Paris-Roubaix – a preview

This post originally appeared on Cyclismas

The Arenberg

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The third monument of the season is over us, the famous Paris-Roubaix. This race sets a dot to the hardest week of the whole calendar, with de Ronde at the beginning of the week.
The two races are almost equal in terms of length, around 260 km each. So, what is the difference?

The basics
The cobbles in Paris-Roubaix are totally different than those at Flanders. The cobbles in Flanders are smaller and more squared, they are also located on a smooth surface with some sort of systematic plan behind them. They rattle your handlebars pretty bad still, coming into them at 60 km/h. The main difference though, is the space between the cobbles. While the cobbles in Flanders are pretty neat lined up, the cobbles in Paris-Roubaix seems like something kicked randomly out of the back of a truck (something they are). The distance between the cobbles combined the the sheer size of them, makes the difference. That, and the fact that this year’s edition of Paris-Roubaix gives you total 51,5km of cobbled sections. Although the cobbles hit you after a solid 97,5km of cycling, they don’t give you any chance of recuperating once they start. There are about five to six stones per meter, the vibrations shoots right through the legs, spine, arms, neck and shoulders so hard and so fast that blood does not circulate as freely as before, adding to the fatigue.

The cobbles are classified into based on difficulty by the race director. Two of the most famous cobbled sections, Trouée d’Arenberg and le Carrefour de l’Arbre, are both ranked highest difficulty.
It’s not easy sitting on someone’s wheel through the cobbled sections, at least not over those with the highest difficulty. You have to balance eyesight to drag and if there is one place you really need to watch your step, it is over these cobbles. If someone asked me to describe Paris-Roubaix with one word it would be brutal.

The fight
As you all know, the positioning before the cobbles is crucial, making the pace incredible fast the last 10km or so approaching the cobbles. Every captain will want to be at the front so the race is on with swearing, snorting and elbows several kilometres prior to the cobbles.

The margins

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Favorites
Five stars: Tom Boonen, Pippo and Ballan – all performed very well last week at Flanders with Tommeke as the obvious fav. However, Paris-Roubaix doesn’t care for favs so anything can happen.
Four stars: EBH, Thor Hushovd – Edvald Boasson Hagen performed well at Flanders and is even better at the flat cobbled race. Hushovd’s has been struggling with disease but says his form is coming.
Three stars: Paolini, Sep Vanmarcke – Paolini is a strong rider in the classics, often not labeled a fav but has performed well lately. Sep is Garmin’s hope, one of the few who has out sprinted Boonen (something Boonen is very aware of me thinks) and he has several good placings in semi-classics, making him a clear outsider to this year’s Paris-Roubaix.

Normally, Cancellara, Leukemans, Breschel and Sagan would have been additional contenders but they are all out.

Summary
One of the season’s absolute highlights is over us, several top contenders is out but who cares. This is the most brutal race of the season, totally unforgiving. And, one factor I haven’t mentioned yet is the weather which can turn this race upside down. I say; bring it on.

Posted in BMC, Boasson Hagen, Cancellara, classics, cobbles, fans, Hushovd, Omega Pharma Quick step, Paris-Roubaix, PR, procycling | Leave a comment

Milan-Sanremo – Eggs, baskets and tactics

Team Sky ready to roll at Milan-Sanremo

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Last Saturday we witnessed the first monument of the season unfold, la classica di Primavera. Just taste the word for a while, it carries memories from a past and promises to the future. It is a magnificent race and as the longest of the calendar as well as being a monument, it is a prestigious race to win.
Much have been written about Mark Cavendish, Team Sky’s primary hope, since he got dropped 90 kilometers from the finish line. Almost too bad since I feel we all should write about Simon Gerrans and his brilliant win. His win was nothing short of impressive, Gerrans win proved he was the smartest rider, smartness triumphs strength any day.
Questions to ask
Over the years I have learned that “one never questions decisions taken in the heat of battle“. One can bring them up when the timing is adequate, to study and to learn, but since we didn’t have the shoes on at the time, who are we to judge?
However, the things we can question are tactics and strategy. Those are made prior to the race, making is easier for the roadcaptains and riders to act and react without always checking with the team car. Act upon intention, if you like.

Tactics are meant to maximize the team’s strength and possibilities while at the same time reduce risk. Giving the riders and staff the comfort of having the upper hand is crucial. Tactics and planning should identify key terrain, address the team’s advantages and make a systematic approach to gather and present the information surrounding a race. Another important issue is war-gaming or what-if’s. Take a look what Petter Northug, x-country WC and Olympic champion said after winning the Worlds:
When the start signal goes, I feel prepared because I have done those 50 kms several hundred times before, going through every scenario possible in my mind.
Sessions like these are important to athletes. Being mentally prepared can make the difference between success and failure. Knowledge of training, nutrition and technology have been researched thoroughly over the recent years and information about these matters and training methods are merely a click away. One could say that this has levelled the battlefield for the riders, and the main difference that remains, is mental coaching.
Team Sky Saturday 17th of March
Two favourites for the race, how plan and create tactics to match both? As Steven De Jongh said to procycling.no after the race, the team was supposed to ride primarily for Cav, if there was a minute or less gap at the Le Manie, the team would drop back and help Cav getting back to the bunch again. To me this is a strange tactic. Yes, the MSR was one of Cavendish’ main goals for the season. Yes, Cav is lighter than last year and has shown good shape, but tactics are supposed to exploit possibilities, not minimizing them.

Eisel and Cav at ToQ  -  Cav, the season’s long with many possibilities

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EBH, Sky’s second favourite, was left with Löfquist, who did a good job bringing EBH to the front over the Cipressa and near the front on the Poggio. But still just one man in support.
To order the whole team back to help a rider showing weakness with seven more climbs 90 kilometers left, kind of limits your options, doesn’t it?

I’m not in any position to say things would have been different if EBH got more support, I usually refrain from if’s and maybe’s, but I think it’s a strange tactic by Team Sky. Eisel, Cav’s wingman explained what the team tried to do when bringing Cav to the peloton failed (via Velonation):
After speaking to him it was me who originally made the call for the guys to stop riding on the front of that chase group,” he said. “But then we changed our mind because if we got back on then it meant some of us could work for Edvald instead, so that’s what we tried to do.”
One would expect Sky to learn from last tdf where the whole team was set up to bring Wiggo to the podium. We all know what happened to Wiggo, who unfortunately broke his collar but Team Sky had a great tdf without him. This shows the potential in this team. EBH nabbed two stages, G in white for days (losing it when the whole team waited for Wiggo), Uran in white for days too.
Cav was humble enough to let the team know he wasn’t feeling too good on stage 3 of the Tirreno-Adriatico, giving EBH the chance to sprint for the win, so I believe Cav has a clear understanding of his capabilities and he has shown leadership before, taking care of his teammates.
Question is, to what extent do the management provide sufficient resources to other riders? Team Sky is a British team, with roots all the way back to BC and track. Is it more difficult to divide resources to others when you have the reigning WC onboard? As far as we know, Cav felt good right upon the beginning of the race, but tactics need to cover all aspects and be known in advance. 
Norwegian cycling experts have questioned on procycling.no how much influence Brailsford and Ellingsworth had on Saturday’s tactic. Of course, one could say Norwegians are biased in this matter as nationality goes, but questions like these do have a rightful place.
Summary
I hope to see a different set of tactics later in the season. Team Sky has such a strong roster that they have many cards to play. If a rider is given a protective status, perhaps it is better to have more than just one man in support. How will Team Sky solve tour de France?

There is nothing wrong in having options, to have the eggs in different baskets, you never know when you’ll need them.

Posted in Boasson Hagen, Cavendish, classics, cycling, fans, History, milan san remo, procycling, RCS, support, Team, Team Sky | 3 Comments

Milan-Sanremo – preparations meet tactics meet luck



La classica di Primavera

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On Saturday the 103rd edition of the Milan-Sanremo will take place, a race often referred to as “la classica di Primavera“. I wrote a post last year including some of the race history, you can find that here

Shorts
As the Italian name suggests, Spring is finally here, at least in countries close to the Mediterranean. At 298 kilometres long, Milan-Sanremo is the longest race in the season, normally the longest races don’t cap 280 kilometres, like the worlds. Some have criticized the race for being boring with the action only taking place the last 20 kilometres with the Cipressa and Poggio as the ultimate pinnacles the riders deal with. I see this as a beautiful race going through a nice part of Italy. However, I can relate to the fact that the race is on fire the last 30 kms.

One for the sprinters?
The race is also called sprinters’ classic but I find the race as not always living up to this name. It is difficult to pinpoint one single reason for this but 298 kilometres is very demanding any day of the week, not to mention this early in the season. The distance makes even the smallest climb difficult, which is why the Cipressa and/or Poggio often determine the winner or at least define the decisive break. Normally, the fastest sprinters doesn’t win. Actually I don’t like this term, as the fastest guy is the one to cross the finish line first, right? The ones who have prepared the best as well as being lucky, will be there in the final. Often those two go hand in hand, just read what Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, said about luck:

Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.”

Wide open for the opportunists
As I often repeat it is impossible to predict the future and guessing the winner is difficult. It is easy to name ten-fifteen riders who can be among the winners on a given day, but that does not impress anyone right? So let me just name some of the riders I expect to rock the race, and quite frankly, I see them all up there. But remember, this is racing and anything can happen. Last year Hushovd was in great shape but found himself caught behind a crash just before the Cipressa. I guess he won’t be that far back on Saturday.

Ready for the long haul?

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I have narrowed it down to these five riders. There are many more, but what fun is it to mention they all? The list is based on form, capacity and former achievements. Of course, choice of tactic play a part here too.

Peter Sagan
Edvald Boasson Hagen
Oscar Freire
Fabian Cancellara
Tom Boonen

Tactics and strategy
How do you control all the different outcomes in a 298 km long race?

Normally a break takes off early, often gaining a significant lead. One thing is certain though, the ones in that breakaway will never make it to the finish line first. This Monument in cycling is so prestiguos to win that teams have brought their very best hoping to win, making sure a breakaway will not survive. The ones in this breakaway will be riders from teams getting a wildcard, who will honour the sponsors as well as the race itself by being in the front. Teams with a favourite might also sneak in a rider or two as well, for two reasons. 1) having an exuse not to use strength rallying the break in later 2) the possibility of having a rider up there who can provide cover if the lead man comes up or just to be a free asset.

The last 30 kms – who will be the strongest?

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Watch closely 10-15 kilometres or so prior to the Cipressa, riders slip backwards to get bottles and food from team cars, as well as receiving final advice/orders from the DSs. Some riders will try to help their leaders to the front in hope to avoid any chaos that might occure in the peloton. The sprinters will fight for their lives to stay near the front, to avoid sliding too far back on the climb. All this while the riders who picked up fluids and food try to make their way to the front to support to their leaders with some crucial food or drinks. The pro teams have own nutrition experts, like Team Sky’s Nigel Mitchell, who have sorted a menu suited to each rider on every step of the way.
We’ll have the usual attack on the Cipressa or the Poggio by Nibali and Garzelli or other punchy riders. In addition to this, the Italians will try to snatch a win on home soil. Count among them Pettachi, Viviani (evil tongues will say Sagan will ride him in like Nibali if he can) and Sacha Modolo, remember his 4th place last year?

Radioshack-Nissan could use Italian star Bennati or Fabian for a late attack whilst BMC could do the same with GVA or Gilbert.

Summary
The first of cycling’s five monuments is here, and the strong men will battle it out. I’m excited to see how the different teams play their tactics. Having just one egg in the basket can bring a devostating result as the peloton is tired, teams not all that organised this early and everybody wants to secure a place in the spotlight. We will see if Roald Amundsen’s words is valid still on Saturday.

Let’s have a look at the frenzy in the last kilometres Milan-Sanremo 2011 where Matt Goss won.

Posted in Boasson Hagen, Cancellara, classics, cycling, Gilbert, Hushovd, milan san remo, procycling, RCS, Sagan, soigneurs, Team | Leave a comment

AIGCP vs UCI – why confidence matters

JV talking to the press

photo downloaded here

Yesterday we saw the AIGCP (Association des Groupes Cyclists Professionels) has no confidence in the UCI leadership. AIGCP held a meeting in Paris on Friday, voting on different key subjects. The AIGCP is taking care of the pro teams interests and it not a small thing they are coming out like this in public.

Now, many would say that this is nothing new and it is not getting us anywhere since the UCI don’t care what the teams think anyway. I beg to differ. This is a new twist to the ongoing “battle” between pro teams and the UCI. The AIGCP is an organisation which depends highly on who’s leading it. Jonathan Vaughters is currently the president of the AIGCP and has been in fights with the UCI over several issues the last years. Remember the radio ban?

What is it about
I see this as a two-fold battle. Firstly it is about power. The AIGCP stated in a release to cyclingnews that the AIGCP is under-represented in the decision-making process pertinent to the sport of professional cycling. The AIGCP has tried to be more influential in pro cycling for a decade, gaining more influence could be a good thing but this is also about money, lots of money.

As AIGCP stated in that release, they represent 2000 employees and 321 million euros per year. They want a fair and equal say. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, although it isn’t crystal clear to me exactly what the AIGCP want to do when/if they got it. Television revenues are important because the financial possibilities when it comes to attract sponsors has never been so hard. Cycling teams are mostly being run by former riders and it could be difficult to deal with the business aspect of managing a team. After all, there is nothing indicating that being a world class athlete makes you a world class manager. This is known as the Peter principle.

Being able to decide more of the structure of the World Tour is something I feel the teams should be able to do. After all, their sponsors are interested in getting their ROI, the team has a certain amount of riders and staff and do not want to travel the world on tights budgets and time schedules. Should teams make money or get their budget in zero?

Summary
To be able to decide more of the structure of the WT is something I feel the teams should be granted, as well as getting a fair share of the televsion revenues. However, I think the AIGCP could be more open to expressing what their intentions are beyond these matters, as they criticize the UCI for being “secretive” and closed.

Posted in AIGCP, Team, uci, Vaughters | Leave a comment

BMC – the pressure is building

The World Tour circus has been ongoing for one and a half months now, travelling from Down Under to Asia and the Middle East. The riders have enjoyed some nice weather and been riding with their new kit, some with their new team for the very first time. Some teams have been winning “every race” (as I wrote here) while others have yet to open the champagne.

Worried yet?

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Winning is contagious
Yesterday I talked to Mads Kaggestad, former Credit Agricole, on twitter. He mentioned that the pressure is now on for the big teams who have yet to win. I support this fully.
Of course, the riders on teams that haven’t won anything yet will shrug the shoulders, look distant and say that “the season is still young” or that “the goals are the classics” and so forth. But, beneath all that, I suppose there is a tiny piece of uncertainty building. Nothing big, nothing you’ll loose sleep over. Yet.

Thing is, big teams have big riders. Big riders get the support, meaning that “less experienced riders need to seize the possibilities”, as Kaggestad said. So far they have not, meaning that the team’s stars need to step up to do the job and win. After all, that is what they are paid to do.

Take BMC, having last years WC, tour winner, and rider of the year. The pressure on these guys is intense. Luckily, the three of them have been in the spotlight before and are familiar with pressure and how to deal with it. Have in mind, being mentally strong has nothing to do with being emotionless or “switched off”, it is how you deal with pressure.

Solutions
There are many things one can do to deal with this, in my work I see this all of the time. Getting on the offensive and in that “zone” is critical, over-analyzing the preparations, the training and the team, are just some examples of how not to do it. Hopefully, staff and riders have been in situations like this before and have a strategy to cope with it or race coaches who are trained to work on these matters. Let’s not forget another fact in favour of the stars; having adjusted your form during the better part of a decade helps too.

Summary
The season has been on-going for nearly two months now. Teams like OP-QS, Lotto, Sky and LIQ have all nailed a victory or three each, bringing the riders’ shoulders down and creating smiles all around. Meanwhile, other big teams, like BMC has yet to prove themselves. This may lead to pressure building, both within the team, from sponsors and from fans. Will discipline remain? Who has the mental strength to perform? Only time will tell. 

Posted in BMC, classics, cycling, Gilbert, Hushovd, Le Tour, milan san remo, Paris-Roubaix, procycling, Team, teambuilding | Leave a comment

Three teams are flourishing so far – why?

The road season is back on track with season openings on far warmer latitude than I’m familiar with this early. Tour Down Under kickstarted it, while we now have the riders enjoying six-star hotels in Qatar and Oman. That said, racing took off in Portugal today too, with the Volta ao Algarve.




It pays to be a winner

Photo by Karim Jaffar/Afp, downloaded here.

 So far this season has been dominated by the two Belgian teams Omega Pharma – Quick Step (OP-QS) and Lotto-Belisol (Lotto), with Italian team Liqigas-Cannondale (LIQ) as the third team that made the headlines so far. It is a mix of both young and experienced riders who have claimed the podium. I like the fact that several young ones have developed further. LIQ riders Oss, Viviani and of course Sagan, have all raised the bar to a level few have been able to follow so far. The experienced Greg “Hendy” Henderson has taken charge of the lead-out train in Lotto, given Greipel the lead-out he was missing last year. Boonen is back looking as strong as ever, while teammate youngster Andy Fenn won in Mallorca.

Easy come easy goes
It is difficult to predict the future, if not impossible, but lets take a closer look at OP-QS. The merger last year when Marc Couke, the CEO of Omega Pharma, promised to keep the money in a Belgian team, has so far proved the critics wrong. Patrick Lefevere can smile all way to the team car with Couke’s rumoured €4,5 mill tied into the team. Together with the sale of the majority stake to Czech businessman Zdenek Bakala, the finances seems to be working well.

The team has a great roster, including some riders from HTC who needed a contract found a spot in the belgian team. Not that those rider neccessarily is better than the others, but there is something that comes along for free, in a positive way when recruiting riders from the best team in decades; winning culture. Reporter Geir Økland, who reported for Norwegian TV2 in Qatar, spoke to DS Peeters to get the team’s recipe for success, these are the key points:

  • The team is stronger than last year (riders)
  • Better mentality among the riders
  • “hungry” new riders on the team keep the pressure up during training
  • More chiropractors and physios have kept the injuries low

In addition to this, Brian Holm has arrived as DS. He played a vital part at HTC, where they cultivated the scientific approach that increased both the individual development of each rider as well as building the team super strong.

Summary
It is too early to say if the playing field will be leveled out, but for the other teams I do hope it. For what is worth, I believe these teams has been given an indication that their plan during the short winter has worked well. They are heading into the spring season with their head held high. But, now every rider has done the difficult, hard work, from now on it’s all about racing to fitness. The season is still young.

Posted in cycling, Lotto, Omega Pharma Quick step, procycling, Sagan, stars, Team, teambuilding, Tour of Oman | Leave a comment

The Giro unveil the story behind their social media strategy and their secrets

Marco Gobbi Pansana

PDR: Thanks for the opportunity Marco Gobbi Pansana, I appreciate you taking the time for this interview. Could you start by introducing yourself to the readers, where do you come from and how did you get to where you are now?
My name is Mark Gobbi Pansana, I was born in 1979 and I’ m the Marketing and Communication Manager of the Giro d’Italia and the other cycling events of RCS Sport.”
”I graduated in 2003 in Public Relations and Marketing at the IULM in Milan. I started work in 2004 a RCS Pubblicità, in the New Brands Sales Marketing office, where I managed special projects, loyalty and frequency programmes, sponsorship and events for the Gazzetta dello Sport brand.”
”From 2006 I moved to RCS Sport, covering several roles and the strategic repositioning of all the brands and events in the RCS Sport portfolio and developing their value and communications via special projects and advertising, side-events and PR.”
”From 2009, I’ve been the head of the Marketing and Communications for cycling.”
PDR: The giro is a big event in Italy and the World for that matters, but what does the Giro d’Italia mean to you personally?
”My first memories of the Giro d’Italia where in the early nineties, cheering for ‘El Diablo’ Claudio Chiappucci, hoping he’d beat more talented riders such as Bugno, Indurain, then Berzin and Rominger. I then discovered ‘il Pirata’ Marco Pantani, who was one of Chiappucci’s domestiques and fell in love with the way he raced: with his heart and full of courage. Few riders have ever excited the fans like he did. I didn’t follow cycling closely for a few years but then got back I to it in 2000 as a student. The first CV I sent out was to try and work for the Giro d’Italia.”
”Today the Giro is a mash-up of logic and passion, of work and personal emotions, of professionalism and enthusiasm. It’s a good relationship that is very rewarding professionally and so I try to give a lot back.”
”The thing I like the most? That my group and I are managing to what many people thought was impossible: after transforming a race into an event, we’ve now changed it from an event into a brand.”
PDR: To be recognised as a brand is a complex journey. I have for a long time admired how the RCS utilize social media, and you have received praise from all over the cycling world because of it. You have been active on twitter all year and you have had campaigns on Facebook. Can you bring us back to how this started, why did it happen like it did and when did it begin in the first place?
Also, who was involved and what was the key to succeed in making this turnover when it comes to social media? What was/is the vision?
Our first ‘revolution’ started in 2006, with an attempt to change our approach to the way we work. The Giro consists of 21 stages, with a lot of racing and a huge effort by the riders. It’s an event that is much more than a race, it’s also a party that involves everyone: the local and national authorities, our partners, and the pro teams and their riders. We build a team around each event and create projects to reach specific targets.”

”The second revolution started in 2009 with the arrival of Michele Aquarone (Read my May 2011 interview with Michele here.) The Giro became a brand that lives and breathes 365 days a year. An event is based on communications done by others, a brand communicates itself. The Giro has built its own brand equity; it’s rediscovered his history and values. It communicates in a certain way and has its own personality. But the Giro isn’t a consumer product or a service, it doesn’t happen every day. So how do we turn these values into concrete actions?”     
”The social media was the answer. First via Facebook and then Twitter and soon on YouTube. The Giro now has its own channels of communication that we can manage directly and cost effectively, that are international and interactive. Finally, without going through intermediaries, we’ve got the chance to speak about the Giro, to keep it constantly alive, to know what our fans think, to play and inform people and share our passion for what call ‘the toughest race in the worlds most beautiful place’.”  
”We decided to use social media openly and honestly. We think it’s the right way to create a relationship with our fans around the world. The Giro isn‘t ‘ours’. It belongs to all the fans because they’re the ones who make it so special: it’s their passion, their interest in it, and their love for it. That’s how we understand what they like about the Giro and so we asked the fans to help us develop the Giro.”
”We were the first organiser in the world to ask the fans to choose the climb that had to be in the 2012 Giro. The Stelvio and the Mortirolo came joint top and so we created a stage with both climbs: it’s the FAN STAGE of the 2012 Giro d’Italia. We also asked the fans about the iconic race leader’s maglia rosa. We asked them to enrich it with their passion and feelings via twitter. We also made the fans the stars of the promotional campaign for the 2012 Giro.”
PDR: Everybody need some inspiration from time to time. I’m curious, where do you look for inspiration?
We’re curious, we surf the net and look for inspiration in and out of sport. We study what Real Madrid and the NFL do and also companies like Coca Cola, Diesel, Nike and Nespresso. We try to be creative, remember Tweet Your Maglia Rosa? We try to be the first to be original, including our symbols which are climbs, maglia rosa, Italy, we share our history and our values.”
PDR: During the 2011 Giro, I think you had at least four people running the Giro d’Italia twitter feed, if I remember correctly. How have you organized the staff?
The 2011 Giro d’Italia was year zero for us from the point of view of the social media. During the event two people focused on managing our Twitter profile with the objective to reveal aspects of the race that aren’t generally seen, either because they’re exclusive or because they’re considered of little interest by the traditional media.
We tried to report what happens behind the scenes, cover the race from the race director’s car or from team cars. The fans loved it. During the so-called ‘off season’ a member of my team manages our social media profile. I can promise you that there will be a lot of new things regarding our social media in 2012. Keep following us.”
PDR: Sounds good from a fan’s perspective. How do you see the future for social media and cycling in general?
It’s difficult to predict. I wasn’t on Twitter two years ago and didn’t know about Facebook five years ago. The important thing is to be fully up to date on what is happening.”
”Regarding the social media, I think the integration between different platforms, devices and on-off is inevitable. Mobile will change radically. I think it’ll be difficult to identify what isn’t mobile because desktop PCs and laptops as we understand them today, will change rapidly. This means the content will be more interactive and include film, music, books, etc. A few years ago teenagers seemed set to be more and more closed in their own worlds with their PlayStation and IPod. Now socializing has comeback strongly because the way of doing things has changed. I think this concept of community is the ‘fil rouge’ that will set the direction for the development of social media.”     
”Regarding cycling, after a decade of damage caused by doping scandals, a lot of people thought cycling was dead. But the strength of cycling comes from the passion of the fans. If this sport can understand how to promote its best aspects (that it’s free to watch, the possibility to see and touch their heroes and so be part of the event), and use social media to do this, then I think the Giro will continue to develop internationally and grow. But it’s got to change and we can’t invent races that don’t have any sense or have a soul.”
”Cycling has to radically improve its TV and media product. Fans aren’t like they were in the eighties; they expect a lot more. They want to be part of the race and feel involved. They want to know gradients, speed, and biometrics, hear the rider’s voices and perhaps even the smell of their sweat and the smell of the grass of the Dolomites. They want to see the race from a new perspective via onboard cameras on motorbikes, bicycles, etc. Today TV struggles to highlight the race and does virtually nothing for everything that is around it.”
PDR: Thank you so much for your time Marco Gobbi Pansana.
Posted in cycling, fans, Giro, Lombardia, milan san remo, PR, social | Leave a comment