will welcome Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, to City Hall.

The two will meet, along with London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy, to discuss the future of the Tour de France in London. The Mayor will make a further announcement about cycling in the capital.

Prudhomme may be in charge of an organisation that, if it doesn’t back down in its fight with the UCI, could damage pro-cycling, but he’s a really nice bloke. Here are two of my kids meeting him at last year’s Tour de France in Londres:

All future vids will be on Vimeo and Apple TV

I love YouTube. It was the first kid on the block and gets huge numbers of visitors. The videos on YouTube have had 464,993 views between them. A Tour de France movie vid has had 71,233 views. YouTube is great for quick vids but is not so hot on delivering hi-res footage.

To date I have also been loading some vids to the podcast on Libsyn and iTunes. These were OK for iPod viewing but, after watching HD podcasts on the latest incarnation of the Apple TV, I’m going to deliver the vids in Apple TV’s m4v format.

Despite the name, the Apple TV podcast-to-movies-to-Flikr set-top box thingy is syncable to a PC as well as a Mac. In fact, with the latest software, it doesn’t even need a computer of any sort, just an HD TV.

If you’ve not got an Apple TV, the next best thing is to watch videos loaded to I’ve just created an account and will load all future vids to Vimeo as well as Apple TV. I’ll continue to place lo-res vids on YouTube.

Here’s the first Vimeo vid:

How to get kids to fix bicycles from on Vimeo.

It features a load of kiddie bike racing at the beginning and then leads into a bike mechanics training session for the Newcastle Phoenix kids.

I was really surprised at how enthusiastic they were to fix their own bikes. Some of the older kids had never mended their own punctures, always letting mum or dad get on with it.

I hope the Weldtech session by mechanic Jeff Beach gets them to do their own bike fettling. After all, if the older kids want to go out for long rides by themselves, they’ll need to know some bike tech basics.