And June Slogs Slowly Onward

Jun 16 2009

So I’ve told you, many a time, that smaller stage races don’t do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, its awesome to see a dude like Sylvester Szmyd, who turned himself inside out feeding the whims of the schizophrenic helper monkey driving the Liquigas team car last month, take a stage on storied climb like Mount Ventoux.

But with Valverde almost certainly out of next month’s Tour, it’s just an evil tease to watch him race well. It’s like seeing a baseball hitter go on a nasty run when his team has already been eliminated from the playoffs.

Likewise, it’s great to see Cancellara back on form at the Tour de Suisse. But as awesome as 19 seconds over 8k is, it’s a niche accomplishment. No one is going to look back in 30 years and say “man, remember that time Cancellara went way fast in the Tour de Suisse prologue?” Even if this had happened at the Tour, it’d be a footnote.

Speaking of footnotes, let me a send a big Pavel Tonkov to the kids at Cyclingnews.com. Their recent redesign eliminated years of reporting that exists essentially no where else on the Internet (daily, in-depth updates of the 1998 Tour de France, for example). Not only that, but your 404 page is utterly useless—no search, no related results, no “hey, try this”.

Even worse, pages that are less than a month old also fail to resolve (try Googling “Sylvester Szmyd axe man”), and instead redirect users to your main index page, without so much as a peep that the link is now dead.

How is it that I can nuke my entire server and be back in a matter of days, while Cyclingnews can spend months planning a redesign, and still manage to decimate their functionality? I blame the meddling of know-nothing print publishers on my beloved Internet—and would be glad to provide reasonably-priced consulting services to any websites about to make a similar mistake.

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3 Responses to “And June Slogs Slowly Onward”

  1. Josh 16 June 2009 at 9:46 am #

    The watered-down content and awful UI are bad enough. But the ‘error 404′ for many legacy content pages is bewildering.

    In just a few short months, CN has gone from the premier cycling website to a BikeRadar clone – just like you predicted!

    I first learned of CN through Lance’s website during the 2000 Olympics. Quite a bummer to lose such a useful resource after many years of enjoyment.

  2. Brayt 16 June 2009 at 9:51 am #

    I’m not going to defend the re-design (I mean, they couldn’t even figure out RSS), but I think all the old stuff is still there.

    autobus.cyclingnews.com. Just hope they don’t take it down…

  3. Josh 16 June 2009 at 10:22 am #

    Yeah, the autobus.cyclingnews.com is spotty.

    Some old links have original content in new format: http://www.cyclingnews.com/editions/first-edition-cycling-news-december-21-2008

    Some are 404: http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2008/tour08/

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