£59.90 for the yearly early-bird.
The velocast is run by two Scots, John Galloway (@VelocastJohn) and Scott O’Raw (@velocast), and the main show has a fairly regular cadence during the year, covering the entire men’s pro cycling calendar, including previews and reviews of major one day and stage races. During Grand Tours, they also include a daily preview of the stage, hosted by Eurosport Presenter Ashley House (@AshleyPresents).
There are also other shows, including This Week in Cycling History, including Irish stats nerd Cillian Kelly (@irishpeloton), as well as some other shows covering topics such as tech
Scott and John are avid cycling fans, and this is a show by fans for fans, and they often speak passionately around topics affecting pro cycling. The show has been on the go for a number of years, but given its popularity they were able to move it from being a hobby to a full-time business, offering, as you would expect, a premium subscription offering, as well as some merchandise.
The show is a little unusual in that they cover all the content based on the same TV feeds that you & I get to watch, rather than being at the races, but for me, this is actually a good thing. Being Irish I tend to naturally gravitate to the Scottish sense of humour anyway, and while listening to the show you feel almost drawn into the conversation.
One thing that really stands out for me, however, is their ability to analyse a race and get that across to the audience. This is no mean feat, especially when you consider that neither actually worked in the pro scene (although John did doing amateur bike racing and also worked as a mechanic in a bike shop).
Both of their personalities come across quite well, ( I could imagine that the accents might be a struggle for some) but their genuine passion for the sport is what really moves this up another notch. I’m sure that will they do make enough to have a living from the podcast, they don’t really on any sponsors, and in fact actually contribute back to cycling via sponsoring women’s cycling.
Moving on to some of the other contributors, cycling historian Cillian Kelly would need no introduction to those who follow cycling on twitter, and he contributes not only The Week in Cycling History (alongside John) but also does the occasional book review, where he even manages to discuss the book with the author. I’m a big fan of both of these, but if I could change it I would move them to a different podcast feed. This is because when I’m following something like the Giro or Vuelta, I want to listen to things synchronously. However, I consider Cillian’s shows to be more reference material, not something that I want to listen to during a 3 week GT, but rather that I would come back to as I’m about to read the book, or watch a Monument, for example.
Finally, just to cover off Ashley’s contribution (the Mellow Yellow Velo podcast), this basically takes the format of a 10-15 minute review of the local papers, as well as some insight from on the ground at the Tour itself, and as a simple preview of a GT stage I think it works very well. In previous years this was actually a phone call between Ashley and John aprés stage, but due to vagaries of mobile phone coverage in high mountains, there were frequently issues.
As a review of a day’s racing, I would consider the Velocast to be my go-to podcast. Because the guys are fans, and watching things from the same perspective as me, sitting at home on my couch, I find they have been the mains source of reference over the years. As they are actual fans of the sport, as opposed to “impartial” veteran journalist, for me they add another layer of colour to the sport.
For years this was the only podcast I have paid or the premium content, not only for access to the extra material itself, but also as part of the community that wants to support them, and enable them to do this full-time.
However over the last couple of years an air of cynicism has crept in, and at times this does leave a slightly bitter taste. Hopefully, there will be no doping scandals next year, and John, in particular, might cheer up!
Overall this is still one of my favourite podcasts, and especially for those listening in Ireland or the UK, if you haven’t already subscribed it’s worth giving a listen. And if you’re into the grand tours you won’t go far wrong with a premium subscription.