Mark Renshaw on bringing viewers all the action of the Tour de France

tour de france

• “It’s a travelling sideshow of not only cycling, but the whole caravan around the race”

The 2022 Tour de France and the return of the Tour de France Femmes is being broadcast live and free exclusively on SBS and SBS on Demand as riders take on the challenge of a lifetime.

Taking viewers through every stage are the SBS cycling presenters and commentary team, including Dr Bridie O’Donnell, Christophe Mallet, David McKenzie, Kate Bates, Mark Renshaw, Matthew Keenan, Simon Gerrans, and Gracie Elvin

Tour de France

L to R – Christophe Mallet, Mark Renshaw, Simon Gerrans, Kate Bates, Dr Bridie O’Donnell, Matthew Keenan, David Mckenzie, Gracie Elvin

Mediaweek spoke to Mark Renshaw about how SBS is bringing the biggest event of the cycling calendar to Australian screens.

“It’s a huge broadcast,” says Renshaw. “This year we’ve got a team on the ground in France who will be doing the commentary, and a lot of the follow up interviews with riders on the ground. Then we’ve got a team in Sydney who will be producing some content that I help them with, which is called The Finale, and analysing the sprints – how and why certain riders have won or lost the stage. Along with the whole production crew, it’s a huge footprint all around the world.”

The Finale is a new complimentary digital series hosted by Renshaw that will provide audiences with insights and analysis on how key stages of the race are won and lost.

“It’s a short segment available across all our social media platforms, and it’s really analysing and breaking down the finals of the sprint stages. Split second decisions need to be made by all the riders, and you’ve got multiple teams all vying for position at the front of the bunch. There’s a lot that can go right and wrong. 

“I’ll break that down, explain who made the right decision, who made the wrong decision, and why certain riders have won.”

In big news for cycling fans, 2022 is seeing the launch of the Tour de France Femmes, which will see women compete in the race for the first time since 2009. 

“It’s huge for women’s cycling,” says Renshaw. “For the women to now to have that recommence is huge. It’s been a long process to get the women’s racing back into the Tour de France. It’s really going to showcase how they race, and how aggressive the tactics and the racing styles are. That’s straight off the back of the men’s Tour de France – they’ll be starting in Paris, so there will be huge, huge crowds there to support them. It’s going to be super exciting to see that.”

Of all of the cycling events held around the globe, the world will always stop and pay attention to the Tour de France. For Renshaw, this comes down to both the prestige and the atmosphere.

“It is the biggest, most special cycling race because it’s always the pinnacle. You always have the best riders, that attracts the most media coverage around the world, hence there’s always pressure to perform. 

It’s a travelling sideshow of not only cycling, but the whole caravan around the race – the sponsors, the free goodies that are thrown out on the road, the ability to watch and not have to pay money. It’s a totally free event. There are not many sports where you can be at the start line next to the biggest athletes in the world, standing side by side without paying.”

2022 Tour de France: SBS and SBS On Demand until Sunday, July 24.

2022 Tour de France Femmes: SBS and SBS On Demand Sunday, July 24 to Sunday, July 31.

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