For casual observers and ardent fans alike: Previewing the Tour de France on Twitter

The Tour de France is one of those unmissable sporting events that take place one a year. As much of a cultural experience as a sporting event, watching the various regions of France speed by in the background, the Tour is also an incredible feat of endurance and teamwork.

Controversy is never far away given cycling’s chequered history and the recent furore around the exclusion and then re-inclusion of four-time champion Chris Froome, who has been able to satisfy the World Anti-Doping Agency that he should not have to serve a ban. But with the British rider in the race, there’s now a chance we’ll see a feat of sporting history, taking the Team Sky member to four grand tour wins in a row.

Despite the fact that the race starts this weekend, when the World Cup is still in full flow and Wimbledon is starting to heat up, there’s already excitement for the cycling. And the official Twitter account, with its bilingual posts, is gearing up to cover it.

There are 176 riders taking place in the Tour this year. That’s fewer than usual, but still an undoubtedly large number. For those fans who aren’t cycling aficionados but who do love watching the Tour as maybe their only taste of the sport all year, that’s definitely too many to follow. But the Tour’s social media team are trying to ensure that those fans still know what’s happening with the main storylines.

Take the race for the Green Jersey, for example. The points classification essentially crowns the Tour de France’s best sprinter. These aren’t riders who will win the Tour overall – they are powerful men who win in the final bunch sprint to the finish line at the end of the flat stages – and so their objectives are slightly different.

And it was the same for the Polka Dot Jersey – the award for the best climber, winner of the most points given out for being the first to go over the tops of the climbs in the Alps and Pyrenees later on in the race.

Running the social media accounts for such an event means understanding your audience. For the Tour de France, that means ardent cycling fans as well as those with a more casual interest in the sport – and indeed those with little to no interest in the actual sport, but who are taken in by the cultural event and the beauty of France’s inimitable countryside.

From this Saturday on and for the next three weeks there’s yet another massive sporting event that’s not to be missed.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 785 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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