Pro Cycling Community Embracing Mobile Internet Devices

I made a few friends at the Wachovia Cycling Series simply because I knew a lot more than your average pro cycling community member about mobile Internet devices. Here are a couple of examples of things people asked me about:

I like these opportunities to help out because I feel like it's a way to "earn my keep" out on the circuit. After all, some guys can sprint after six hours in the saddle, and others really know the difference between POP3 and IMAP....

I think it's only a matter of time before the well funded organizations all have the kind of electronic arsenal that the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team has at its disposal. Whether they ever use the technology as aggressively as Discovery does is a whole different issue. Here's an example of the extent to which Discovery is living in pro cycling's future:

I saw Chris Brewer in the media tent near the finish line at the Wachovia USPRO Championship on Sunday. I said, "Chris, I see that you've already reported that George Hincapie has won the Prologue of the Dauphine Libere. {That Prologue was taking place at the same time that the USPRO Championship was beginning.} How did you get that article up on ThePaceline.com?"

I fully expected him to say that one of his co-workers was back at the hotel in Philadelphia, or someone was on-site at the Dauphine and did the update from a media center with broadband.

Instead he unclipped his BlackBerry from his belt, held it up, and said, "I did it from here."

I've only posted one story from my Treo 650 at a pro cycling event: it was the article where I reported that Lance Armstrong had announced his retirement in Augusta, Georgia the day before the Tour de Georgia started. I did it because my laptop wasn't working on the hotel's WiFi network.

I think the fact that Chris Brewer feels confident enough to update the home page of a big site like thePaceLine.com from his Mobile Internet device is an indication that Discovery now has experience competing in more than one race simultaneously and they can keep their fans informed about it while still keeping their staff size reasonable.

In my opinion, they are at least a year ahead of the Domestic Pro Peloton in this regard. I have no idea whether the major European teams have this capability, but given the limited European distribution of BlackBerrys and devices like the Treo, I'd have to guess that Discovery is way ahead of them as well.

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