Canadian broadcaster signs six year TV commitment for Tour de France
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Canadian broadcaster signs six year TV commitment for Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 6:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia
Ryder Hesjedal scoops prestigious Canadian of the Year award

Ryder HesjedalMulti-platform broadcaster Sportsnet has upped its commitment to covering the sport in Canada, inking a six year deal to show the Tour de France from 2014 onwards.

The decision comes months after Ryder Hesjedal secured the country’s first Grand Tour victory when he won the Giro d’Italia, thus marking him out as a future Tour de France contender.

The Garmin-Sharp rider went to the French event in his best-ever form and while he crashed out, he will aim to be one of those fighthing for the Maillot Jaune in 2014 and beyond.

“The Tour de France is the ultimate event in cycling,” said Navaid Mansuri of Rogers Media, in confirming the multi-year broadcasting deal.

Sportsnet has gained exclusive Canadian rights for television, digital and mobile and will show every stage of the French race. It has already an agreement in place to screen the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España and many other events, including the Tour de Suisse, Tour of California and the Santos Tour Down Under. And while the Tour de France deal doesn’t begin for another year and a half, it will broadcast over 150 days of cycling in 2013.

This will include coverage of the new Canadian UCI race, the six day, 2.1 Tour of Alberta, which will run from September 3rd to 8th.

Meanwhile a reflection of Canada’s increased interest in the sport is Hesjedal’s selection as Canadian of the Year. He secured 139 points and 32 first-place votes in balloting of sports editors and broadcasters, beating tennis player Milos Raonic and Calgary Stampeders player Jon Cornish.

Hesjedal will use the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Romandie as preparation for his first big goal of the season; taking another Maglia Rosa.

“We’re focused on defending my Giro title,” he told the Globe and Mail, calling it the team’s highest priority.

However, whatever happens in Italy, once July rolls around he will be determined to aim for his highest-ever Tour de France finish.


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