Cover the Tour de France for CyclingTips: some of the contenders

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Late last week we announced we were hiring two people for the ultimate job: covering the Tour de France for CyclingTips as part of a Bikestyle Tours group. We’ve had some great applications so far and before entries close (at 11.59pm on Friday May 30 AEST) we wanted to give you a bit of a taste and hopefully inspire you to submit your own entry.

If you haven’t read the initial announcement post, with details about the prize, you can do so here.

When we were putting together this job opportunity we considered making the application process quite strict and tightly defined. But we quickly decided it was best to leave things open.

We set some boundaries — we don’t want to read thousands of words or watch an hour of video per entry! — but we wanted to let people’s creativity come through. We wanted you to tell us how you would cover the Tour de France for us and to use your application to show us what you’re capable of.

It’s been great to see the creative responses we’ve had so far and we thought we’d share some with you now.

Some people opted for a text-based application, showing us their skill with the written word:

When asked after the stage the break will say they were happy to make a try of it, and to get their sponsors on TV. It’s not true though — every one of them dreams of waking in the morning and donning the maillot jaune, no matter how long they’ve been toiling, collecting bottles for luckier, more talented riders. The problem is, the numbers are against them. They don’t have the watts in their legs, the volume in their lungs. They are elite riders, but they are not true contenders – and they know it. Surely they know it?

A young man at the front dreams of yellow and his left hand flicks once and one foot becomes five and then ten and then twenty. Suddenly he is alone — one man and the quiet tick of his chain, the sound of rushing blood and heavy breathing. History is being written.

Others made more descriptive pleas:

My team will work and play to make sure the life of the Tour is bleeding out of our pores. Yes, our bodies will emanate the bicycle race, but it will radiate France and all it has to offer. The romance of France kissing our faces, the sounds of exhilaration, the climax of running next to the polka dot jersey on the Col du Tourmalet hollering words of encouragement as the locals stare in wonder. Send us. The world is waiting and we are ready.

Some folks decidedly to show us what their coverage of Le Tour would like … by mocking up the CT website with their own content:

team intro

Including with subtle changes to the site’s logo:

another mockup

One duo went to the trouble of setting up their own blog and sending us tweets about each update in an attempt to gain our attention. They also tried to impress us with their Strava art skills (as featured earlier this week in the Rocacorba Daily):


Some people told us what they had planned, explaining that Le Tour is so much more than a bike race:

We’ll talk to fans. We’ll try and talk to pros, and if we can’t do that we’ll take photos of pros from the side of the road. We’ll take photos of vistas, because, after all, it’s the Alps. We’ll take photos of ourselves, and people that we meet, because we know that if you’re following the Tour you’re going to see the peloton for a few seconds and then you’re going to see a whole lot of something else for a few hours.

And that’s what we’re going to try and convey: just how big a bike race this is, and how small a glimpse of it a fan can get. But these glimpses, and the hours in between, are what we want to show.

Others got a bit more whimsical, trying to charm us with poetry:


We saw people take to Instragram:

And others put together entertaining video applications, like this guy:

And this team:

There were infographics:


And there were examples of photography from previous Tours people had covered:

Image: Mike Hone
Image: Mike Hone

We’ve received a lot of entries and we expect it’s going to be a pretty difficult job selecting a winner. But we’re looking forward to it. And as mentioned, entries are still open until 11.59pm (AEST) tomorrow night, so if you were thinking of applying, please do! You can find everything you need to know here.

Some quick tips if you are submitting an application:

– You need to get our attention quickly. We have lots of entries to go through, not to mention that all of us here at CyclingTips have a limited attention span. If you send us a whole website to look at, or a 10-minute video, chances are we won’t see all of it.

– Make sure you sign up to our weekly newsletter and that you’ve read the terms and conditions.

– Be creative. We want to see you thinking outside the square. So many media outlets cover the Tour de France in so much detail that it’s often hard to find something different to say. We want your coverage to be different. Show us how you’ll do that.

Once entries are closed we’ll go through all the applications we’ve received and narrow it down to a shortlist. Then we’ll call up everyone on the shortlist for an informal interview. And finally, late next week hopefully, we’ll announce our winners.

Good luck!

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