I'm spending more time at work during the 2007 Tour de France than I am watching the coverage on Versus. For this reason, I have become a voracious consumer of non-TV information about the Tour. One of the things I've been doing is grabbing Tour de France-specific podcasts from iTunes and listening to them on the commute to work. This way I get 45 to 60 minutes of total immersion into yesterday's Tour news, so it's a good substitute for the Tour Pre-Race Show.
Here are the podcasts I'm listening to at the moment and why:
- ITV Tour de France Podcast: Approximately 15 minutes of stage highlights and analysis from Matt Rendell and Chris Boardman. The advantage of listening to ITV's podcast is that they are a Tour rights holder, so they can grab excerpts of race action and rider interviews that the other podcasts really can't. Also Boardman is a very good color man.
- Velonews TDF Podcast: 10 to 20 minutes of analysis with Joe Silva and Thomas Prehn. Prehn is the author of Racing Tactics for Cyclists. You can imagine that this podcast focuses on race tactics. It's probably the most analytical podcast I've heard so far.
- The Daily Tour Podcast from The FredCast: 20 minutes of stage summary and analysis by David Bernstein. This podcast includes some useful information about Tour information resources and a section on basic information on the Tour for beginners. (The FredCast is a year-round weekly podcast for cyclists, so you may be interested in that podcast in addition to or instead of The Daily Tour).
This is the order in which I listen to the podcasts, which is probably proportional to the value of the information that I get out of each one. Your mileage may vary, depending on the amount of TV time you have, the experience you have in cycling, and the experience you have as a pro cycling spectator.
There are several other Tour-related podcasts that I haven't had the chance to listen to, and I'm not sure when or if I will be able to do so. If you have information about some of the other podcasts, feel free to post it in the comments to this article.