Continuing a push to generate alternative revenue streams in the sport and thus make team budgets less reliant on the unstable sponsor model, the team representative group Velon has today announced, together with Giro d’Italia organisers RCS Sport, that eight of the race’s 21 stages will feature on bike camera footage.
The footage, which will be shown in highlights programmes and likely on social media sites, bring the viewer inside the peloton and enable those watching to have a riders-eye view of the action.
The stages which will be featured were announced Thursday, and begin with the opening team time trial on stage one. Next up will be the second stage, tipped to conclude with a bunch sprint, then action will be released from the hill stages four, nine, 12, and 15.
Also in the list are the queen stage on stage 16, which features the Mortirolo climb, as well as stage 20. The latter includes the Colle delle Finestre and will be of major importance in determining the final overall winner.
“It has always been important for us to bring fans close to the action,” said RCS Sport’s Giro d’Italia Director Mauro Vegni. “New technologies are making it possible to bring them into the peloton and show the Giro d’Italia, the hardest race in the world’s most beautiful place, in a whole new perspective to fans all around the world.”
The Velon group was launched in November of last year. It currently comprises 11 out of the 17 teams in the UCI WorldTour, with more expected to join over time.
Those involved are the BMC Racing Team, Etixx – Quick-Step, Lampre – Merida, Lotto Soudal, Orica GreenEDGE, Team Cannondale – Garmin, Team Giant – Alpecin, Team Lotto NL – Jumbo, Team Sky, Tinkoff – Saxo and Trek Factory Racing. Each will compete in the Giro.
According to Velon, the footage could be used by the event broadcasters as well as the Giro organisers on their website and social media channels.
In addition to that, the Velon teams will be able to show the footage on their own websites and on social media. The Velon.cc website will also screen images.
Velon CEO Graham Bartlett spoke at length to CyclingTips in November. He said that the future plans for Velon included the ability to transmit live TV images. However he stated that the current technology needed to develop further before this was possible.
Once it is done the value of the footage should skyrocket.
“RCS Sport have really got behind this project,” said Bartlett, “and we’re delighted to work with them on such an important race.
“The eight stages chosen will give a great insight into what it takes to win both stages and jerseys in a Grand Tour and we can’t wait to see the results.”