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FloBikes will broadcast Unbound Gravel

Old 05-28-21, 04:25 PM
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surak
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FloBikes will broadcast Unbound Gravel

Not exactly a professional race, but the big hitters are pros or ex-pros.

https://www.velonews.com/news/gravel...roadcast-live/

I think this is good news as all the suffering could make for good viewing. I know previously EF and some others would produce and release short videos about their off-road escapades, but it's more exciting when I don't know what's going to happen.
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Old 05-29-21, 02:20 AM
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potentially equating it to the split between boxing and mma...it could take off in viewership/following and eclipse traditional road racing coverage.
what's the target demographic? 21-40? road racing has a ton of events and with the recent influx of current < 25yo road rider talent,
any combo/hybrid/amalgamation of mtb, cyclocross and gravel has overlapping interests. it could be the wave of the future-now.
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Old 05-29-21, 06:36 AM
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Well I guess I'll look into flo bikes now. I definitely can see this growing in popularity - not only MMA "niche" but also look to where snowboarding and skate boarding are at currently. In our capital city Des Moines they built a new skate park and are hosting the "Dew Tour".

Gravel still not as weird as that whole "Cricket" thing the rest of the world is into.
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Old 05-29-21, 12:28 PM
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Yes the way that gravel is accessible to everyone adds to the interest.
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Old 05-29-21, 03:42 PM
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Gravel is a good thing for cycling. Kind of weird how USA Cycling is grappling with [not] being part of it. And may or may not be welcome.

I found Flo Sports to be really expensive and pretty annoying. They're changing things up a bit. Maybe for the better? Who knows.

I hope gravel gets some air on other channels and am counting on GCN+ taking Flo's lunch money.
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Old 06-02-21, 11:52 AM
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FloSports is expensive, they still show stupid ads despite the subscription fee, and the commentary is lacking. My 1 year sub doesn't expire until after the TdF, I don't expect to renew unless they either dramatically lower the price or get more content (unlikely with GCN+/Eurosport coming on strong).

Having said that, no doubt Unbound will create some excitement and interest. Perhaps they'll pivot to covering more gravel and grassroots events, carving out a niche there.

Aside: Colin Strickland wrote an interesting opinion piece on what makes gravel anti-road on VeloNews. I agree with him saying one major appeal is in anyone theoretically being able to compete in the same race. I'm not as much in agreement when he extolls the need to follow unwritten rules in order to be a true gravel racer. That, like the uproar over aerobars, shows how hypocritical the gravel scene can be. They like to tout how welcoming and inclusive they are, except if you don't race the approved right way, then they'll make a pariah out of you. Sure, having a team with a leader who can sit in is absolutely unfair when most others are riding as individuals, and should be denigrated, but if someone doesn't need to stop at a feed zone, as long as they aren't getting food from a teammate later, it seems like a silly thing to insist on conforming to.

I also don't know if the reason road racing in the US died is because of inscrutable tactics that Americans are too simple to understand (granted, there have been posters here who clearly couldn't understand why bike racing isn't just about who is faster over an ITT or individual pursuit). There are other reasons pertaining to sponsorship economics, not to mention the tarnished image of road racing with a very American influence.
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Old 06-03-21, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
FloSports is expensive, they still show stupid ads despite the subscription fee, and the commentary is lacking. My 1 year sub doesn't expire until after the TdF, I don't expect to renew unless they either dramatically lower the price or get more content (unlikely with GCN+/Eurosport coming on strong).

Having said that, no doubt Unbound will create some excitement and interest. Perhaps they'll pivot to covering more gravel and grassroots events, carving out a niche there.

Aside: Colin Strickland wrote an interesting opinion piece on what makes gravel anti-road on VeloNews. I agree with him saying one major appeal is in anyone theoretically being able to compete in the same race. I'm not as much in agreement when he extolls the need to follow unwritten rules in order to be a true gravel racer. That, like the uproar over aerobars, shows how hypocritical the gravel scene can be. They like to tout how welcoming and inclusive they are, except if you don't race the approved right way, then they'll make a pariah out of you. Sure, having a team with a leader who can sit in is absolutely unfair when most others are riding as individuals, and should be denigrated, but if someone doesn't need to stop at a feed zone, as long as they aren't getting food from a teammate later, it seems like a silly thing to insist on conforming to.

I also don't know if the reason road racing in the US died is because of inscrutable tactics that Americans are too simple to understand (granted, there have been posters here who clearly couldn't understand why bike racing isn't just about who is faster over an ITT or individual pursuit). There are other reasons pertaining to sponsorship economics, not to mention the tarnished image of road racing with a very American influence.
While I do agree to that hypothesis, I would also add that promoting a road race is a tremendous amount of work. You see more crits in the US because it's a contained course of just a mile or two, which can easily be done in a spot where a road closure doesn't effect a large amount of people. Add to the road race a car for each referee, a wheel truck and motorcycles for lead out in each cat, local law enforcement to direct traffic and a large amount of volunteers for registration, timing and scoring. I've promoted a 3 day stage race for several years and the logistics are a nightmare. I promoted a championship mountain bike series for many years as well and the simplicity of that makes it much easier for promoters. It's still a lot of work, but not as much as a road race. Gravel events are pretty simple as well and will be as long as USAC doesn't get involved. With Gravel, you send out the course coordinates to the participants, line them up and say "GO"! If you keep the big prize money out of it, pro's will probably find somewhere else to race, IMHO.
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Old 06-04-21, 02:49 AM
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There's a little preview package at steephill.tv

This promo from Flo really lowers the bar for coverage expectations. "It's hard' [to cover a race] Q and "we're still figuring it out." Yeah.
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Old 06-04-21, 04:24 PM
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So they're going to have motos along the road, following the front group and kicking up dust while they try to steady the picture as the wheels go over washboarded roads?

Not sure how that's going to play.
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Old 06-04-21, 05:10 PM
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The steadicams are amazing. The dust suppressors much less so.
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Old 06-04-21, 05:14 PM
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They didn't promise uninterrupted coverage, instead to expect segments of prerecorded content whenever they didn't have a decent live feed.

Saying I'll be "stoked" for tomorrow makes me feel like a poseur, so instead I'll say that I hope we're in for a good spectacle.
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Old 06-04-21, 08:44 PM
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I'm sure that my "keep gravel weird" friends are appalled.

But really, they've seen this coming. They knew the battle was lost years ago.
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Old 06-07-21, 02:55 PM
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I watched a lot of the coverage. The moto footage was sparse, didn't see the attacks and mechanicals that occurred before the select group was split with the two who came to the line. On one descent, one of the riders (Ted King maybe?) gestured at the moto, perhaps in contempt of it being too close or kicking up dust. The video was stable but the camera panning was mechanical and at times lagged, so presumably it wasn't a human holding it.

Liked the commentators, Frankie Andreu and Janel Spilker, who filled the time between finishers. There would have been a lot of dead air had they not. Andreu was a tad too talkative when interviewing the finishers, but no biggie.

My feed would randomly show ads, and at least once it stuck to showing soccer before I quit and restarted it. So I don't know how many times the ads were glitches and if I missed much of the actual stream.

I don't think televised gravel racing is compelling enough to justify a subscription even if FloBikes added more gravel events going forward. The contender pool is too small to make the last miles as must-see as a World Tour race, there's too many moments of riders solo or in pairs spread out on the route doing nothing but holding a steady pace. The interesting moments have been better captured in written articles later (like Kiel Reijnen running in his socks for 8 miles after breaking his wheel). You can tell the live feed was searching for stuff to point out when they got super excited when one of the front riders, Stetina maybe, gave a 100-mile rider his bottle. Commentators would only get excited about something like that in a pro road race because of the new controversial littering rules.
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