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It’s no secret that the business model of professional cycling relies heavily on media. Sponsors use cycling teams, athletes and events as marketing vehicles and in return they get media coverage which leads to increased sales. Professional cycling would not exist without media coverage.
This past year has been an eye opening experience for me. I’ve been given opportunities that go beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve mingled behind the scenes at the Tour de France, the Tour Down Under and the World Championships. If there’s one thing I’ve realised it’s the enormous job that the media have. These are the people who make pro cycling a commercially viable sport and they probably have the most tasking job out of everyone involved. I’ll do a post one day about what goes on in the media center after each race to give you an idea of how much work these guys do.
The Cycling Australia Media Awards nominations close this Friday (note, the general public cannot nominate). These awards recognise those who have contributed to the success of cycling and also acknowledge excellence in journalism and other media skills in the course of reporting.
There are a few people who immediately come to mind when I think about who has greatly contribute to the success of cycling in Australia. Every one of these guys who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have been nothing but supportive and welcoming to me when I’ve seen them at the races.
These guys put themselves out there publicly and open themselves up to criticism to squillions of people. I can honestly say that every single one of them only want what is best for cycling and are doing a fantastic job at making that happen. It’s an extremely tough job they have and I have a newfound respect for each and every one of them.
If there were a People’s Choice Award for Cycling Media here are some of the Australians I would nominate:
Matt is becoming known as “The Voice of Australian Cycling”. At the beginning of the year Matt made the jump to making cycling commentary his full time job. You’ll see Matt working everywhere from the local SKCC crits to the Tour de France. I’ve never met someone so zealous and knowledgeable about cycling and it’s great to see him living out his dream. We’ve seen lots of pro cycling commentators come and go and it’s a difficult job making a bike race sound interesting for 6hrs straight. Matt is one of the three or four people in the world who can do this well. Matt also provides interesting and thought provoking insights and opinions on his SBS blog as has also contributed heavily to RIDE Cycling Review in 2010. He’s also a handy bike rider out in the hills of the Northern Suburbs…
Rob Arnold | RIDE Cycling Review
Rob has created an extremely high standard of magazine with insightful content, interesting stories, great photography and of course honest and upfront bike reviews. It’s a magazine for the true cycling enthusiast. Also included in each issue of RIDE is a healthy dose of content at a community level. It’s mind blowing to know that Rob and only a few others write each issue of the entire magazine. Rob also finds the time to work at the Tour de France each year (13 of them if I’m not mistaken) to provide the text updates on the TdF website. RIDE’s Official Tour de France guide and World Champs guide have provided to be excellent resources this year. I have no idea how these guys find the time to produce as much content as they do.
Mike Tomalaris | SBS
Mike has been covering the TdF for 15 years and is the face of SBS’s Cycling Central. Mike’s contribution to SBS’s cycling coverage has been tremendous. Without SBS’s outstanding coverage of the Tour de France I highly doubt cycling would be as popular in Australia as it is today. I’m sure there are lots of people behind SBS’s cycling campaign who I’m probably neglecting to mention and don’t know their roles (such as Philip Gomes, Editor of Cycling Central and regular contributor Anthony Tan). The whole crew at SBS should win an award for their dedication to cycling coverage.
Scott McGrory and Dan Jones | OzCycling
I love these guys’ work. The access and rapport they have with the riders, their fun approach to interviews, and ability to bring out the personality of the riders is what they do extremely well. I’ve had the opportunity of occasionally bumping into Scott and Dan and they’re both been the genuinely nice guys they appear to be on camera. Keep up the great work guys!
Simon Hayes | Bicycling Australia
I’ve yet to meet Simon but I eagerly await his magazine every couple of months. It’s remarkable how much of the content in Bicycling Australia that Simon produces himself (words AND photos). It’s obvious that Simon has a love for what he does and is able to cover cycling at a level that resonates with the majority of us.
Rupert Guinness | Fairfax
Rupert is Fairfax’s senior cycling reporter and has covered more than 20 editions of the Tour de France. In my opinion, the greatest impact that Rupert has is his position and ability to bring cycling to mainstream media outlets. This shouldn’t be underestimated.
David Olle | Topbike TV
Who can forget Topbike TV (formally known as Sooty Park)? Fun, local Melbourne content from David Olle on his cycling escipades through Europe. David funds this himself and does it simply because he enjoys it and wants to bring more cycling to your livingroom. Good on him!
Leigh Schilling, Veeral Patel, James Broadway, Jarrod Partridge | Photographers
On a personal level I’d like to recognise photographers Leigh Schilling, James Broadway, Veeral Patel and Jarrod Partridge (sorry, I don’t have a photo of Jarrod) for their contributions to this blog. I absolutely love the images these guys produce and I owe them a great deal of gratitude for lending me their time and talents. They’ve come a LONG way as photographers in the past year and it’s great to see how far they’ve progressed.
I’m also in debt to all the other contributors to this blog. Jamie Jowett has written some fantastic posts for us and I’m loving his “Where Are They Now” column.
Veeral Patel (and some other guy)