The Amgen Tour of California is experimenting with action cameras on riders’ bikes and, if visceral footage captured by John Degenkolb’s Giant-Shimano sprint train on stage 1 is indicative of the extra ‘watchability’ it gives the sport, we want more – lots more.
The video, posted today on Shimano’s YouTube channel, gives a thrilling seat-of-the-shorts (literally) view of the last minute of the sprint in Sacremento, won by Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
Cycling’s governing body, the UCI gave the Californain race special dispensation to trial action cameras. The international federation is currently exploring ways technology can be used to attract more viewers to cycling.
In April Cookson told the Sport Accord Conference in Turkey that he wanted to see whether action camera video could improve TV viewing.
“We will look at technology, such as cameras on bikes and in team cars, to see how they can be used to enhance the viewer experience,” he said.
It’s not the first time the American race has dabbled with the technology. In 2011, GoPro fitted cameras to the HTC team bikes and captured similar footage.
Check out the latest footage here. It’s getting a lot of likes.
Video: Amazing footage of John Degenkolb's sprint in Tour of California stage 1