DENVER, CO (BRAIN)—MapMyRide.com, the Internet's premier provider of online mapping and training tools that helps cyclists of all levels achieve their health and fitness goals, and Versus, the exclusive cable television home of the Tour de France and the home of professional cycling in the U.S., have joined forces to present a groundbreaking venture aimed at getting more cyclists involved in the world's greatest cycling races.
It started with the 100th anniversary of the Giro d'Italia on May 9, as MapMyRide.com and Versus launched the Grand Tours Challenge. For each of the Grand Tours (including the 2009 Tour de France in July), Versus and MapMyRide.com have created interactive competitions that will allow cyclists to get on their bikes and compete "virtually" against actual race competitors and other cyclists around the world.
"Combining our world-class online fitness technology with the television home of cycling in the U.S. will allow us to engage the average cyclist like never before. The goal here is to encourage more people to get off the couch and ride by making them feel they are right there in the peloton," said Robin Thurston, chief executive officer of MapMyFitness, Inc.
The Giro Challenge will consist of three separate challenges—a Team Distance Challenge, a King of the Mountains Jersey Challenge, and Cycling Pros Versus Cycling Joes Challenge. Prizes will be awarded in 82 separate competitions over the duration of the race. Participants will provide their ride data to MapMyRide.com via GPS downloads. MapMyRide.com will offer free downloads of GPS tracking software for 3G iPhone and BlackBerry cell phone users.
"We are very pleased to partner with MapMyRide.com on this challenge," said Neal Scarbrough, vice president of digital media for Versus. "As the home of professional cycling in the U.S., we not only offer the most complete coverage of the sport, but also want to ensure that our viewers get access to the latest online features that will connect them closer with cycling."