There is a great deal of hype revolving around he sponsors and teams in the 2010 Tour De France. While the riders and teams are always the primary focus, some people see this as a time to determine which companies where intelligent enough to back a winner. The old saying, "Everyone loves a winner!" is still true in the modern age. A winning team means greater advertisement ratings for the company that backed them. The most established, and well known, of these teams in the US are backed by technology firms such as Radio Shack and HTC.
One of the most well known of all racers in the cycling world is Lance Armstrong. He spent several years dealing with, and successfully disproving, doping allegations and similar attempts to tear down his credibility. This year he will be the official leader for Team Radio Shack. This team consists of twenty-five riders from 15 different countries. HTC continues to support its team Columbia entrants this year as well. HTC - Columbia is a thirty-nine member team that has won the most over all races since 2008.
Radio Shack chose to sponsor Lance as team leader because of how well the two work together. The shack is a company that specializes in selling technology in over six thousand stores across the United States. They are headquartered in Fort Worth Texas. Most of the technology they sell is focused on communication in some form or another. Cell phones, laptops, and accessories or spare parts for each are sold in their stores. The consider Armstrong as the perfect candidate and mascot for their company for several reasons. He is all about communication. He managed to continue on in his endeavors despite adversity. He also has a fan following world wide. The two can work together to bring greater levels of communication to people through technology.
Garmin got into the game as well with their new 2010 team roster. Garmin - Transistions, as they call it, is lead by the same duo as the last two years. Respected American cyclists Christian Vande Velde and Tyler Farrar are the leaders of the Garmin team once again. Unfortunately, Vande Velde was forced to retire from the tournament early due to an eyelid laceration and two broken ribs that occurred during a fall. Garmin is a company that is well known for tracking and locating technology. They are also well known for their monitoring technology. The best of both worlds is their much hyped Edge 500. This device acts as both a GPS system and can be paired with a heart monitor to broadcast rider statistics making for a much safer performance. A quilt versatile cycling computer.
With Team HTC Columbia it is all about the win. However, they use mobile communication crafted by their sponsor as well. HTC is a noted manufacturer of cellphone technology. They all utilize Skype for voice-to-voice instantaneous communication around the world. It is important for them keep in touch in a real-time manner due to the fact that many of them are on separate continents at any given time. As a technologies firm the company specializes in bringing the world a little closer together. An event such as the Tour De France is a time when people from all over the world gather together in the spirit of friendly rivalry and competition. World wide exposure of this level is only comparable to the World Cup in Soccer and the Olympic Games.
Google isn't staying away from this event either. The world's largest search engine company has developed an Android app called MyTracks. While most people use it to plan or recall outdoor activities Team HTC- Columbia will be actively using it with SRM to broadcast their telemetry via Google maps in real-time. The nine-riders which were reduced to eight when Adam Hanson was injured on Sunday, the second day of the event, all utilize the HTC Legend Phone with ANT+. This allows them to capture their location, power output, heart rate, speed, and cadence for further viewing by race fans.
The HTC Legend is a phone that works well in the race environment. It is small, light weight, and has a lithium-ion battery that is either a standard or polymer edition. This will allow it to last the entire course with proper recharging. The additions to the internal GPS antenna and app upgrades made to it allow the racers to perform in a more notable and safer manner. With these devices there is no chance of an HTC-Columbia rider being lost along the way. The Tour De France is notorious for injuries and even the death of some riders.