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With the Tour de France in its final week, we traveled to the French Wikipedia for a chat with Projet Cyclisme (WikiProject Cycling). The French Wikipedia places a greater emphasis on portals than the English Wikipedia, which explains why WikiProject Cycling and its discussion page are actually extensions of the Cycling Portal. The project is home to two Articles de Qualité (equivalent to Featured Articles) and eight Bons Articles (Good Articles), primarily biographies of cyclists. The project's ongoing tasks include building the article for the 2012 Tour de France as each stage is completed. We interviewed Vlaam and Floflo62.
What motivated you to join WikiProject Cycling? Do you ride for work, leisure, or competition? Have you seen any major races or BMX competitions in person?
Vlaam: I discovered poor articles on cycling, even many articles that did not exist yet. As a cycling fan, it has been a great pleasure for five years to help many articles growing.
I ride for leisure. Last summer I went from Dunkirk (north of France) to Bremen (north of Germany) by bike for a holiday.
I see professional races every year, although not yet in 2012 (but Tout de France is coming!). You can have a look at the pictures I upload on Commons to see where I go: Paris-Roubaix, Quatre jours de Dunkerque, Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem, etc... I live in Lille, a few kilometers from Roubaix and Flanders.
Floflo62: I'm interested in many sports, but joined the Cycling Project because I thought I could help a project which few Wikipedians contribute to, compared with football or tennis. I live as Vlaam in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, which is one of the most important regions for road cycling in France. I see the Tour de France when it takes place in the North of France and Quatre jours de Dunkerque every year.
Amélie Rivat, Audrey Cordon and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot on the podium of the French championship, 2011, picture by Vlaam
How do the French Wikipedia's projects and portals differ from those on the English Wikipedia? Have you collaborated or shared any material with the English WikiProject Cycling or with similar projects for any other languages? How can communication between the different languages of Wikipedia be improved?
Vlaam: I don't know the projects and portals on the English Wikipedia enough to answer the first question. Could a common talk page could be created so that the projects share tools or stuff that could be useful for both?
Floflo62: The only experience I had with the other languages is to see which articles are Good or Featured in order to translate them (I did with the article of Miguel Indurain in Spanish, GA in French now).
Vlaam: I think we could have a common page to point out recent significant works on articles, so we could easily find articles to translate and improve each other. I don't mean only FA or GA (they're easy to find).
Does WikiProject Cycling collaborate with any other French-language projects? Is there any overlap in the membership of WikiProject Cycling with that of other sports projects? Are there any resources the sports projects don't currently share that they should?
Vlaam: The WikiProject Cycling collaborate with the WikiProject Sport. Some members of the WikiProject Cycling are members of other sports projects; but I am not.
Floflo62: As Vlaam for the major part of his sentence: I'm a member of other sports projects.
Have you contributed to any of WikiProject Cycling's Featured Articles [Article de Qualité] or Good Articles [Bon Article]? What are some difficulties in improving cycling articles to FA [AdQ] or GA [BA] status?
Vlaam: I've not really contributed to any of WikiProject Cycling's FA or GA. I helped editors who worked on them (proofreading, giving sources). Some articles to which I contributed almost alone are not far from FA or GA (Jean Stablinski, Histoire du Tour de France). I think that the main difficulty is the lack of editors, mainly editors not only motivated to update results.
Floflo62: I have contributed to five good or featured articles. Accessibility is not easy to respect every time and references can be difficult to find (books mainly, having book references when they exist is necessary to become FA in French; I don't know how it is in English).
Kenny Elissonde during the Tour de la Vallée d'Aoste 2011
Is the project doing anything special for the 2012 Tour de France? How can editors from outside the project be most helpful in improving coverage of the Tour de France? What kinds of articles are typically created or significantly overhauled in response to major annual races like the Tour de France?
Vlaam: Nothing special for the 2012 Tour de France. There aren't many creations in response to major races, as most articles are not created. Articles on the main protagonists are often overhauled.
Floflo62: Nothing. I wanted to take photos in Tournai or Orchies but I have real-life work, so I won't have time to go there.
How well are mountain biking, BMX, freestyling, and other extreme sports covered by Wikipedia? What are some good resources to use when improving articles about these forms of cycling?
Vlaam: These sports are not well covered on the French WP. I don't follow them and therefore I can't answer the second question.
Floflo62: Not terrible. I prefer road cycling and it is easier to have references for that subject. But articles as Julien Absalon or Julie Bresset (French medalist on 2012 Olympic Games) must be better. Sorry for the French centrism ... Cadel Evans is one exception but he's practiced road-cycling for some years.
What are the project's most urgent needs? How can contributors from the English Wikipedia help the French WikiProject Cycling?
Vlaam: The most urgent need is editors. Keep on working, and we'll keep on translating some of your best articles :)
Floflo62: We need help to write more articles and better. Keep on working! Your articles can give us motivation to translate them and have many more well-written articles!
Next week's project offers a smorgasbord of sporting competitions. Until then, light a torch and draw some rings in the archive.