Cycling in dark ages when it comes to public relations

A quick mid-weeker to pick up on one of those quotes that guaranteed to infuriate me.

I was reading Richard Moore’s latest piece on Team Sky in The Guardian Bradley Wiggins dismisses claim that pro cycling hates Team Sky.

It was this section about Marc Madiot’s annoyance that infuriated:

“Other criticisms, such as those made this week by Marc Madiot, team manager of Française des Jeux, seem to owe more to the fact that Team Sky, through Facebook and Twitter are communicating with fans using all the means at their disposal. It irritated Madiot that Sky ­publicised work in a wind tunnel. ‘We also put riders in wind tunnels,’ said the former double winner of Paris‑Roubaix, ‘but we don’t put out a press release about it.'”

Well perhaps if you did put out a few more press releases then perhaps your team might be a bit more visible. Or perhaps if you paid attention you’d see one of your riders gaining a cult reputation on Facebook after the Tour Down Under: Arthur Vichot.

Cycling needs to sort out its PR, not just on the doping front but on the fan front. The most successful of the new teams in the last few years have realised that a few autographs by the team bus just doesn’t cut it these days.

A successful online presence doesn’t take much more than internet access, a copy of wordpress and a five quid a month hosting deal to get started. Yes that seems to be beyond the abilities of a lot of top flight teams.

Sky got their online media presence right by investing the same time, effort and thought that they claim in their race preparation. There’s plenty that Madiot could learn from them off the road instead of playing the humpy French team card.



I’ll set aside the issue of someone who is employed to write for the team site writing about the team. I’m not the only person out there who thinks there’s something odd about the issues of conflict of interest when it comes to Sky’s reporting on the Team. Moore is a great writer and journalism but he writes for their official website and so I’m also a bit uncomfortable with his reporting on the Team.

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