Why were Sunday’s National Road Race Championships not shown live?

Cycling Weekly has been inundated with emails and tweets asking this question from people frustrated that only a one-hour highlights programme of the racing was shown on ITV4 on Monday night.

The event has only been shown live once in its history – in 2010 on Eurosport, which fell on the hottest day of the year in many places, and clashed with the England-Germany World Cup fixture. Hardly factors conducive for a large audience. 

Since 2011, ITV4 have held the rights to the event, and have shown 60 minute of delayed highlights of every championship since.

CW asked ITV and British Cycling for their responses to why last weekend’s event was not aired live; here are their responses.

An ITV spokesman said: “ITV Sport’s portfolio of cycling encompasses a wide range of cycling events including live coverage of the Tour of Britain, highlights of the National Road Race Championships, the Tour Series and Revolution Series, alongside live coverage of the Tour de France and highlights of the Vuelta a Espana and spring classics.

“We are always seeking opportunities to expand and develop our portfolio of events in the interest of our viewers.”

Paul Rowlands, Cycle Sport Marketing Manager at British Cycling: “There are a combination of factors behind why there was no live coverage. Traditionally the National Road Race Championships has not had live TV coverage. We’ve been with ITV three years now, and their appetite is for delayed highlights, which is what the event budget allows us to deliver.

“If the interest is there, that will be reflected in the viewing figures for the highlights package. If the numbers are there, we will welcome any interest for a live broadcast in future.

“It costs in excess of six figures to do a live broadcast for an event of this type, which is a significant increase in the expense budget that Glasgow Life have underwritten for the Championships.”

Storey selected for Para-cycling Worlds

11-time Paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey was yesterday named as part of the Great British team for this year’s Para-cycling Road World Championships in Baie-Corneau, Canada (August 29-September 1).

Storey, who is scheduled to give birth to her first child this week, has continued training during her pregnancy and will have a performance test prior to the event.

Lora Turham and tandem pilot Corinne Hall, six-time Paralympic champion Darren Kenny and London 2012 road race champion David Stone complete the line-up.

British Cycling’s Para-cycling Performance Manager Gareth Sheppard said: “The Para-Cycling Road World Championships are the season target for our road focussed athletes and the first year of the Paralympic cycle provides a benchmark to see how the riders can perform against world-class competition.”

Hoy’s 100 kilometres

He may have retired, but Sir Chris Hoy is taking on a new role by trying to get families cycling 100 kilometres this summer. Between July 1 to August 25, families are encouraged get on their bikes and get outside as part of the Highland Spring Summer Cycling Challenge.

100 kilometres may seem like a long way, but participants are encouraged to break it into manageable chunks over the eight week period. They can then sign up online and log how far they go to track their progress. And for those that complete the full distance, there’s a chance to win cycling-related prizes. Visit www.highland-spring.com for more information.

Dimmock aims for around-the-world record

There are few longer distances you can cycle than around the world, but amateur cyclist Liz Dimmock is preparing to take on the mammoth challenge and become the fastest woman to ride the 18,000 mile distance in the process.

As well as aiming to get in the Guinness Book of Records, by cycling around world in just five months, Dimmock is trying to raise £1m for War Child when she sets off in October.

The WorldRide challenge also hopes to persuade more females to take up cycling, and women are invited to ride alongside Dimmock when the event starts later this year.

Last year Dimmock became the first woman to complete the Tour de Force, a charity ride over more than 3,000km that replicated the 2012 Tour de France route.

  • Don Danberry

    Yeah, while I agree with the editorial position of pushing for more cycling on the tv, I have to say that ITV4 does a fantastic job in covering the sport and has really got behind cycling in a big way over the last few years in particular: the Tour; the Vuelta; Tour of Britain; Tour Series; a fair smattering of Classics; the Tour of California (at least once!); the Cycle Show; as well as decent coverage of the Nationals. And I’d love them to turn up and cover me finishing 12th out of 14 in my local 10 mile TT as well, but it ain’t gonna happen…

  • bigsambw

    be good if cav can wear the yellow jersey as national road race champ,wonder if it,s been done before?

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    It looked to me like Cav stopped Sky’s dominance because two Sky riders forgot he wasn’t in their team any more. There seems to be a bit of a conspiracy of silence around these strange goings on.

  • Mark Jones

    TV coverage is so much better than we used to have in the 80s and 90s when we had half an hour including adverts on Channel 4 for the Tour de France and Kellogg’s Tour. All well and good asking for live coverage but the previous three years had been dominated by Sky, so hardly great TV viewing seeing who is going to win between them. This year’s was much better and really pleased to see Cav win and stop Sky’s dominance in the nationals.

  • Simon Wood

    I think it just demonstrates that unfortunately cycle sport is still not as popular as we’d like to think, even with the Wiggo effect.