“Age and treachery
will overcome youth and skill.”
Fausto Coppi, Italian
"Champion of Champions"


By the
CyclingRevealed Staff


Cycling in the Media

In the coming months, CyclingRevealed will be adding reviews and information regarding cycling-related media, both on the web and in print.

CyclingRevealed will add links to important and informative, cycling-related media.

If you think your site should be considered, please contact us.


Cycling on the internet – a brief history
By Graham R. Jones, March 2005

One of the great images of World War II is of Hitler peering through field glasses at the white cliffs of the Kentish coast in England. Although just 21 miles separate England and France at the narrowest part of the English Channel, it is a stretch of water that since even before Roman times has represented an almost impassable chasm. Even today the average English person separates Britain from Europe. Europe is that place the other side of the Channel!

When I started racing in the 1960’s and becoming aware of the world of professional cycle racing I was living in Kent and about 50 miles from the French and Belgian coasts at most. Normally we would not get to see images or read reports of the great Tours, Classics or other important races for weeks and sometimes months. The British press sometimes grudgingly sacrificed one or two column inches to the Tour de France.

For English speaking cycling enthusiasts about the only English language magazine was the venerable Sporting Cyclist, a black and white production largely written and produced by that that great journalistic pioneer the late Jock Wadley. On rare occasions cyclists that had been to France would bring back copies of the ‘Mirroir du Cyclisme’ and the ‘Livre d’Or’. Dog-eared copies of these prized magazines would circulate the club. It was within these pages that I saw my first color images from the European racing scene. I was fascinated by the photographs of Bahamontes, Gaul, Anquetil, Poulidor and the peloton against the backdrop of great mountain ranges. Equally powerful was the tremendous photography that captured bunch sprints on the Bordeaux Velodrome or the all out effort across the cobbles of Flanders.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s we started to see an increase in the availability of English language cycling publications. TV also allowed us rare views of our heroes in action. Unfortunately today, unless you live on mainland Europe, you are still at the mercy of the TV stations and cable channel providers in terms of accessibility to the big races.

In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee, an English researcher working at the famous European research center CERN, in Meyrin near Geneva in Switzerland, invented the world-wide-web (or WWW). This was basically a commercialization of the highly restricted web networks that were limited strictly to military, academic and big business applications.

The original catalyst for the web was the space race which reached fever pitch in 1957 when Russia beat America into space by launching the very first orbiting satellite, Sputnick. Part of the US response to that was to greatly enhance the sophistication of its research capabilities and almost immediately ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) within the Ministry of Defence was created. Eventually ARPANET linked hundreds of top scientists, sub-contractors and other top American institutions through a computer based ‘web’.

In 1962 John Lickliderp, an MIT scientist, published his first memorandum on the "Galactic Network" concept... a futuristic vision where computers would be networked together and would be accessible to everyone. It was Tim Berners-Lee who eventually turned that vision into reality.

CERN released the WWW for public use in 1991. Official records show that there was just one web site in 1991. By 1992 there were 50 web sites but now the number of hosts (computers logging on) had reached one million. In 1994 Pizza Hut entered the history books when headlines declared “Yes! You can now order pizza on the web.”. Pizza Hut, of all companies, opened the flood gates of commercialization on the web. Even so, in 1994 there were still only 10,000 web sites. Today the best estimates put the number of web sites at around 60 million with no end in sight to the dramatic growth. In parallel with this the number of web enabled computers exceeds 300,000,000 worldwide and this too is rapidly growing.

Cycling was an early adopter of the potential offered by web technology. I vividly remember sitting in my corporate cubicle in the USA back in 1995 totally enthralled by the first (I think) live reports from the Tour de France. I found it hard to understand how a reporter out on the road and in the mountains could deliver ‘live’ race reports every few minutes complete with digital photos. Obviously the reporters had satellite up-links that made this a reality. What a tremendous exploitation of technology. Unfortunately the main reason that I can pinpoint the date of this memory is because some of the first photos that came on to our screens were of the tragic scene of Fabio Casartelli lying on the side of the road. Later there was great regret at publishing these photos and since then web publishers have become less hasty in posting such material.

This year, 2005, we experienced another great step forward in web technology with respect to cycling coverage. An English company recently launched Cycling.TV to bring us streamed TV images over the web. It is believed that the 2005 Het Volk and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne were the first races to be shown “live” on the web. What a treat it was to watch Belgian TV’s lengthy and excellent coverage of these events without advertising breaks. The icing on the cake was to see George Hincapie win the K-B-K on this historic web occasion.

From here things can only get better for the cycling connoisseur. Image quality of the streamed TV images will improve along with other technical aspects of web technology. The concept of the virtual global village will make total access to your favorite cycling events a reality. Already there are hundreds of web sites offering cycling related information. Over time we will introduce you to many of these sites.

Come back to ‘Team Support’ on Cycling Revealed regularly. Unlike most sites that just give you a list of links, we will review the good, the bad and the indifferent sites. In this way we hope to ‘reveal’ sites that you were not aware of and thus help you enrich your cycling experience.


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unless otherwise noted

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Cover Feature
Part 1: Milan-San Remo: The Beginning, The Development.

Part 2: Coppi's Grand Journey

Big Picture Trivia and Story
Tour de France History
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2005 Starts to Roll.
Team Support
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