In early 2004, the folks at the Outdoor Life Network started preparing for life without Lance Armstrong.
They didn't know whether Armstrong would compete in the 2005 Tour de France or retire. Something had to be done to keep the viewers who had tuned in just to watch Armstrong dominate the world's greatest cycling race.
OLN, which reaches almost 70 million homes, dedicated parts of its prime-time broadcasts to telling the stories of other cyclists and to educating casual fans about the sport's nuances. The hope was that a better-informed viewer would become a more dedicated viewer once Armstrong left cycling.
Tour de France First stage, today, 8:30 a.m., OLN