Is RCS Killing the Giro TV Audience?

How about that Giro hey? Apart form some ridiculously boring early stages, it was a ripper of a race. However, it seems a hell of a lot of my fellow aussie cycling fans missed out. How many you ask? Well, due to the fact that I don’t have the rights to publish all the numbers, I cant show a breakdown of the actual numbers for each stage (the figures I have come from multiple sources), but I reckon this graph might give you some idea.

For all the gory details of what happened with the rights, see the always excellent post here.

Now, going back to the figures, there was a shade over 1.5 million views of the SBS coverage for the 2016 race for all the stages. The payTV audience didn’t even make it to 10% of that figure in either 2016 or 2017. The Eurosport audience grew 1.4% from 2016 to 2017, so exclusivity did bugger all to their audience. In theory, a potential 1.5 million plus eyeballs missed out on seeing the Giro this year, in Australia alone! I don’t have global figures, but I can’t imagine they would be a lot better.

Now, imagine if you are a team sponsor. You think they would be happy about this? They are missing out on a huge amount of exposure.

I have no idea what we, as Australian cycling fans can do. I was thinking about the anti siphoning laws out here, but from what I can see on the Wiki site about it, cycling isn’t even listed on the list of sports covered. Maybe this is one avenue?

The relevant Minister has the power to add, amend or remove events from the list.

I don’t know the answer, but it seems RCS have shot themselves in the foot with this decision. Let’s hope it is looked at before next years Giro.

Posted in Pro Cycling | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

My Hot Take on the Dumo Dumpo

That moment when the last wall of defense, the anus, decides it’s going for a smoko and you’re about to shit your dacks. What an arsehole! Most of us have been there. It is a horrible feeling. The instant sweat on the brow. The feeling of a black hole materialising in your shorts. The panic knowing a damn good sock is going to be sacrificed.

Now imagine that you have that feeling, and your are on a push bike. In a race. A reasonably big race, nearly 200 other riders. Oh, and you’re leading said race, so you have a distinctive jersey on. It has spectators on the course. It also has spectators on TV. And at just the moment your date decides to quit for the day, a TV camera is rolling past.

Still with me? Now, combine those two thoughts and imagine how poor Tom Dumoulin must have felt as he peeled off his helmet and jersey and had to squat in the magnificence of yesterdays stage and evacuate his bowels! At least he had a cracking (oof) view.

Now, to the hot topic that everyone from here to Uranus is talking about. Did the rest of the group attack? Should they have stopped? Has this killed cycling (I saw that pop up on Twitter today)?

So, just after it happened there was an aerial shot and he was a long long way back by the time he had cleaned up. Not too long after that I managed to grab this shot.

We have from left to right, Zakarin, Nibali, Pozzovivo and Quintana behind Pozzovivo. They had spent some time looking around and wondering, and the Zakarin attacked. Well that was a bit shit. I don’t think that should have happened, but here is the rub, I blame the eventual stage winner Nibali for not getting in his ear and telling him to calm down.

This group missed a Hinault, Cancellara, or some other patron of the peleton. In that group, I would have said it was Nibali’s role. Quintana just doesn’t seem to command authority, how could he, he looks 12 and 65 at the same time. Nibali should have chased on as he did and told Zakarin to soft pedal. There was no one up the road who could have shaken up the GC.

Did they attack. Yes, it seems like it. Zakarin started it, but Nibali should have shut it down.

Should they have stopped? Who knows what info they were getting in their ear pieces. Considering Dumoulin slowed the peloton when Quintana fell off the other day, it makes the teenage pensioner look bad, really bad. It is difficult to say what anyone would do in that position. It has happened before, and I bet it will happen again.

Has it killed cycling? I don’t think so. It doesn’t look good when you know a bit about the sport, unless Quintana or Nibali win by 51 seconds, I doubt it will be the pivotal moment of this race. It will certainly be a moment no one forgets.

An interesting side note. An anagram of Tom Dumoulin is ultimo (Last in Italian if Google translate is to be believed) mound! Let’s hope it is the ultimo mound for Tom.

Posted in Pro Cycling | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on My Hot Take on the Dumo Dumpo

Giro Coverage for Aussie Cycling Freaks

Well, a bit of a shock for Aussie cycling freaks last week when it was announced on the Cycling Central Podcast that SBS wouldn’t be covering the 100th Giro d’Italia. (those with Foxtel still get it via Eurosports)

You can hear it here or see the transcript below.


“First, we will will not be broadcasting any of the Italian races in 2017, which sadly includes the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia. And that includes Strade Bianche, MSR and Lombardia. Why? Quite simply, the rights were not offered to us. That’s the way the business rolls and there isn’t much we can do about it except to look forward.

However, we have diversified and increased our coverage in other ways. We’ll have the Track nats streaming live in exactly one week, maybe via the website or perhaps direct to Facebook audiences. The Cairns MTB world champs will also be live on TV and online and the BMX worlds.

And we’ve added the German Eschborn-Frankfurt race to complete our Spring coverage which includes the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallonne and Liege Bastogne Liege.

Before we get there though we have Paris Nice and later on the Criterum du Dauphine which comes before the Tour. The Amgen Tour of California which is now WorldTour is also on the schedule along with daily 30 minute highlights of the Absa Cape Epic which I’m personally excited about and then post Tour we’ll have the final eight stages of the Vuelta.”

I tweeted about it and there was a pretty big response. Since I have had a lot of questions about it, so I thought I would just put it on the blog.

The way I see it, there is no use giving SBS any grief. If they weren’t even offered the gig, there isnt much they can do.

So, how do you watch it if you don’t want to line the pockets of old man Murdoch. Well, let’s take a look.

If you know someone with Foxtel and has the Eurosport channels, you could ask them to share with you using Foxtel Go streaming.

If you don’t have a Foxtel buddy, well there are other streams that may or may not work for you. I use either or

I also completely forgot one…

Also, if you are ok working with a VPN, the Eurosport Player apparently works. Thanks to the person that pointed that out. 😉

Another thing i have been thinking of is firing up a Discord channel and having a group discussion based on whatever coverage people can get. Maybe try and get a few cycling luminaries involved as well. This will probably only operate a few nights. If it works well, maybe carry it over to the TdF as well.

So there you go. Questions and comments below.

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Giro Coverage for Aussie Cycling Freaks

Zwift Racing, the Good and the Bad.

Hello good people, I am back. Why, I hear you ask. Well, as a half arsed blogger, I thought some my enjoy this little tale of internet joy. Firstly, let us start off with a screen grab, with the approval of the author.

Now, I am not a fan of FaceBook, so very rarely do I use it. Today i signed in to a messaging app and I saw a request from Cam Hill. So I opened it, and the above screenshot was what ensued.

Firstly, it seems a desperate move to request a chat on FaceBook just to dump shit on someone you don’t know. Claiming I was a clown, that I sandbagged and I was a half arse blogger in the very first exchange. It seems I have another fan. Then apparently I was ignorant and then pleading a lack of ignorance. I was also transparent and a number of people consider my blog rubbish.

This was a lot to digest. I don’t know this bloke from a bar of soap. Heady stuff.

Now, if you are a member of the KISS Zwift Road race group on Facebook, the whole thread is here. If you aren’t I am going to grab some bits to show exactly what happened and what I said.

So that was the group selection criteria. So, let’s take a look at my Strava segment history for that segment.

Now, unless I am missing something, I was 30 seconds inside the cut off time for group 2. A couple of things to note.

Firstly, I think this was my 2nd KISS race ever. So, Cam Hill was possibly correct saying I was ignorant of Zwiftpower, as I had hardly even looked at it before. But the FTP system had absolutely nothing to do with the group selection for that race.

The second thing to take into account was I had never done that segment in a group. Now, I am no sports scientist, so I have no idea what sort of advantage that would be. However, I have done a few AHDR rides and I do know it makes a big difference. The only thing that I did think about was the Group 1 guys probably wouldn’t be a bunch of heavy hitters like in the AHDR group. So I stayed in group one.

Just after the ride, things seemed reasonably civil.

I even took this on board, even though I didn’t quiet understand the theory behind it considering the race was grouped by segment times, not grades.

Then, it started to go a bit dark.

Cam Hill brings up FTP and weight again here. Also C grade and D or E grade. No where in the rules did it mention this. And saying A graders influence the outcome! I can only assume he means the guy that smashed everyone and got disqualified.

All this brings me the ultimate question. What were we racing for? It is a virtual race with so many variations in so many areas, it seems to me to be a little immature to be making the claims made above over a 1 off race. To actually request a FaceBook chat to make certain accusations seems even more bizarre to me. We are chasing pixels on a screen. I got toweled up by my 64 year old mate the other day. Did i go berserk and make claims that he didn’t understand the system? Nope, I got beat, that is it. Some days you win, most days you don’t.

I am confident that Cam and maybe others will have their say in the comments, and I have no issue with that. But I would also love to hear from the guys at KISS to see what they think. This sort of thing would drive me nuts if I was running it in my spare time and for no reward.

I have now done 3 or 4 KISS races and they have all been great fun and well run. It is an excellent way for novice racers to test themselves against others. People should be thankful that the guys running all the Zwift races put their time into setting these up for us to race.

Zwift is a fantastic platform, and it has only gotten better with the organised races. Hopefully guys like Cam Hill don’t scare others off with their super critical attitudes towards people new to the game. After all, that is all it is, a computer game.

Ride On!

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Hello Zwift London

Zwift rolled out the their new course some time today. It is great. The climbs are killers though. Short, sharp and nasty. You get rain, thunder and lightning, riding in tube tunnels, what sounds like Big Ben’s chimes and loads more. Check out these screen shots.



View post on


There are a lot of turns on this one and it will be good when some clever bugger gets a map out. 🙂

well done Zwift.

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Hello Zwift London

Zwift, HDR and a Bucket

Last night was my first big bunch ride on Zwift. The first one that had a ride leader and the group stayed together.

Every Wednesday at 7PM Culburra beach time, the Hump Day Ride (HDR) takes off. I had joined it a couple of weeks back, but the ride leader didn’t make it and it all went to poop pretty quickly. There were bunches all over the road and I kept jumping between them depending on my abilities. Last night however, the big kahuna showed up and it was a solid group of 140-170 people for the first 3 laps of Watopia flat.

You can find all sorts of bunch rides here It gives you all the details you will need to participate.

So, from the details on the HDR ride…

Summary: Social pace ride led by Tim Searle. 60 minutes easyish laps + an optional harder 15 minute “After Party” ride.

Intensity: Main Ride: Easyish steady pace. We want to stay together. The leader will adjust the pace as necessary for the riders present. Generally 2-2.5W/Kg. You should not be above 3W/Kg at any time during the main part of the ride.
After Party: Harder pace, generally 3-3.5W/Kg as a guide. Although this part of the ride is faster, it is still a group ride & we want to try to stay together.

So that is 180-235W for me. A bit more than a steady pace for this Non Pro.

Just recently there have been some updates to the Zwift software, one of which is a staging area for all riders on a group ride.

You can sit there on a virtual trainer, in a virtual world, warming up. Seeing yourself on a pier on a turbo trainer in a virtual world has a bit of an Inception feel to it.

It is pretty cool, as 7PM approaches, seeing more and more riders joining. And the countdown sort of adds to the excitement. Well it does for me. I am easy sucked into these things.

Go time and everyone charges off. It was right about then that I realised I had made a huge rookie error. Check this out.

oh dear god, it was like a bloody Powerpoint presentation. my poor little laptop was slugging its guts out and riders were flying off into the water, the bush and the sky. It just couldn’t cope with 150+ virtual peleton. Lesson learned for next time.

The ride itself was pretty interesting. Tim Searle did an outstanding job keeping people in check. if a group got off the front, he asked them to ease off. Gave encouragement when all was going well. I have no idea how he managed it. Ride Ons (Zwift kudos) were raining down and again I dont know haw people managed. I was too busy trying to stay in the group and keep my power at the right level.

Things got even trickier when we hit the dirt.

I reckon that was when I was getting a massive 3 frames per second. Oh joy.

Lap 3 and the pace seemed to pick up a bit and I was starting to feel the pinch, and that was knowing that lap 4 was the party lap.

Lap 4. Party my arse, it damn near killed me and I thought I was going to spew my lunch all over the garage floor. hand me a bucket!

The bride walked it to see how I was going at one point. Most likely because she could here the laboured breathing from inside the house. “Can’t talk, have to keep up” was all I could manage as she looked at me, sweat pouring out of me, and walked off shaking her head.

See if you can spot when lap 4 started?

One of the really cool things with Zwift is the slip streaming that is modeled into the software. I was going ok in the bunch, but once the party started, I was in trouble. here are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th laps.

Full ride details below.

So, Zwift bunch rides. I reckon once I have the hardware and software sorted (lower resolution so I can see video, not a Zapruda like film) it will be great fun. For a lower end plodder like me, it will always be a struggle, but it should make me stronger over time. Well I hope so.

Posted in My Rides | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Zwift, My First Bunch Ride.

If you are a cyclist, there is a pretty good chance you have heard of Zwift. A virtual world where you can ride on your turbo trainer against and with other people.

I have done a fair bit of riding on it so far, but last night was my first ever bunch ride. And it was awesome.

There is a bit to know about Zwift. This Unoffical Guide is a great starting point. There is a Group Ride Calendar. A map of the island. There are also a lot of great blogs about it. Google is your friend.

So, last night I joined the HDR (Hump Day Ride). kicking off at 7PM Culburra Beach time. I actually hopped on the trainer early to test some things out on the new Wahoo Kickr Snap. Then it was time to join the ride.

The meeting point is a pre determined spot.

As you can see, I had already done 20 odd Kms. And this was an issue as I had the fan going at 2/3rd speed, and got cold after waiting a while. Check out the cool jersey. Bike and Beer. 🙂

At a bit after 7PM we finally got going. The ride leader seemed to be missing, so it was all a bit fragmented at the start, but it didnt take long for people to find a group to ride in.

The agreed level we were supposed to ride at was 1.5W/kg. Well that seemed to go out the window pretty quickly as can be seen below. As soon as we hit some rises in the road, the little fellas took off.

I took some work but I stayed with them and then we were onto lap 2 of the course.

This was supposed to be 2W/kg, but it didnt take long before it was a bit harder than that. But it settled down again and we had a good group going.

Things were going ok until we hit the dirt section. *cough cough*

We were coming to the end of the 2nd lap and I was busting for a nature break. But I had to nudge my wheel across the intermediate sprint point first in our group.

From there on it got even faster and I had some troubles staying with the group. The heart rate was up as we approached the end of the lap, and knowing I had to stop for a piss, I put in a big effort and finished a little in front of this group.

I jumped off and took a leak. I jumped back on and did another few kilometres before I stopped for the night.

More ride data here…

It is a great way to get some trainer time in. Combined with The Sufferfest, I reckon this is going to make me a lot stronger than sitting on the couch because it is too cold or wet.

Posted in My Rides | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

“Let’s Take it Easy Today”, They Did Not Listen

Friday morning for the CuBeCyCl gang is supposed to be a no drop coffee ride. It is our most popular group ride because at the end we sit around and bull shit at the local bakery.
A couple of solid efforts on the trainer, and 2 hard sessions on the road on Monday and Tuesday had my legs feeling like mince.

A big crowd was at the start (a big crowd for us, 8 riders), including the real fast guys, Dan and Tim.

May as well knock this on the head right from the get go. “Let’s go easy today gents. No records!” There seemed to be enough smiles and nods for me to think the message had sunk in. 20 minutes later I was breathing out of my arse and struggling to hold on.

I will let the video tell the story of the final couple of kilometres. Bloody triathletes!

Ride data.

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , | 5 Comments

At CyclingCentral for stage 8 of the Giro 2016

Once again I was lucky enough to get to wander the halls of Cycling central at SBS for stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia. And what a stage it was. I wont talk a lot about the experience, as I have already been through that here.


Instead, here are a few photos from the night.


View post on

Once again a big thank you to Mike Tomalaris, Henk Vogels, Matt Keenan, Robbie McEwen and Cat Whelan for putting up with me wandering around all night. I was a thrill.

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , , | Comments Off on At CyclingCentral for stage 8 of the Giro 2016

Let’s See How Much a Metre Actually Matters, The Reply.

So, further to the incident on the weekend. I had actually asked on Twitter a while a go how we go about reporting incidents like the one from the weekend, and I got the following reply.

Fantastic. Couldn’t be easier. So I sent the report in on the weekend. Monday, an email…. (click to see full size)

So, it seems it isn’t that easy. I supplied them with the video and photos from the previous blog post as well as time and date. I am not sure exactly why I have to report this in person? Is it just to make it harder for people to do?

NSW Police, can you advise?

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , | 1 Comment