Bicycling magazineAs cycling fans eagerly await the start of the 99th Tour de France – where the world’s best cyclists will cover a 2,173-mile, grueling route in just 21 days of racing – Rodale Inc.’s Bicycling magazine will once again lead the pack with unprecedented coverage of the world’s biggest bike race, available at BICYCLING.com.

Editorial Note: There’s so much negative news surrounding the sport right now with the Lance Armstrong  alleged doping charges that we wanted to publish some good news about the race…

Insight

With a multi-platform editorial attack – online, video, print, tablet and social – and by sending its largest team ever to France to cover the race, Bicycling makes it easy to follow the 2012 Tour de France, which begins June 30 with a prologue in Liege, Belgium, and continues through July 22, with the finale on the famed Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Leading this year’s coverage is the return of Bicycling’s popular “Tour Talk” video series, sponsored by Nissan, where former pro Frankie Andreu and longtime Bicycling contributor James Startt will offer smart, colorful, daily commentary throughout the race – available after each stage. Further ramping up its video coverage, BICYCLING.com will offer pre- and post-stage videos to give fans their daily fix, ranging from racer interviews to expert commentary to technology and gear features.

To give fans “insider access” to the peloton, BICYCLING.com will again feature exclusive updates from fan favorites Chris Horner and Jens Voigt – both from team RadioShack-Nissan. Horner, one of the top American hopefuls this year, will deliver a daily video diary with his take on the day’s racing, while Voigt, a seasoned veteran and “super domestique,” will offer up a blog post nearly each stage.

On the iPad, in addition to its August issue, Bicycling debuted today a special iPad edition featuring the very best Tour de France photography from Startt, the most tenured American journalist at the Tour, at 23 years and counting. The special issue – available in the iTunes store for $1.99 – features a gorgeous collection of Startt’s all-time 45 best images, ranging from France’s idyllic countryside to iconic moments with the Tour’s legendary champions, such as Miguel Indurain, Marco Pantani, and Lance Armstrong.

Other highlights of Bicycling’s 2012 Tour de France coverage include:

  • August Issue: In its annual Tour de France preview – on newsstands July 3 – Bicycling has a compelling, long-form narrative from celebrated writer Hampton Sides (“Life’s Rich Pageant”), who writes about the thrilling experience of attending the Tour in-person – where fans don’t just watch, but partake in the spectacle. Plus, the issue breaks down the essentials: key stages, the top ten overall contenders, and the top Americans to watch at this year’s race.
  • #Ridestreak hashtag: Why let the pros have all the fun? Bicycling is encouraging readers to commit to a “Ride Streak,” doing a ride of their own (at least 3 miles) for every stage of the Tour de France – whether it’s biking to work, the store, or a local road or mountain bike ride. Using the #Ridestreak hashtag and tweeting to @Bicyclingmag, participants can post stories, photos, and GPS and performance data, telling us about their ride and keeping the streak alive.
  • Tour de France Poetry: Todd Colby, a well-known Brooklyn, New York-based poet, will deliver a daily poem for each stage – a new and unique offering for this year.
  • Daily: Recaps of each stage, expert analysis from Bicycling’s all-star team of editors and contributors such as Joe Lindsey and Whit Yost, among others, and photo slideshows from James Startt.
  • “Garmin Insider” Channel: Exclusive content and access to top American squad Garmin-Sharp, including racer interviews, videos, analysis and special features.
  • Historical Analysis: Samuel Abt, who covered 32 editions of the Tour de France for the New York Times and International Herald Tribune, and authored several well-known books about the Tour, will file multiple reports each week of the race, infused with his unique historical perspective.

By the way – if you’re not on Twitter, you can still keep up with Bicycling.com on their Facebook page.