2 Major European Pro Races on American TV at the Same Time??

Tony Martin Leads Paris-Nice (Reuters)

I couldn’t believe my eyes this week!  I found myself flipping back and forth between 2 cable television channels (Versus and Universal Sports) as they showed coverage of two of the biggest early season pro bike races, Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico.  Not sure what’s going on here, but I love it! Not too long ago, you’d NEVER find major European bike racing on TV – now it’s an embarrassment of riches. Not that we’re seeing sprint finales or team time trials on Sportscenter’s top ten plays…yet…

Paris-Nice

You may have been following the racing this week. Versus and Universal Sports have daily coverage, between 1 and 2 hours each.  Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll are fantastic on Versus.  If you don’t get these channels, now would be a great time to call your local cable operator. From the looks of it, all the major races throughout the year will be covered by these channels. Of course, you can find coverage, sometimes live video feeds, on innumerable cycling websites as well.

Tirreno-Adriatico

Coverage on TV like this is a further sign that cycling in this country has come a long way. Not only are more people getting out on bikes but we’ve seen the rise of stage races like the Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and the upcoming Quiznos Pro Challenge in Colorado.  As long as these events continue to draw thousands if not millions of people out to the side of the road and bike racing fans tune in to Versus and Universal Sports, my hunch is that we may even start to see the sport of cycling go a little bit more mainstream.  There’s more to bike racing than just the Tour de France, after all. The idea of bike racing becoming more mainstream may make you a little queasy but remember that the more people that understand and appreciate our sport the better for you as a rider.  I’m not saying I want cycling to be like baseball but I would prefer to not get run off the road by cranky SUV commuter that thinks I should be riding my bike on the sidewalk!

Click on the images below to visit each channels’ website and check on racing coverage:

Ride on…

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