The group of Velon WorldTour teams and Flanders Classics – the organisers of the Tour of Flanders – have revealed they have reached an agreement to produce on-board video footage from Sunday’s race.
11 WorldTour teams created the Velon association last year to develop and protect their long-term business interests in the sport. Riders’ bikes from five teams: Giant-Alpecin, Cannondale-Garmin, Lampre-Merida, Lotto Soudal, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek Factory Racing, will be fitted with video cameras at the Tour of Flanders. The video footage captured will be edited and then shared with the video rights holders of the race, via the Velon teams and international distributor IMG Media, a few hours after Sunday’s race. Some of the content could also be used in the weekly InCycle show produced by IMG Media and shown on Cyclingnews.
On-board video footage often reveals the most dramatic moments in races, such as crashes and high-speed sprint lead-outs. On-board videos have been produced by a number of riders, teams and technical sponsors in recent months but the agreement between Velon and the Tour of Flanders organiser is the first coordinated production of video content. The Tour of Flanders is also expected to produce on-board live footage from inside several team cars during the race.
"This is the 99th Tour of Flanders and we’ve always striven to bring fans closer to the action. The new technologies give us a fantastic opportunity to show this great race, Flanders’ finest, to even more people around the world– both through our and through the teams’ channels," Gilbert Van Fraeyenhoven, managing director of Flanders Classics, said in a press release.
Graham Bartlett, CEO of Velon, promised that the Velon teams would try to make professional cycling a more exciting, stable and credible sport. Bartlett and Velon is now considered a key stakeholder in the sport and has a place at the UCI Working Group charged with drawing up the major reforms planned for 2017. The reform process has hit a stalemate, as Cyclingnews reported on Tuesday. However Velon has achieved a first goal by working with Flanders Classics.
"The many kilometres of cobbles makes it a truly punishing event and this will also be the first opportunity to test the camera setup under these race conditions – both their mechanics and their image stabilisation technology. We’re all looking forward to the results," Bartlett said in a press release.
It is not known how many camera or how many riders will be involved in capturing the on-board video footage. However it is possible the bikes will be fitted with front and rear camera. The final edit video is expected to be available a few hours after the end of the Tour of Flanders. An example of the kind of video fans might see is from last year's Tour de Suisse, below.
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