The 99th Tour de France kicks off tomorrow, Saturday June 30 and with it comes a myriad of ways for fans to follow the action, be it on twitter, web or smart phone and television. Information is available via the official outlets, the teams, the riders and media outlets around the world and in many languages.
Finally, the staid letour.com went through a re-design and with it, active presence on the social media front from the official organization. Time will tell if they will engage with the fans or just it as simply another broadcast avenue – for now they do not seem to respond to any @replies on twitter.
The official letour.com site offers up stage by stage information, maps, videos and photos. Their twitter feed, @letour, posts in both French and English and often uses codes in square brackets at the front. The tweets often refer back to facebook posts. The race official hashtag is #TdF12 though many are still using the more intuitive #TdF.
There’s an app for that. The SBS Tour de France Skoda Tour Tracker 2012 promises to deliver live updates and GPS tracking, daily results & standings, photos, video recaps and rosters. Fans in Australia will also get live video stream coverage of every stage. The application is available for iPhone/iPad and for Android devices.
Throughout the next three weeks, 115 out of the 198 starters will be providing a glimpse into their lives via their tweets in multiple languages – again some are more active than others.
Only one team. Rabobank, has all its nine riders on twitter. Four other teams, BMC Racing Team, Radioshack-Nissan, Vacansoleil-DCM and Orica-GreenEdge have eight out of nine. And the team with only one rider on twitter is Saur-Sojasun with Jimmy Engoulvent.
Follow the twitter list @tdf12 to get all the scoop directly from the 115 riders.
All the teams have a presence on the web, twitter and facebook – some much successful than others. Two teams have been upping the ante on the social media front this year, BMC Racing Team and Omega Pharma – Quick Step and both teams have created a special section on their website for the Tour coverage.
BMC Racing Team and AG2R La Mondiale have also just launched their own respective mobile applications:
Some of the teams tweet in multiple languages, some in only one and Europcar has two twitter feeds, one in English and one in French.
And then of course, each media outlet has its own social media presence at different level.