David Millar, Gary Imlach and Paul Sherwen yesterday signed the BikeBiz petition to impress on Channel 4 that the broadcasters Tour de France coverage should be scheduled for prime-time in 2001

Stars sign our TdF petition

The next on our shopping list is Phil Liggett. We failed to catch up with him at yesterdays centre of Paris finish of the Tour (too busy nearly getting run over by Lance Armstrong on his victory salute to photographers) but will ask him this week.

David Millar was well up for the petition. When told what it was about at the Village Depart underneath the Eiffel Tower he said: Aaah, right. Yeh!

Channel 4 presenter Gary Imlach, and his French girlfriend Natasha Vanoz, were also happy to sign, as was the Channel 4 race commentator, Paul Sherwen. When asked if he would go on record and add his voice to the growing clamour against the dodgy scheduling, he was emphatic: Course I will!

This week well also start chasing Tour de France celeb fans such as Jon Snow, the newsreader; Simon OBrien, the former Brookside star, holiday programme presenter and co-owner of the Liverpool Cycle Centre; and Freya North, author of a Tour de France novel.

The petition also has to have a strong non-cycling element so well be ramping up our efforts to get lots of Francophiles to sign to prove to Channel 4 that the programme has a much wider constituency than they think. Its not just a programme for enthusiast roadies, it has a wide appeal both as coverage of a dynamic multi-faceted sport and a day-by-day travelogue of the best of France.

And why would any broadcaster worth its salt not exploit the rights it has to the biggest annual sporting event in the world?


ABOVE: David Millar

BELOW: Gary Imlach and his girlfriend, Natasha

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