Missing the French Language TV Graphics on the Tour de France

One of the big differences between Outdoor Life Network's coverage of the Tour de France this year and last is the complete absence of any on-screen graphics in the French language. The momentary appearence of graphics saying things like "Tete de Course", "etape", and "l'arrivee a 10km" didn't take anything away from broadcasts in previous years. If anything, it made watching the race slightly more interesting.

The fact that all of the on-screen graphics appear in English is another indication of increased production effort on the part of OLN. Their graphics are very informative, alternating between miles and kilometers to go, and showing riders names in breakaways.

One thing that I didn't realize until today was the fact that OLN is showing the gap between the stage leader and Lance Armstrong. When he was in yellow (on Stage 5), the graphic showed a yellow jersey icon, which made sense because everyone wants to know how far the overall leader is behind the stage leader. Today on Stage 6, however, the graphic changed to a small blue jersey icon, symbolizing the U.S. Postal Service team.

Phil Liggett made reference to its appearance on the screen, saying that it represented the gap between Armstrong and the riders out in front. It's helpful, but I'm not sure that I want to be reminded constantly that some people feel this is the Tour de Lance, not the Tour de France.