Summer Days: Baffled by decision to not show cycling’s main event live

0
Have your say

I’d imagine it is fairly difficult to plan television schedules. It is a job that many of us who haven’t done it would think is easy but when put in the front line would actually struggle. Take this weekend for example. Loads of high class sport taking place around the country and British teams taking to the field around the world.

There’s also the added wrinkle of several major events coming up over the next few weeks that will dominate the sport calendar. Planning has to be finalised and crews put in place - you can’t just descend on Wimbledon on the opening Monday.

However, I’d have to question why cycling’s British Road Race Championships weren’t broadcast live on Sunday.

If there is one sport that is enjoying a boon at the moment it is the one with two wheels and pedal power. The feats of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and the boys at Team Sky have seen it spread from it’s already highly vocal base to reach a place in mainstream viewing.

The Tour de France begins next weekend and all eyes will be on Chris Froome as he hopes to follow Wiggins into the yellow jersey.

So it was surprising to find that the National Road Race will only be shown as highlights tonight on ITV4. I’ve no doubt it will be an excellent programme because that particular channel has become the home of cycling with its coverage of the Tour, city centre road races from across the UK and the other, occasional, special broadcast.

True, cycling isn’t immune from the weather - a recent stage at the Giro d’Italia was cancelled because of snow - but on a day when athletics from Gateshead and cricket at Edgbaston were affected by rain some of the world’s best were churning out the miles on a 14 lap course in Glasgow.

Like many others I followed the progress of the race via Twitter - no radio station had live coverage either - and will tune in later to put pictures to a result I already know.

The main comment on social media was wondering why the race wasn’t on television. Cycling is one sport that we’re more than good at. We possess some of the best competitors in the world so it seems odd that none of the major broadcasters decided to screen it. As I said, it must be more complicated than it first appears, or, if it’s announced that next year’s race will be live it will have been a big mistake.

* Follow The Star sports writer Richard Fidler on Twitter @richardfidler and Google+ follow Richard Fidler on Google+. For breaking news keep checking The Star website or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar or Twitter at www.twitter.com/sheffieldstar