Every year 189 cyclists don spandex shorts and bike jerseys that have as may sponsorships as a Nextel Cup car to fight it out and complete their dream finishing in Paris with the yellow jersey. That’s right, it’s July and Le Tour will be monopolizing the Cable TV station Versus (formerly OLN) with the constant replays of each day’s events in France. For avid cyclists and cycling fans this is a treat — their big event of the year without even having to find the TiVO remote.
Versus is not the only place cycling fans can find up to date information on Le Tour’s news. There are a handful of cycling websites that post news, pictures and videos which cycling enthusiasts flock to during July. This year the tour will have a YouTube site, YouTube Le Tour, devoted to posting videos detailing the action from the field. With all of these options, our curiosity needed to be answered. Do the major cycling sites see an increase in visitors during July?
At first thought you might think cyclists would be out hitting the trails, climbing a large mountain or dodging their way through cars during the summer months. While all of these could be true, there is no doubt that more of them are also checking out the daily Le Tour results via the web. Traffic for all of the cycling news websites, including Versus, see at least 50% more visitors in July compared to other months.
Our curiosity didn’t stop there. We also wanted to see if any of the bike manufactures were possibly able to capitalize on this heightened cycling attention. Using Velocity, a metric measuring the relative change in daily attention, we found that both Trekbikes.com and Schwinnbike.com capture more attention in early July which eventually tapers off towards the beginning of August. Some of this increased attention is probably driven by seasonality trends, but it would be hard to rule out Le Tour’s effect"¦hopefully Trek and Schwinn are paying attention too.