BCF President Brian Cookson has joined the thousands of disgruntled
cycling fans currently bombarding Channel 4 with complaints about the scheduling
of Tour de France coverage. In an open letter, he appeals for the reintroduction
of the viewer-friendly "tea time" slot which had become such an established
part of life for many cyclists every summer. A copy of the letter is reproduced below.
On behalf of the 14,000 members of the British Cycling Federation, I am writing to
protest at the bizarre, irrational and unacceptable scheduling of the Tour de France
this year. This has been one of the landmarks on Channel 4 since you began broadcasting,
yet you have cast it aside without a thought for your long-established and loyal
viewers. I’m not just talking about committed cyclists, either. I have lost count
of the number of non-cyclists who have asked me why the Tour is not being covered
this year, or why it is on at such inconvenient times. "We used to love watching
it at tea time" – that’s what non-cyclists tell me. As for the cyclists, well
those of us who haven’t already gone to satellite and Eurosport will certainly be
doing so in time for next year, unless you can give us some pretty rapid reassurances.
How could you do this to us after all these years!!!
Brian Cookson President, British Cycling Federation