A few months ago I posted about the great “Tour Tracker” Amgen had pulled together for the Tour de California. Well, Versus has refined the approach and delivered a really nice, polished offering for those of us who need to follow the Tour de France no matter what.
From the “Race Tracker” dashboard you can stream the race live in a very respectable 695×390 video pane as well as browse current stats and the stage overview at-a-glance. As if that weren’t enough, the lower panel allows you to switch between:
- Live Map – Shows progress and route info as well as the elevation profile
- Video – Brings in additional video content (ie. Stage recaps, Ask Bobke, etc.)
- Standings – Sortable by Overall, Sprint, Mountain, and Young Rider results
- Twitter – See what the world is Tweeting about the Tour
- Stages – See the outline of stages past, present and future. Complete with key mile markers and elevation profiles.
- Schedule – Let’s you plan when you need to schedule your “meetings” at work, so you can duck out and watch the Tour ;-)
Not that this is a revolutionary statement, but I think we’re honestly previewing the future of TV here – Depending on the type of viewer you are you have pretty much everything you need to satiate your Tour de France needs at your fingertips, from stats and standings, to enriching video and route maps.
Also new to this offering are tiered viewing options, allowing different levels of immersion:
- Free – Allows you access to most features and ‘internet-quality’ video
- Stage Pass ($2.95/Stage) – The same as above, but upgrades you to broadcast quality video
- Tour Pass ($34.95) – The same as the Stage Pass, but also pulls in “On-Demand” videos for you to watch (from what I can tell, these are the past stages, though there may be more)
I’ve been using the Free version, and have been quite pleased with it – The broadcast video would be nice, but I can deal with the low quality stuff for now. Though I think $3/stage is fairly reasonable for a die-hard fan.
Now that Lance, Alberto and the Astana crew has brought the thunder with the team time trial (TTT), you have no excuse to miss another minute. Check out the action at Versus.com/tourdefrancelive/ and let us know what you think!