We’re improving the way we provide Friends of the Podcast episodes in 2020…

Since 2015, when we first started producing special episodes for Friends of the Podcast, your support has enabled us to do a lot of what we do, from the weekly shows to the daily coverage of the Grand Tours and Women’s Tour, to launching spin-offs such as Service Course and Explore.

We are extremely grateful to our friends for their support and we hope they, in turn, enjoy the special episodes that we release for their ears only. We enjoy getting under the skin of some of the stories that interest us in the Friends Specials, introducing our listeners to people and tales that may be new to them.

And we have good news for Friends of the Podcast for 2020…

We’re upgrading our rusty fixed gear to a shiny twelve speed with wireless shifting and disc brakes. We’ve invested the support from Friends of the Podcast in a brand new system that will get special episodes to you just a few clicks (or taps).

The cost of becoming a Friend of the Podcast will remain £15, although you can pay more if you want to. You don’t have to, but the more we are able to raise ensures we can keep producing more than 150 free-to-air episodes each year and can keep access to the Friends of the Podcast programme for the majority down to £15.

As with previous years, £15 will give you access to all the episodes we release in 2020. The only difference is that it will, if you like, renew automatically at the end of the year, just like a subscription to Spotify or Netflix. This means no more faff, re-adding, or re-subscribing each year.

People may wonder what we spend the money on and, unfortunately, now the story of Richard inadvertently ordering a £90 bottle of wine covering the Giro d’Italia is in the public domain, listeners may have a false idea of how we run things.

Although the regular podcasts are free to listen to, they are not free to produce. The cost of travelling to races, payment of production staff and contributors to the podcast, recording equipment and the cost of hosting thousands of megabytes of audio files all adds up. The Cycling Podcast is not owned by a major media company, we are independent, and so we have to raise every penny we spend either by sponsorship or from our listeners.

We hope that people consider the Friends of the Podcast episodes to be excellent value for money. We guarantee 15 feature-length episodes per year, which works out at £1 per show – cheaper than an afternoon cappuccino.

Friends of the Podcast can chip in more – for a £50 donation, you will receive a copy of our new book, The Grand Tour Diaries, signed by the three of us and with a dedication, if you wish. For £100, you will receive a signed and dedicated book and also the opportunity to guest-edit a Friends Special. In 2018 we worked with Stephen Harris on ‘How to Retire’ and in 2019 with William Martino on ‘Creating a Culture.’

It’s been another good year for Friends of the Podcast. Among the highlights were The Lionel of The Ardennes – Lionel’s long awaited (ahem) follow up to the 5-part series on Flanders from 2016. Richard kicked off the season with what turned out to be a prescient piece – Chasing Sky, a look inside Jumbo Visma – while Daniel’s The Revenants was a deeply moving account of Marco Haller and Bernhard Eisel’s recoveries from an almost fatal accident on the road.  Lionel was delighted to get two lunches in on the podcast account in 2019 – lucky for us they provided some of the most interesting and insightful conversation of the year, in particular the feature with EF Education First CEO, Jonathan Vaughters.

We have exciting plans for 2020, and we hope you will want to sign up as a Friend of the Podcast not just to support us but to listen to what we hope will be some special and unmissable episodes.

Thank you for your continued support.

Richard, Lionel and Daniel

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