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You've heard the voices... now see where they call the action from, Daniel Lloyd takes us inside the commentary box...

Whether it's Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen on ITV, or David Harmon and Sean Kelly plus their colleagues at Europsort including Anthony McCrossan, Rob Hatch, Carlton Kirby and expert pundits such as Magnus Backstedt and Brian Smith, if you watch cycling on TV, you'll spend hours in the company of familiar voices, but you'll only rarely see the place they're working from.

In this video, ex-pro Daniel Lloyd, now a commentator and reporter for Eurosport among other things, gives us a quick glimpse of life inside the commentary box at Tirreno Adriatico this week, followed by a quick dash to the finish line in Chieti to grab some words with Joaquim Rodriguez and Chris Froome, followed by a furtive glance at the Team Sky man's SRM data.

More than any other sport, cycling is one that calls for instant access to a wealth of data - it's not confined to a stadium or other easily defined course, there can be up to 200 or so competitors, and at any one point there can be several different battles unfurling within the peloton, particularly in a stage race.

No surprise, then, to see an array of computing power deployed that was undreamt of back when Mission Control in Houston was putting men on the Moon, and that split screen monitor shows that there's a lot more for the commentator to follow than just the single set of pictures we get back home.  

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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.

8 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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And there was me asking Ant Mc to suggest Eurosport have a "fan zone" for the grand tours, where fans can have an audio feed and commentate.

Explaining, All I need is a mic, startlist and live feed. I could do alot better than most of the old cronies who talk about the fields and mountains as if they are tour guides paid to tell us about the scenery  1

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White jazz [9 posts] 3 years ago
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O'Kelly?
I generally enjoy the Eurosport commentators and pundits.
The issue I have is with the one feed fits all set up and the lack of independence and opportunity
to examine the issues that come up compared to say Sky sports and football. For example, if previewing a classic and discussing Geraint Thomas' chances and showing footage of him in the previous year's race.
The other thing that irritates is missing the early selections in a race and starting with the relatively boring middle.

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Simon E [2727 posts] 3 years ago
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Hmmm, I think being a commentator is harder than it looks/sounds, I am often surprised at just how many facts they mention about a rider's history and placings. When watching stage races I struggle to remember what happened the previous day (beyond the obvious of who won/gained lots of time), never mind last week!

I wonder whether, being an ex-pro, Dan Lloyd gets a 'better' interview (or slightly different responses) compared to some of the other journalists. And I wouldn't have thought that many people would confidently saunter over to Froomey's bike and retrieve the day's stats from his SRM (229 km, 245w, hr 116 bpm, cadence 72 rpm and speed 37 km/h).

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andyspaceman [244 posts] 3 years ago
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Those SRM numbers are brutal, even if he was sheltered by teammates for much of the stage.

A 23mph average, over >140 hilly miles, all whilst maintaining an average HR of 116!?!?

Something doesn't stack up though. Over on the other place there's an article which quotes Brailsford as responding to Nibali's comments by saying that the team used compact chainsets without power meter data on the Sunday and the Monday. (http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/brailsford-hits-back-at-accusations-and-...)

I believe it was Sunday's stage 5 that finished in Chieti. So either Dan Lloyd is pulling our leg, or Brailsford's statement isn't accurate. Tried to get a look at the chainset on the video but it's not clearly shown. The rings don't appear to be very big though.

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ZabaZabaHey [13 posts] 3 years ago
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Those facts will be well researched and written on a sheet of A4 in front of the commentator.

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ubercurmudgeon [169 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm not sure Team Sky will be too pleased with Daniel Lloyd fiddling with Chris Froome's power meter. But anyone is better than that pair of tired, repetitive, Anglo-centric, utterly discredited, repetitive, gullible, truth-denying, and above all repetitive, old farts: Liggett and Sherwen. I, for one, will be boycotting ITV4 if they are still the commentators for their Tour coverage.

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 3 years ago
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Don't do it Ubercumudgeon! You know how much Liggert and Sherwen care about what you think. You'll devastate them....  4

The only thing I'd like to see the back of is the annoying stock electro beat which seems to ruin every bike video. Enough.

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Zebra [37 posts] 3 years ago
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I know some people are over Liggett and Sherwin, but personally I would rather listen to them than the screaming, hysterical, hyperbolic Carlton Kirby. He completely loses the plot at the finish and is so busy screaming about how amazing it is, he forgets to actually call the race. Dan Lloyd is excellent.