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Spanish Grand Tour coverage confirms channel's commitment to cycling...

Cycling fans in the UK who don’t have a subscription to Eurosport won’t miss out on this year’s third Grand Tour, with the news that free-to-air channel ITV4 will be broadcasting live coverage of the Vuelta, which starts with a team time trial in Benidorm a week on Saturday.

Earlier this year, the channel revealed that it planned to show more cycling, and confirmation it is showing the Vuelta demonstrates that it is keeping that promise. The news comes shortly after ITV4 revealed that nearly 1 million viewers had tuned into the channel to watch Mark Cavendish win the green jersey in the Tour de France.

All stages of the 66th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour will be shown live, reports the website Touchline.tv.

A quick look at the online ITV programme guide confirms that the opening stage of the Vuelta will be shown on the channel on Saturday 20 August from 4pm to 6pm, with coverage of the following day’s Stage 2 scheduled from 2.45pm to 5pm.

Meanwhile Touchline.tv also reports that the same weekend, BBC will be showing brief highlights of this Sunday’s Olympic test event, the London-Surrey Cycle Classic, in a special programme focusing on Olympic sports, presented by Clare Balding.

The programme, called Olympic Countdown, will run from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday 21 August, with the road race highlights running from 1.55-2.15pm, followed by coverage of the BMX test event.

There’s no news as yet of any potential online or red button coverage of the event through the BBC.
 

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.

34 comments

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fred22 [158 posts] 4 years ago
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great news. You do mean 20th of August, not September for the start.

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cavasta [216 posts] 4 years ago
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Brilliant!!!  1 Well done ITV4  41

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 4 years ago
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fred22 wrote:

great news. You do mean 20th of August, not September for the start.

I do. I can't get used to the Vuelta starting this early  1

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Cooks [490 posts] 4 years ago
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cool. I hope there's a highlights show.....

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a.jumper [846 posts] 4 years ago
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who needed a subscription before? Just have a dish pointing at the "old" sky location which has tve and the german eurosport. Simples.

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 4 years ago
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Going by schedule for first few days, highlighta are 7pm-7.30pm. A little later (7.55pm) on the opening day.

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Simon E [2652 posts] 4 years ago
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ITV, you are my bestest, bestest friend in the whole wide world.

I love you more than anything!

xxxx

 3 (yeah, I'm very pleased about this)

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Cooks [490 posts] 4 years ago
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If there's one thing that puts me off Eurosprt, It's Harmon and Kelly. While I know Kelly is learned and wise, his voice just puts me to sleep.

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gazzaputt [212 posts] 4 years ago
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Great news from the ITV.

Very very poor show from the BBC. World class field in Sundays test race at least having it available on the red button would be good.

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 4 years ago
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Agree, gazzaputt, not least because the 'test' element of the event is as much about the logistical side of the event as the sporting side.

Would be nice to see if BBC could put on as good a show of covering a bike race as France Televisions does (um, knocking cyclists off the road apart) but I guess we'll have to wait 12 months.

They've missed an opportunity to demonstrate they can handle live broadcast of a bike race, IMO.

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bikeandy61 [524 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm generally a BIG supporter of the Beeb, but putting my cycnical head on, the "coverage" of the test race is all about the OLYMPICS and very little to do with the sports that will be shown. Didn't you know we should all be so proud/joyous/thankful that "we" are hosting the Olympics.

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bikeandy61 [524 posts] 4 years ago
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In fact I'd be none too surprised if "Sir" Seb gets more air time than any of the sports.

OOOhh I'm grumpy!

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djcritchley [181 posts] 4 years ago
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Cooks wrote:

If there's one thing that puts me off Eurosprt, It's Harmon and Kelly. While I know Kelly is learned and wise, his voice just puts me to sleep.

Couldn't agree more but Big Maggy more than makes up for the banal drivel on the rare occasions he is commentating.

I'm sure even his english is better.
 19

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CotterPin [63 posts] 4 years ago
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This is great news but we will we have Chris Boardman wondering about the purposes of the second and third step on the podium again? Not that I object - it's a small price to pay to watch some great cycling!

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oldspikey [80 posts] 4 years ago
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 13 Twenty minutes of the BEEB's air time eh. What did we do to deserve that much time. I guess its far better than no air time though !!  39

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bikecellar [268 posts] 4 years ago
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Brian Smith is to my mind the best of the expert opinion commentators, first came across him on cycling.tv,
recently been on eurosport.

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Shackbu [25 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm off work for the first two weeks of the Vuelta; it's going to be too tempting to spend every afternoon in front of the telly.

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RouleurTwo [20 posts] 4 years ago
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Agree on Brian Smith - flashes of genuine insight which go beyond "it's majorly difficult".

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mpt68 [99 posts] 4 years ago
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RouleurTwo wrote:

Agree on Brian Smith - flashes of genuine insight which go beyond "it's majorly difficult".

certainly agree about smithy. some times cringe when he has to keep correcting dave harmon

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Aimless King [38 posts] 4 years ago
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mpt68 wrote:
RouleurTwo wrote:

Agree on Brian Smith - flashes of genuine insight which go beyond "it's majorly difficult".

certainly agree about smithy. some times cringe when he has to keep correcting dave harmon

Smithy is usually paired with Carlton, who does seem to need correcting. Never had too
Much ofcan issue with Harmon, and I find eurosport better than ITV, but then I've never liked "digging deep into the suitcase of ....." well, anything!

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Cooks [490 posts] 4 years ago
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CotterPin wrote:

This is great news but we will we have Chris Boardman wondering about the purposes of the second and third step on the podium again? Not that I object - it's a small price to pay to watch some great cycling!

Good God, I hadn't thought about that. Gonna have to listen to three weeks of that. And they have a second place on a podium so Andy has somewhere to stand.

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TchmilFan [19 posts] 4 years ago
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 39
I wonder if we could start a Twitter campaign (as it is the media's dahling at the moment) to try and get the Beeb to put the whole of their coverage up on iPlayer?

We, the cycling nutters, don't really need commentary to keep us awake for such a short race. Having said that, it's always fun trying to i.d. riders when they've got their national jersey on.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 4 years ago
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TchmilFan wrote:

Having said that, it's always fun trying to i.d. riders when they've got their national jersey on.

It's fun listening to commentators trying to ID them too. I wonder if they'll get it right with a week to do it? To be helpful, Cav wore a green hat.

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 4 years ago
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Hugh Porter did all the BBC commentary at Beijing, didn't he? I'm pretty sure that at the TOB launch this year, Simon Brotherton was introduced as the "new voice" of BBC Cycling, though good luck to him if he doesn't get a lot of practice between now and then.

There's a simple reason cycling commentators often call the wrong riders' names, which is that there are 200-odd riders in a big race, compare that to 22 on the pitch in football or 30 in rugby union... having said that, some of the wrong calls in the TDF from people who should know better were excruciating.

Cav for Goss? Swift for EBH (who helpfully wears yellow Mavic shoes so even I can ID him easily)?

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Simon E [2652 posts] 4 years ago
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Porter was not commentating at this year's Tour Series. I've no idea if the crits are linked with the ToB but if so then he may well not be the voice of the ToB.

As for dropping clangers on air, I suggest you try sitting in a booth/studio and doing it for 5 hours at a stretch every day for 3 weeks while listening to race radio, your producer and whatever else goes on. I know I couldn't!

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 4 years ago
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Worst rider misidentification I've seen was Phil Liggett in the 2008 TdF when Cav won his first stage. Liggett mistook Cav for Ciolek, didn't mention Cav, and said "Ciolek wins it", despite Ciolek's characteristic of nodding his head up and down like a maniac when sprinting. He re-recorded the commentary for the highlights programme.

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 4 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

As for dropping clangers on air, I suggest you try sitting in a booth/studio and doing it for 5 hours at a stretch every day for 3 weeks while listening to race radio, your producer and whatever else goes on. I know I couldn't!

Me neither, as I hope my comment makes clear. But in the two specific instances I cited, it was pretty obvious to many watching who the correct riders were (as comments on Twitter at the time attested)  3

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TheHatter [770 posts] 4 years ago
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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
Simon E wrote:

As for dropping clangers on air, I suggest you try sitting in a booth/studio and doing it for 5 hours at a stretch every day for 3 weeks while listening to race radio, your producer and whatever else goes on. I know I couldn't!

Me neither, as I hope my comment makes clear. But in the two specific instances I cited, it was pretty obvious to many watching who the correct riders were (as comments on Twitter at the time attested)  3

I agree its difficult but then if you're not good at something you shouldn't be in the job. Wasn't it Hugh Porter that commentated on the worlds in Oz and completely hashed up thinking Gilbert was up the road when he'd been caught five minutes earlier? I've huge respect for what Hugh Porter has done for cycling but the Beeb really should be employing someone with more skill in commentating and really trying to liven up the image of the sport.
I'm amazed at how quickly and, generally, accurate the Eurosport team are at identifying riders and will always choose them over Mr Liggett and Mr Porter.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 4 years ago
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From what little I've seen, I suspect Hugh Porter would be a fine Imlach-style front man, and he seems OK with most of the track, but he's not a great mass-start commentator.

Don't agree at all on Eurosport's English-language team, who I find incredibly soporific. I'll excuse Phil the odd slip because he's enthusiastic, they usually seem to be pretty obvious huge howlers and Paul corrects most of them as soon as he's looked up the race number  3

Simon Brotherton as the BBC's "voice" of cycling might not be anything to do with the TV - did he do the 5LiveSX tour commentary?

I'm looking forward to the probable itv Ned+Matt show for the Vuelta far more than is healthy. Anyone else?

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stuartpeck1 [98 posts] 4 years ago
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CotterPin wrote:

This is great news but we will we have Chris Boardman wondering about the purposes of the second and third step on the podium again? Not that I object - it's a small price to pay to watch some great cycling!

Indeed, we might even get some new ads. Well done ITV. I think partly down to lobbying by certain sports people, notable Ned Boulting i believe. Lets hope next year we'll have the Giro which means i only have to put up with Eurosport for the classics

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