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[06/21/12 - 08:13 AM]
NBC Sports Group Surrounds the 99th Annual Tour de France - the Most Grueling Cycling Event of the Year
The first of the 295 total hours of coverage begins Saturday, June 30 on NBC Sports Network.

[via press release from NBC]

NBC SPORTS GROUP SURROUNDS THE 99TH ANNUAL TOUR DE FRANCE - THE MOST GRUELING CYCLING EVENT OF THE YEAR

Stages 7 & 8 Live on NBC; First Ever Live Network Coverage of Tour de France

295 Total Hours Including Each of the 21 Stages Live, Nightly Studio Show and Daily Stage Re-airs

Multi-platform Coverage Available with Tour de France LIVE on NBCSports.com and through Tour de France LIVE Mobile App

NBCSports.com Will Live Stream the Stages on NBC

"After the recent Dauphine race in France, Cadel Evans has shot himself into the favorite category to win the Tour for a second time." - NBC Sports' Phil Liggett on 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans

New York - June 21, 2012 - NBC Sports Group, the exclusive U.S. television home of the Tour de France, will surround the world's most grueling cycling race with 295 total hours of coverage and robust digital offerings including:

· 19 of the 21 stages live on NBC Sports Network;

· Two stages (7 and 8) live on NBC; first ever live network coverage of the Tour de France;

· Nightly studio show and re-airs of each stage on NBC Sports Network;

· An average of more than 13 hours of race action per day, in full HD, throughout the 21-stage competition on NBC Sports Network.

· NBC recap shows on July 1 and July 22 for the first and final stages of the epic race;

· Tour de France LIVE, at NBCSports.com, and the Tour de France LIVE Mobile app.

The nightly studio show, 8-11 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, will feature a combination of race coverage and cycling insight, as well as highlights from some of the most compelling stories throughout the Tour. Each show will include analysis and strategy segments, as well as interviews with the riders at the start and finish lines.

Coverage of the 99th Tour de France begins on Saturday, June 30, at 8 a.m. ET, live on NBC Sports Network, at the grand start in Liege, Belgium. Full schedule is below.

COMMENTATORS: Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the voices of cycling, will once again call all the race action for both the live and nightly shows, with Craig Hummer and Steve Porino contributing as field reporters. Liam McHugh, who will be on-site in Paris, will host NBC Sports Group's coverage alongside former American cyclists Bob Roll and Scott Moninger. Robbie Ventura will report on the tech elements and equipment used by these elite athletes during the network's three weeks of coverage.

PRODUCTION: Tour de France coverage will include exclusive live look-ins to team cars for Team Garmin-Barracuda, Team Sky, Team Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Team RadioShack Nissan Trek as they relay strategy and updates to their riders. New this year, reporters Hummer and Porino will be embedded with these teams, providing unprecedented access. NBC Sports Network will utilize several production features, including a pointer feature which will easily identify and focus on one rider in the peloton; exclusive, in-depth profiles and features on teams and riders; and an onscreen predicted time for the peloton riders who are trying to catch the leading riders. Individual rider profiles will include 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, Bradley Wiggins, sprinter Mark Cavendish, and American riders Tom Danielson, Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie, who will be riding in his 17th Tour, breaking the record he held with Dutch rider Joop Zoetemelk for the most starts in history.

LIGGETT ON 2011 WINNER CADEL EVANS: "After the recent Dauphine race in France, Cadel Evans has shot himself into the favorite category to win the Tour for a second time. If he does, he will be the oldest since Firmin Lambot in 1922. However, he has yet to work out how to beat Bradley Wiggins, who will be trying to become the first British winner ever of the event. Evans has a great competitive spirit and will still start as the favorite to win."

Tour de France LIVE and Tour de France LIVE Mobile: NBC Sports Group will surround its on-air coverage with Tour de France LIVE, unprecedented cycling content online at NBCSports.com, and through the Tour de France LIVE Mobile app. The network will offer users two premium-subscription products which will give fans a multi-platform, all-encompassing viewing experience to the Tour. Tour de France LIVE offers live streaming video of every stage in full HD, with the ability to pause, rewind and slow-mo the video. While watching live coverage online, viewers will also have access to a live GPS tracking map to follow the riders' progress or to see an enhanced interactive map for each stage. Also, subscribers can personalize their Tour experience by choosing their favorite riders and teams to track throughout the Tour. To experience the Tour de France on the go, fans can also purchase the Tour de France LIVE Mobile app, which is available for iPhone and iPad, as well as Android devices. All the features of the NBCSports.com online experience will be mirrored in the Tour de France LIVE Mobile app, including live video of every stage, and is sold separately from the online product. Stages 7 and 8, which will air live on NBC, will also be streamed live for free, on NBCSports.com.

Other elements available to cycling fans at NBCSports.com and through the mobile apps, are listed below.

Before the Tour:

· Stage-by-stage descriptions and previews, featuring historical stage information, technical information and interesting travelogue vignettes

· Breakdown of top contenders

· Historical top 10 lists

· Look back at the best of the 2011 Tour de France

During the Tour:

· Recaps and highlights of each stage

· Route previews, course and stage maps, elevation profiles and stage descriptions

· Interviews with the top riders

· Live stage results and detailed standings

· Rider profiles by country and team

· Live news stream during every stage

· Photo slideshows

· Tour de France Twitter stream, which will showcase the top race authorities, including riders, analysts, officials and fans

Additional Features and Elements:

· The Nissan Ultimate Access Sweepstakes will give away a trip to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (Aug 24 - 27) where one lucky fan and a guest will get the chance to get insider's access to one of the world's premiere cycling team, RadioShack Nissan Trek. Additional prizes include Trek bikes, and team autographed helmets and jerseys. Fans register at http://ultimateaccess.nbcsports.com/ and enter the code word "Colo" (for Colorado). Social Media: Fans can also keep up with the Tour de France through NBC Sports social media platforms throughout the race. Content will include:

· Behind the Scenes: Through the NBC cycling Facebook page and @NBCSNCycling on Twitter, fans will receive exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, interviews and video clips.

· News: Fans can follow NBC Cycling Facebook and @NBCSNCycling Twitter accounts to receive the most up to date reports and stories from around the cycling world.

NBC Sports Group's Live Schedule (all times Eastern and subject to change):
DATE STAGE TIME NETWORK
Sat., June 30 Prologue: Liege to Liege 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 1 Stage 1: Liege to Seraing 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 1 Recap Show 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. NBC
Mon., July 2 Stage 2: Vise to Tournai 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Tues., July 3 Stage 3: Orchies to Boulogne-sur-mer 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Wed., July 4 Stage 4: Abbeville to Rouen 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Thurs., July 5 Stage 5: Rouen to Saint-Quentin 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Fri., July 6 Stage 6: Epernay to metz 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 7 Stage 7: Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles 8 a.m. - Noon NBC
Sun., July 8 Stage 8: Belfort to Porrentruy 8 a.m. - Noon NBC
Mon., July 9 Stage 9: Arc-et-Senans to Bescancon 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Wed., July 11 Stage 10: Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Thurs., July 12 Stage 11: Albertville to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles 7 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Fri., July 13 Stage 12: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay Davezieux 6:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 14 Stage 13: Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Le Cap d'Adge 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 15 Stage 14: Limoux to Foix 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Mon., July 16 Stage 15: Samatan to Pau 8 a.m. - Noon NBCSN
Wed., July 17 Stage 16: Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon 6:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Thurs., July 19 Stage 17: Bagneres-de-Luchon to Peyragudes 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Fri., July 20 Stage 18: Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 21 Stage 19: Bonneval to Chartres 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 22 Stage 20: Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Elysees 8 a.m. - Noon NBCSN
Sun., July 22 Recap Show 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. NBC





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