Tour de France Stage 3 Corsica

Tour de France TV Commentary




Tour de France TV Commentary


July 2013


We are spoiled now for Tour de France TV Commentary, but which channel do you prefer to get your Tour coverage on? Eurosport or ITV4?


Phil Liggett and Paul SherwenPhoto courtesy of Chasing Legends/Gripped Films


Eurosport have been there for us long suffering cyclists for many years now. Their cycling coverage is the reason many of us have SKY subscriptions. ITV4 seem to have taken over where Channel 4 left off and now cover the Tour series and other domestic racing, as well as the Tour de France. Eurosport certainly know cycling inside out but so do the companies that make the programmes for ITV4, so much of it comes down to the commentary team.


And here there is much disagreement…


ITV4 have the legendary team of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. In the studio, post race analysis comes from Chris Boardman and Gary Imlach. In theory a good team – two ex-pros and two professional commentators/presenters.


It seems to change a bit more on Eurosport but for 2013 there’s Carlton Kirby and the legend that is Sean Kelly. In the studio James Richardson hosts with a range of pundits, though predominantly Dan Lloyd this year, who is becoming known for his work with YouTube channel, Global Cycling Network. They also have renowned cycling author, Matt Rendell, out and about as roving reporter. Again appears to be a very strong team…


Tour De France Stage 3


But have a look on social media and in the press, and you get the impression of a real split: Carlton Kirby doesn’t fair too well as it seems he, somewhat misguidedly, tries his best to emulate the infamous David Duffield, though at least he tries to discuss the racing…


His counterpart on ITV4, Phil Liggett, doesn’t come off too well either. Mind you he lost much of his credibility by being probably the last man on the planet to accept that Armstrong wasn’t a clean rider…


What is it about commentators then? They do love the sound of their own voice, perhaps more than they love the sport upon which they commentate? We then rely on the ex-pros to keep them on track, something that both Sherwen and Kelly are becoming more and more adept at.


The final stage of the Tour de France in Corsica saw the big sprinters again lose contact on the final climb of the Col de Marsolino on the run into Calvi. This allowed Simon Gerrans of Orica Green EDGE to take advantage of a superb leadout and beat Peter Sagan – perhaps slowed by his new goatee beard – by a matter of centimeters into second place for the second day in a row.


If you have the Bkool turbo training system you can ride the last 25km into Calvi including the Col de Marsolino.


Bkool Tour de France stage 3See the Bkoolers Blog for more.


Here in the UK we should all be grateful. It wasn’t that long ago that we had no cycling on TV at all. Having two ‘British’ channels covering it is fantastic. Our advice is that if one doesn’t agree with your mood, turn over, even if its just for the day. If that doesn’t do it, well you’ll have to turn the sound off and do the job yourself.


So anyway, we want to hear from you, so let us know who is your favourite commentary team…


Lead photo courtesy of ASO (Presse Sport/J.Prevost), see the Tour de France official website for more.


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1 Response

  1. MARK says:

    Personally I’m not too bothered by the commentary – I think having to sit in a little booth or a studio talking for 6 hours must be a bit of a rubbish job and mistakes are inevitable – when you’re watching the cycling action it becomes white noise anyway. Given that we are now lucky to have ‘choice’ of channel it is so easy just to turn over or press the mute button.

    You can subscribe directly to Eurosport for £2.99 a month on the Eurosport player – no need to give that splitter Murdoch any more money. Most people watch cycling via the internet these days don’t they?

    Phil Liggets doping denial of Lance Armstrong was misguided but I wouldn’t hang him for it. People really seem to hate that guy Hugh Porter too!

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