The world’s most gruelling high-speed endurance contest, the Tour de France, is about to get much more interesting for viewers after organisers announced Wednesday that on every stage at least eight bikes will be equipped with onboard cameras.
While most of the bike-cam footage will be edited and published after the stages, organisers said they will be testing live images from the bikes on stage two during the neutral start.
“By mounting cameras to the fastest cyclists in the world as they take on the 21-stage race, GoPro will be capturing immersive, never-before-seen content, bringing cycling fans inside the peloton,” GoPro said.
The race starts in the Netherlands on July 4 and finishes in Paris on July 26.
Here’s how the bike cams should give us a new perspective on one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
While onboard cameras have been tested in races in the past, this year's Tour riders will be on camera in greater and more consistent numbers.
With a cam mounted on a rider's handlebar we get us a close-up look at the athlete's face, breathing, and reactions as he focuses on the wheel in front of him at between 20 and 70 miles an hour depending on terrain.
Normally we wouldn't get to see such close-up images of a guy hugging the side of the road like this as the bunch is ripping along.
From deep inside the peloton we get to see the nervous moments -- such as rain-soaked riders fighting for position and quite literally rubbing elbows. There are effectively four riders in a space that would normally allow for just three.
Imagine watching the Tour's yellow jersey this close in a team time trial, at 30 to 50 mph, from his trusted teammate's saddle cam less than a foot from his wheel.
We can watch the race from a bike that's not being ridden, from a cam installed on spare bike atop a team car. Multiple points of view will give us unprecedented insights.
Here, a rider's GoPro shows his teammates lined out in front of him, hammering during a team time trial. (Those tube-like things you see on the left are the rider's aerobars.)
GoPros pick up the crashes too -- this one involved a rider who went tumbling with a cam apparently intact.
With bike cams we'll get into the mix and dangerous argy-bargy of the hectic, high-speed field sprints, when the fastest riders fight for position before the final 200 meters.
Rival bike-cam company Shimano has used cameras in races as well. This video, from 2014's Tour of California, gave us a rare look inside the intense finale of a sprinting stage.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.