- Warner Bros. Discovery take opportunity to co-produce men’s and women’s Grand Tours for the first time with Tour de France Femmes launch
- Every stage of the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes to be shown on WBDS’ platforms internationally including discovery+, Eurosport and GCN+ from July 1
- Ground-breaking Cube studio to be introduced for the first time for coverage of cycling
- The biggest names in cycling including Alberto Contador and Sir Bradley Wiggins return to report live from the peloton
Every stage of the Tour de France and the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes will be broadcast live with the Cube bringing viewers even closer to the action.
The Cube is already changing the way live sport is presented, with viewers of Grand Slam tennis events, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on WBDS platforms all benefitting from the pioneering studio’s incredible analytical capabilities and immersive real-time video enhancement locations.
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For this year’s Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes, a raft of new innovations, augmented reality analysis tools and unique virtual backdrops will enhance the viewing experience even further. An “inclinometer” feature will be introduced, a 3D representation bringing to life the gradients faced by the peloton. New technologies within the Cube environment will also showcase some of the finer, tactical nuances of the sport such as echelons and time trial setup. In a sports broadcasting first, the Cube studio will achieve this by harnessing Unreal Engine 5 technology.
BIGGEST NAMES IN CYCLING TO REPORT FROM INSIDE THE PELOTON
Alberto Contador and Sir Bradley Wiggins – boasting three Tour de France General Classification victories between them – will once again add an extra dimension to WBDS’ coverage, reporting from alongside the peloton for EVERY stage of the tour. In addition, and for the first time at any women’s road race, WBDS will assign a reporter to assume a similar duty for the Tour de France Femmes with former road racing pro Iris Slappendel reporting from inside the peloton throughout the eight-stage race.
As with coverage of May’s Giro d’Italia, WBDS’ local studio shows will once again provide a deeper experience for cycling fans during the Tour de France in the UK and Ireland (The Breakaway); Spain (La Montonera); France (Les Rois de la Pédale); Denmark (Radio Tour), and Germany (Velo Club). There will also be daily post-stage shows in France, the United Kingdom and Denmark throughout the Tour de Femmes.
A who’s who of cycling who will make up the local teams of experts, including three-time winner of the Tour de France points classification Robbie McEwen; Jacky Durand and Steve Chainel (France); Bernie Eisel (Germany); Karsten Kroon and Bobbie Traksel (the Netherlands); Brian Holm (Denmark); Riccardo Magrini (Italy); Sean Kelly, Adam Blythe and Daniel Lloyd (UK and Ireland). Orla Chennaoui, meanwhile, will anchor WBDS’ coverage in the UK & Ireland.
Bernie Eisel and Hannah Walker will be on-site speaking to the people that matter during the Tour de France with Laura Meseguer and former British road and track cyclist Manon Lloyd taking on the role for the Tour de France Femmes.
Critically-acclaimed podcast, The Bradley Wiggins Show by Eurosport, will also return for the Tour de France, giving the cycling legend the chance to air his unfiltered views to sports fans looking for thoughts and views beyond the action itself. Localised news and interviews on Eurosport.com, featuring some of the biggest characters from the peloton, will keep fans engaged while GCN’s Racing News Show on YouTube will ensure every angle is covered.
Alongside providing live and on demand race coverage plus in-depth race analysis from a host of cycling experts via The Breakaway, GCN+ will offer fans of the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes unparalleled supporting content. The week prior to the Grand Depart and throughout each race, the GCN+ App will be home to interactive trivia, quizzes, and preview content including rider analysis, stage breakdowns, predictions and reviews. GCN+ is also home to exclusive original documentaries created to bring even more colour to every cycling fan’s experience of the Tour, with films uncovering the history of the Tour, looking behind the scenes with iconic super-teams and profiles of legends of the race including Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Fabian Cancellara.
Scott Young, SVP Content and Production at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: “Our Cube studio is one of the best storytelling innovations in broadcasting and harnessing tailormade tools and added analysis features to help unpick a particular stage, climb or sprint finish is truly unique for the sport of cycling.
“Further elevating women’s sport and doing more to deliver gender balance across the events we showcase is hugely important. Presenting more women’s sport and giving equal billing to women’s and men’s events during our coverage of the tennis Grand Slams and Olympics, including showing every moment of the first gender-equal Games last summer, is only the start. When the ASO launched the Tour de France Femmes, we were determined to bring the very best of our production innovation and expertise to both Tours.
“Coupled with the most informed, experienced and engaging cycling experts, live coverage of every stage and even more cycling content across our digital platforms, we can’t wait to take our coverage of the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes to a whole new level this year.”
Iris Slappendel, Eurosport GCN cycling expert, said: “Women’s cycling is going from strength to strength and 2022 marks a historic year with the world’s best female riders set to battle for the yellow jersey in the inaugural new-look Tour de France Femmes.
“It’s incredibly exciting to be part of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ team and back on the bike following the riders to help bring viewers even closer to the action. I’m looking forward to showcasing the sport at its very best, which I hope will gain the attention of a whole new generation of women’s cycling fans to grow interest and participation in the sport even further.”
WIGGINS AND CONTADOR STAR IN NEW ON-AIR CAMPAIGN
Alberto Contador - a seven-time Grand Tour winner - and Sir Bradley Wiggins, winner of the Tour de France in 2012, will front WBDS’s on-air promotional campaign for this year’s edition of the iconic race.
The ad, which appears on linear and digital platforms, is underpinned by the tagline – Come for the race, stay for the ride – highlighting WBDS’ 360-degree approach to covering the race across linear, OTT and digital platforms. Both Contador and Wiggins feature on all promos created for audiences outside of the UK with Wiggins the central figure in the UK promo.
The 109th edition of the Tour de France starts on 1 July in Copenhagen with the individual time trial before moving to France, Switzerland and then back to France again culminating with the General Classification honours being awarded at the 21st and final stage on Paris’ iconic Champs Elysees on 24 July. All of the Tour de France will be available to watch on discovery+**, GCN+, Eurosport and Eurosport App.
Every minute of the Tour de France Femmes – which starts at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and ends a week later at La Planche des Filles in eastern France – that is produced by the ASO will also be available to watch on discovery+, GCN+, Eurosport and Eurosport App.
WBDS boasts the most expansive range of world-class cycling events globally with more live men’s and women’s road, track, cyclocross, mountain bike and BMX events than anyone else. In 2021, it broadcast every race on the UCI Women’s World Tour for the first time and remains committed to growing the sport further by telling the stories of women’s riders and producing more original content dedicated to women’s cycling than anyone else for its channels and platforms.
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