The launch of Velon, an organisation of 11 professional cycling teams, in late 2014 was part of the signifier that many teams were looking for innovation in professional cycling, including in the way it’s broadcast to viewers.
On-bike footage is part of the innovation that Velon is looking at, and in 2014 has presented an exciting new dimension of racing for fans.
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The UCI relaxed their rules on the use of cameras on bikes earlier in the year and experimented with them at the Road World Championships, which could pave the way for the regular use of on-bike cameras in the Tour de France and other big races.
There’s been a lot of great footage taken from bike cams, but we’ve chosen five of our favorites of 2014.
1. John Degenkolb’s Tour of California sprint finish frenzy
This video was one of the first to emerge online back in May during the Tour of California. The video is taken from the bikes of Giant-Shimano riders, showing up close John Degenkolb’s sprint finish on stage one. It gives an insight into just how stressful it is to be part of the pro peloton as they gear-up for a sprint. It’s no surprise that Giant-Shimano were one of the first teams to trial the cameras, with title sponsor Shimano leading the way in producing on-bike footage.
2. Marianne Vos’ La Course win on the Champs Elysees
As you probably expected before the race started, Marianne Vos took the victory at the inaugural La Course race on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, but it came down to photo finish with Kisten Wild of Giant-Shimano. Vos’ on bike camera shows the fast closing kilometres of the race circuit round the French capital, and you can see the Dutchwoman’s leadout by her Rabobank teammates, as well as how far back she has to come from to take the win.
3. Jeremy Roy’s ‘best of Tour Poitou Charentes’
FDJ’s Jeremy Roy caught all five stages of the 2014 Tour Poitou Charentes with an on-bike camera, and cut it into this delightful highlights package, which includes some near-miss crashes, angry hand gestures, some funny faces pulled by riders and you might even catch Cav in their briefly if you’re keen-eyed.
4. Tour de Suisse sprint and crash
Another one from the Giant-Shimano sprint train now, with this video remaining particularly memorable because of the tight and twisty corners involved in the finish of stage five at the Tour de Suisse. In fact, you may be able to catch a glimpse of Mark Cavendish’s crash on the stage at about 2.17 minutes in, while you can also sit back and admire Peter Sagan‘s confident cornering coming into the final straight.
5. Nairo Quintana crashing out of the Vuelta a Espana
Having already crashed on the individual time trial the day before, Nairo Quintana’s Vuelta challenge was in serious trouble when he was brought down in a mass crash on stage 11. The video doesn’t particularly shed any light on how it happened, and it’s also unclear which rider the camera belonged to. The footage was uploaded to the Tinkoff-Saxo Youtube channel, with the video taken off the back of Chris Anker Sorensen’s bike.
Got a favourite not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments section below.
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