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2008 Tour of California: Check out the Adobe Tour Tracker

Posted on February 20, 2008

Amgen Tour of CaliforniaI am not sure how many of you out there are cycling fans but I am one. A big one in fact. Yeah, I know there have been a lot of doping issues lately but the sport, in my eyes, is still beautiful and also a display of pure suffering and perseverance. The sport is also cleaning itself up aggressively but that’s the focus of a whole other post.

Anyhow, the Amgen Tour of California is going on right now and it is a great race. Yesterday Tom Boonen, a sprinter with team QuickStep, took the win and today there was a hard fought battle between Gesink (Rabobank) and Leipheimer (Astana) for the stage win. Gesink prevailed but Leipheimer got the 7 seconds he needed to snag the gold leaders jersey for the first time in this tour (Nice work Levi! Note: Leipheimer won last years Tour of California.).

If there is any race that newbies should watch to get a feel for the sport it would probably be the Tour of California because it is so accessible. You can catch it on cable via Versus (formerly the Outdoor Life Network) but what makes this Tour truly accessible is the fact that they broadcast each stage live on the web.

The Tour of California’s Adobe Tour Tracker is freakin’ awesome in terms of live streaming sports coverage. Not only do you get the live video/commentary you also get a ton of metrics (speed, distance to go, GPS based overlays of the riders on a Google map, etc.).

They launched the Tour Tracker last year but they had a lot of problems with it. This year everything seems to be ironed out though and I am loving it.

If you are new to cycling and want to check out a race check out the Tour of California on their live Tour Tracker. It is easy to access and free so you have no excuse. I bet you’ll be hooked once you start picking up on all of the strategy and witness the drama that is bike racing (don’t say I didn’t warn you). And, hey, if you’re not hooked after watching for a while at least you can say you checked out a nice application of a handful of technologies.

(If you’re not new to cycling you should still check out Tour Tracker. It’s the best way to watch a race in my opinion. When will the Tour de France (or any of the grand tours) get something like this?)

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