Cycling commentators on TV often come under criticism from fans, for instance when they misidentify a rider, and plenty of people seem to think they can do better. Well, Eurosport is giving fans a chance to do just that and commentate on races themselves, with a prize of a VIP trip to Paris for the final day of this year’s Tour de France on offer.
The competition has been launched to celebrate the channel’s 25th birthday, and cycling fans have three short clips to choose from, all from 2013. First is Paris-Roubaix, where Zdenek Stybar’s chance of contesting the finish with Fabian Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke was ended by an overenthusiastic fan taking a picture.
There are also two clips from the Tour de France – Chris Froome’s victory on Mont Ventoux, and the last stage in Paris where Marcel Kittel became the first man ever to outsprint Mark Cavendish on the Champs-Elysées.
There are also competitions running for motorsport and tennis, with the sport you commentate on determining which prizes you would be eligible for if your entry is one of the top ten in that category.
You can listen to other people’s efforts in a variety of languages, and record, upload and share your own, with the number of “likes” that individual commentaries receive determining the ten videos that will make the shortlist for each sport, with the winner chosen by a panel comprising Eurosport staff and commentators.
According to Eurosport, “the panel’s choice will be based on qualitative and subjective criteria (relevance of the subject, quality of the commentary, emotion in the voice, etc.).”
While for cycling you can record your commentary now, according to the terms and conditions, only “likes” from 24 May to 28 June will count, with winners announced on 30 June.
The overall winner in the cycling category will win two VIP tickets to the arrival of the Tour de France in Paris plus a VIP “behind the scenes” experience with Eurosport on the final stage. The prize includes travel and two nights’ hotel accommodation.
There are also runners-up prizes of 10 Tour de France official t-shirts, 10 Tour de France official caps and 10 Tour de France official bottles.
Entrants must be aged 18 years or over and resident in one of the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.
To get started, visit the Eurosport 25 Live website here.
Finally, here's a behind-the-scenes video in which ex-pro Daniel Lloyd takes us inside the commentary box.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.