February 14, 2006 – OLNÂ®, the home of professional cycling, today announced a weekly Sunday line-up of major cycling races, including the Spring Classics, beginning Sunday, March 5 at 5 p.m. ET with the Paris-Nice. Dedicated to the sport’s top races, athletes and teams, OLN’s cycling coverage will be hosted by its seasoned team of cycling experts — Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll.
With seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong absent from competition, the biggest and most prolific cycling race of 2006 is anybody’s game, and many of the world’s top cyclists will look to get a pedal up on the competition with events such as Paris-Nice, Criterium International and Giro D’Italia in preparation for the Tour.
“Cycling continues to be an important part of OLN programming,” said Gavin Harvey, President of OLN. “With the Lance’s retirement, fans are eagerly waiting to see who will emerge as the sport’s next star. Through our coverage of the Spring Classics, we will be able to chronicle the drama leading up to, and including, the Tour de France.”
Who will be Lance’s successor and the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team’s key player? Will an American make it from the peloton to the podium? Cycling enthusiasts remain unclear, but keep their eyes on several riders, including Discovery’s George Hincapie, Stage 15 winner in last year’s Tour; and Team CSC’s Bobby Julich, the first American to win the renowned Paris-Nice stage race in 2005 — as possible American successors to Armstrong. The U.S. still has high hopes knowing the Discovery Team will continue under Armstrong’s guidance, expertise and coaching.
As the cycling season gets underway, viewers can turn to OLN for race-to-race updates on training efforts, race results, and Discovery Channel Team news, as well as coverage of the National Championship Series, a U.S.-based cycling series in which the top domestic cyclist is crowned at the end of each season. The Sunday race schedule for spring cycling on OLN follows (same-day unless indicated; subject to change):
– March 5 & 12 Paris-Nice (France) 5 p.m. ET
– March 19 Milan San Remo/Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy) 5 p.m. ET
– March 26 Criterium International (France) 5 p.m. ET
– April 9 Paris-Roubaix (France) 5 p.m. ET
– April 23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege/La Fleche Wallone (Belgium) 5 p.m. ET
– May 7 & 14 Giro D’Italia (Italy) 5 p.m. ET
– May 21 & 28 Giro D’Italia (Italy) 4 p.m. ET
– July 1 — 23 Tour De France TBA
In addition, OLN will offer an exclusive option to view streaming, live world feed of Monday through Saturday stages of the Giro D’Italia on its Web site, OLNTV.com. Access and pricing information will be released as details become available.
OLN is the leader in competitive and adrenaline-charged content. Now in more than 63 million homes, OLN is the cable home of the National Hockey League and best-in-class events like The Tour de France, The America’s Cup, Professional Bull Riders (PBR), the Boston Marathon and USSA Skiing. The network offers unique programming in four primary areas: Action Sports, Field Sports, Bulls & Rodeo and Awe-Inspiring Series, and is the exclusive home of Survivor in syndication. OLN, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.