LARAMIE, WY (BRAIN)—Charles Pelkey has covered pro tour racing for 17 years, but his enthusiasm hasn’t dampened. He still loves getting up at 4 a.m. to prepare his race narratives. So when he got laid off from Velonews in July, Pelkey quickly got his website, LiveUpdateGuy.com, up and running in time for Vuelta coverage.
“Depending on how I feel, I will certainly do three grand tours next year and probably Paris Roubaix. The amount of revenue I generated this year was surprising, both from the ads I ran and the tip jar I had on the site where regular readers could contribute,” he said.
Any income Pelkey generates from the site is welcome. Pelkey, who is receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer, said he has put his general law practice on hold.
“I was able to sell my live feed of Vuelta coverage to my friends at Velonews. And I’m investigating expanding that side of the business. I don’t know if I will develop exclusive relationships for the feeds or not. This is all new and I’m still looking at business models that work,” he said.
“I have people that have followed my updates for years, many of whom I regard as friends. And many of them were following the Vuelta with me. It’s a great loyal following and I’m writing for them,” he added.
Pelkey also plans to continue his coverage of doping issues on the website, an aspect of cycling he has covered in depth since writing a book with John Wilcockson on the 1999 Tour de France. Following the legal wrangling over doping law is what got Pelkey interested in going to law school.
Pelkey’s audience during the Vuelta was about a quarter of the 50,000 people who follow the Tour de France on Velonews.com. Pelkey said that’s something he is proud of given the relative obscurity of LiveUpdateGuy.com.