It was a textbook first stage. A late start (by 30 or so minutes) from Tybee Island got the peloton moving into what might best be described as something of a warm-up ride. No wind-induced splits, or rail crossing excitement. We did get some beautiful Georgia coastal marshes, though. What few breakaway attempts there were got reeled back in within minutes. No one dominated the collection of sprint points, and only near the very end of the stage did we get much in the way of organization in the peloton. Rock moved too soon to set up a leadout, and ended up ceding control of the pace to High Road. What happened after that? Well, I’d simply be repeating what you’ve probably already read elsewhere, because the video was dropped in the last 500-600 meters or so where Toyota-United set its best sprinter up for the win. D’oh. Still, the lesson is that Ivan Dominguez remains a threat in any sprint situation.

As far as the fan experience goes, many of us discovered this morning that the TdG had split the live video coverage away from the vaunted Adobe TourTracker, and handed it off to WCSN. Well, to WCSN for US domestic viewers. And then only to some of them. The live chat over at the TourTracker page indicated that fair number of viewers had a hard time getting a reliable feed. I had relatively few problems (until the maddening end), but I’d logged on a good hour before coverage even started.

Speaking of things that remind you of Cycling.tv, Cycling.tv is responsible for getting the live video to the rest of the world (both on the Free2View channel and at higher bitrates in premium). This coverage started a fair bit later than the WCSN coverage. Not sure if that was by accident or design.

In any event, while I appreciate TdG’s need to monetize the internet broadcast of the feed, it’s a real shame that they had to hobble the Adobe TourTracker in order to do it. That remains, by far, the most impressive sports fan interface I’ve ever come across. Word is that they’re working with WCSN to reintegrate it in some way that retains the WCSN branding/benefits, but I don’t have any confirmation of that.

So, if you’re planning on watching the TdG live this week, remember to get there early (much easier than with P-R!) and with at least two windows – one for WCSN, and one for the TourTracker. Wait, make that three – you’ll need one for PodiumCafe.com, too. But you won’t have to worry about any login troubles there.

Photos courtesy Ken Conley. Follow that link and check him out.

 

Modified from a story crossposted to PodiumCafe.com