The Tour de France on the iPhone

This article was originally written for the 2007 Tour de France. I've updated it for this year. If you want to read the original version of this article keep reading after the jump.

If you are out and about during the times when the Tour de France is aired live, you may feel like you are missing out on the action. While it's still very difficult to find live video of the Tour, there are many other options for real time and near real-time race information:

  • Twitter: Probably the best way to get an almost continuous stream of news about the Tour.
  • Mobile Web Sites: A couple of the best are mobile-friendly sites with content in English are VeloNews and Bicycling Magazine.
  • Streaming Audio: My personal favorite audio feed is Eurosport's Tour de France coverage in English which is typically only available on devices that support Flash. An iPhone app called ooTunes ($3.99) claims to be able to play a stream from Eurosport. I bought this application, found the Eurosport stream by searching in the app, and it definitely plays properly.
  • Streaming Video: There generally is a Ustream feed of Eurosport which is up during the daily Tour de France coverage. (You can find a link to it on CyclingFans.com). This means that theoretically you should be able to watch the Tour on the Ustream Viewing Application on the iPhone. However, at this writing, reviews of the Ustream application are pretty bad. The app is reported to crash a lot on the iPhone 3G, to be unusable on the iPhone 3GS, and to only work on WiFi.

    Comprehensive lists of Streaming Video Sites for the Tour are located on the Streaming videos page on the Tour de France Website and on the home page of CyclingFans.com, near the bottom right of the page. A lot of these streams are not available in the USA and will not play on the iPhone.

  • Stage Highlights: One place where they are available is on the le Tour de France Channel on YouTube. I will add more sources of highlights as I find them.

I hope that more mobile resources will be forthcoming in the future, and I will update this article as I learn of new websites and services that can be effectively used on the iPhone.


Original Article from July 7, 2007

July 7 is my sixth wedding anniversary. Kathleen and I are spending weekend in New York City, so I'm trying to follow the Tour de France Prologue using my iPhone.

It isn't as easy as I had hoped.

The Tour de France Official Website talks about a Tour de France YouTube channel. I can't find those video clips using the iPhone YouTube application. The clips that I try to play off links from Safari don't seem to work.

The Velonews Ticker doesn't scroll past the first few entries in the narrative pane of the page. This is not the only dynamically updated page I've seen do this. I need to look at what these pages have in common.

I'll be looking at Frank Steele's articles on TDFblog a lot.