"C’est la vie", the World Cup is over. I suppose the Italians might say "Ride bene chi ride ultimo". It’s a good thing the French have Le Tour. That’s right it’s July and in much of the sporting world on the other side of the pond that means Tour De France time. Over the past seven years cycling’s popularity in the US has grown tremendously. This can pretty much be attributed to the accolades (or PalmarÃ¨s as they say in cycling) of one guy in tights. Alas, Lance is no longer punishing the peloton through the French Alps. We were curious whether, Mr. Armstrong may have taken many of his Livestrong compatriots along with him into retirement. Rumors have it that OLN TV’s viewership ratings are way down for this year’s Tour. So one might assume their website traffic was way down this year as well. As it turns out OLN’s site traffic leading up to the start of the tour was actually up 65% in June as compared to last year’s pre-tour June traffic.
OLNTV’s Tour de France section still seems to be holding its own with nearly 30,000 visitors last month (almost 20% of their total traffic). In 2005, in the run up to Lance’s historic 7th win, OLN’s TDF section made up only 15% of their site traffic (14,000 visitors). By comparison, the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Livestrong.org had 34,000 visitors in June and his fan site The Paceline had 24,000 June visitors. So from the looks of it, all those Lance fans haven’t given up on Lance either, despite the retirement and the split with Ms. Crow (sorry couldn’t resist). In fact, cycling in general seems to be holding strong. Cyclingnews had 104,000 visitors in June and its compatriot Velonews had nearly 100,000 visitors. On the retail side, things seem to be doing just fine as well with 126,000 people making their way over to Trek Bikes Site, in June.
So what’s the verdict?
#1: We hope the French forgive Zinadine Zidane
#2: Despite Mr. L’Alp d’Huez’s absence, cycling fans seem to be out in force
#3: We’re still not so sure about men in spandex