In this week?s edition?
on this page
? Eurosport?s excellent coverage ? of MotoGP racing
? Paying your way out of trouble German style
? It?s Filippo Pizza-to
On the next page
? BC?s bid to save road racing
? Tour of the Basque zzzzz
? Deep section carbon rims and cobbles don?t mix
|WHERE?S THE REMOTE?|
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So, what is Eurosport 2 actually for? Because while battle raged across the cobbles of northern France both Eurosport channels were showing different flavours of motorcycling.
Showing an hour of coverage from Paris-Roubaix between 4.30pm and 5.30pm local time was like pointing a TV camera at a gently swinging stable door while Dobbin gallops off to the lower paddock.
By the time British Eurosport viewers joined an understandably excited Dave Harmon it was to watch 25 kilometres of tame shadow-boxing between three knackered riders before an inevitably one-sided sprint.
Harmon ? like those of us who sought out half-decent pictures on the internet courtesy of foreign broadcasters (thank you Danish telly!) ? had seen the actual racing happen. By the time Eurosport had finished showing its second Moto GP race, Paris-Roubaix was all but over.
All we had to savour was a perfunctory clatter over the last couple of cobbled sections, Boonen?s unmatchable sprint and then aerial shots of the velodrome as the stragglers came in.
Riveting stuff. Certainly it did no justice to the race. Cycling fans know that in order to put the Queen of the Classics into context, you need to see more than the last half-hour.
Eurosport, seemingly, do not.
I understand commercial pressures. Here I am carping about Eurosport sidelining bike racing in the same way a reader of Cycling Weekly might complain that we don?t cover crack-of-dawn time trialling the way we used to.
And I accept that cycling takes second place to Moto GP because of viewing figures and advertising revenues just as I am resigned to accepting that in the next fortnight, British Eurosport will show hours of world championship snooker instead of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, despite the fact the snooker will be shown at exactly the same time on the BBC.
Eurosport clearly knows that second-hand snooker will attract more viewers than live cycling that could be shown exclusively.
It?s also an irritating irony that the weekday races, which are less prestigious than the weekend Classics, get more airtime, but let?s not be churlish.
Of course, the internet is probably the way forward, but until the picture is good enough to stretch across my widescreen telly without making me feel like I?m watching through a whirling kaleidoscope I?ll stick to free, if illicit, pictures from our Danish friends, thanks.
A couple of years ago, when Eurosport 2 was launched, we were told it would solve the problem of clashes between live events. So what was on Eurosport 2 on Sunday? A different type of motorcycle racing (smaller engines or racing for left-handed people or something), followed by recorded basketball.
My plea to British Eurosport is this: either do cycling properly or don?t do it at all. A properly edited highlights programme would be an improvement on the current situation, which too frequently sees 20 minutes of Classic action filling a one-hour programme.
|ISN?T THIS A PAY-OFF?|
It?s funny how ?justice? works sometimes isn?t it.
I?ve tried to imagine what I?d do if I was in a spot of bother and the German authorities were pressing ahead with fraud charges against me. Knowing that I was entirely innocent, I am not sure I?d part company with a quarter of a million euros (allegedly) just to make all the questions stop.
Pozzato waiting for his second pizza. By Andy Jones
|IT?S FILIPPO PIZZA-TO|
Last Wednesday evening, CW?s team found themselves sitting next to the Liquigas team in Da Franco?s, a pleasant Italian-run pizzeria in the Belgian town of Kortrijk.
Apparently the Italian teams always drop in during Golden Week for a little taste of home.
We?re not sure what was more surprising, though.
That the Italians, previously engrossed in the Manchester United v Roma Champions League match, completely lost interest once United had scored, or that Filippo Pozzato?s little jokes and smiles put a spring in the step of the previously surly, disinterested waitress.
Pozzato ordered two pizzas, one after the other, and ate them so quickly it gave me indigestion before our mains had even turned up. It really was the sprint finish of eating styles.
But the rotten tomato award has to go to Manuel Quinziato, who we now doubt is a true Italian. He asked for a bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup to go with his frites and was greeted with a chorus of jeers and boos from his team-mates.
THE TUESDAY COMMENT PART TWO….
Click for part two ? more ranting and raving
British Cycling pressures central Government to support road racing, and more…