June 2, 2005 – (Stamford, CT) As July draws near, OLNÂ® gears up to provide viewers with unlimited access to the much-anticipated 2005 Tour de France, where Lance Armstrong will attempt to extend his winning streak and end his professional cycling career with a record-breaking seventh straight victory. OLN’s stellar commentating team during 23 days of the planet’s toughest endurance race will include cycling experts Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll, and veteran sportscaster Al Trautwig. After last year’s monumental success with The Cyclysm, OLN has reprised the theme, bringing fans Cyclysm II: The Ride of a Lifetime, in which Armstrong’s rivals will be given one final chance to dethrone the dominating champion.
In addition to more than 300 hours of Tour programming on the network from July 2-24, OLNTV.com will be the home of the official Tour Web site in the U.S., providing fans 24-hour access to video clips of race footage, features and daily reports from OLN analysts and experts, including Lance Armstrong’s trainer Chris Carmichael.
“With Armstrong’s retirement imminent and 200 tenacious cyclists eager to claim the title, this year’s Tour will be one of the most exciting competitions in its 92-year history,” said Gavin Harvey, President of OLN. “Cyclysm II: The Ride of a Lifetime offers fans the opportunity to experience every stage of this epic event LIVE, witnessing first-hand the tremendous amount of training, sacrifice and personal commitment that these cyclists must endure to emerge wearing the yellow jersey.”
Jan Ullrich won the Tour in 1997 and has been runner-up five-times. Can he do it in 2005? Will Germany’s Andreas KlÃ¶den, who took second place in last year’s Tour, rise above the rest to win the race? Or will Italy’s climbing-great Ivan Basso, the only rider strong enough to stay with Armstrong in the Pyrenees last year, triumph over the reigning champion? Eyes will also be on dark-horse American contenders Bobby Julich, who has been steadily riding strong in the Spring Classics; last year’s top 10 Tour contender Levi Leipheimer; and former Postal Team rider Floyd Landis, oft-referred to as the “young American revelation,” on his new Phonak team. OLN will be there for every stage as viewers tune-in to witness LIVE cycling history and to size-up the sport’s up-and-coming contenders and the next generation of American cycling athletes.
Leading up to the network’s comprehensive Tour coverage, OLN will give the audience an insider’s view of the Tour de France in four special Cyclysm Sunday: Road to the Tour sneak previews, hosted by experts Liggett, Roll and Sherwen, on Sundays in June at 5 p.m. ET/PT, beginning June 5. The show’s unique format will feature embedded correspondents reporting from within the camps of top Tour contenders, enabling viewers to see just how hard these athletes train through race highlights, in-depth profiles and exclusive interviews. Each of the special episodes will track the progress, training and early season results of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, and capture the highs and the lows of Lance Armstrong’s quest for a seventh consecutive win.
Tour de France coverage begins in full on July 2 with a special Tour de France show at 8:30 a.m. ET followed by LIVE coverage of the Prologue at 11:30 a.m. ET. Along with rules, a race map, and weather updates, official Tour content on OLNTV.com will include rider profiles and a photo gallery, information on arrival and departure towns, stage listings and dynamic stage profiles showing the peloton’s progress. Standings by category, including time gaps, a detailed text summary of the results, interviews with stage winners, and LIVE, minute-to-minute updates of each stage can also be accessed.
The regular daily schedule for the remainder of the Tour follows. LIVE coverage will vary depending on mountain stages and rest days. A complete daily schedule is accessible at OLNTV.com.
OLN Tour de France Programming Schedule
– 8:30-11:30 a.m. ET LIVE Coverage*
– 12-2 p.m. ET Race Action Replay (9 a.m. PT)**
– 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET Race Action Replay (11:30 a.m. PT)**
– 5-7 p.m. ET Race Action Replay (2 p.m. PT)**
– 8-11 p.m. ET Tour de France Prime Time Show (8 p.m. PT)
– 12-2:30 p.m. ET Race Action Replay (12 p.m. PT)
*LIVE coverage on July 10 and 13 will begin at 6:30 a.m., and at 7:30 a.m. on July 14, 17 and 24
**Sunday coverage will not include afternoon Race Action Replays
OLN is the leader in outdoor adventure and action sports television. Now in more than 63 million homes, OLN is the home of best-in-class events like The Tour de France, The Gravity Games, Professional Bull Riders (PBR), the Boston Marathon and USSA Skiing. The Network offers exclusive programming in four primary areas: Outdoor Adventure, Action Sports, Field Sports and Bulls & Rodeo. OLN is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the continental United States and Hawaii.