February 27, 2024

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NBC Sport’s Phil Liggett Starts Commentating At His 50th Tour De France

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English broadcaster Phil Liggett nowadays starts covering his 50th Tour de France. Now operating for NBC Athletics, Liggett has very long been recognized as the “voice of cycling.”

His former Television commentary partnership with Paul Sherwen, who died in 2018, was a person of the longest in sport.

The Tour de France starts off today with a time demo around the streets of Copenhagen. It’s the most northerly at any time start out for the world’s biggest yearly sporting occasion, and it’s Liggett’s initially stop by to Denmark.

Liggett arrived early at the NBC booth, and he instructed me that his rolling agreement with the US broadcast enterprise operates until finally December 2023—the 79-12 months-previous has no ideas to retire.

“Why ought to I?” he asks.

“I am blessed that I have received great health and fitness, as significantly as I know.”

At first covering the race for Britain’s Everyday Telegraph, Liggett moved across to Television set commentary in 1978, giving insight on brief packages broadcast by ITV. When start out-up broadcaster Channel 4 planned to air a everyday highlights demonstrate of the Tour de France, Liggett was hired as the principal anchor and reside commentator.

“Honestly, it looks like just 5 decades in the past when I stood in the Hague on my initially Tour de France in 1973,” mused Liggett.

Liggett was an assistant to British Television commentator David Saunders at that occasion. He also submitted duplicate to the British biking journal Cycling Weekly. Ahead of starting in journalism, Liggett was a racing cyclist.

“I went to reside in Belgium and I progressed plenty of to get a deal give as a professional, but I moved across to journalism instead—it seemed additional protected.”

And so it has proved. Liggett also commentates on the Commonwealth Online games for Australian Tv set and other sports for the duration of the Olympics, but it’s cycling that has sustained his long profession.

“Even nevertheless I have acquired a contract with NBC, it is continue to my decision on when to dangle up the microphone. I’ll be 80 next 12 months I really don’t truly feel it.”

Liggett thinks 23-yr-outdated Slovenian rider Tadej Pogačar is a shoo-in for his 3rd consecutive Tour de France victory, elevating him to 1 of the Tour greats.

This is the Tour’s 109th annual edition—Pogačar’s victories in 2020 and 2021 saw him acquire a few distinctive classifications, awarded with distinct coloured jerseys all through just about every Tour, a dominance not observed considering the fact that the 1970s and the all-round dominance of the Tour by the Belgian rider Eddy Eddy Merckx, winner of five editions of the race.

“Pogačar is even now a child, and he’s received youthful enthusiasm, but he’s received [body performance metrics] that are out of sight,” stated Liggett.

If Pogačar wins the 2022 Tour and goes on challenge for up coming year’s event, it’s an additional shoo-in that the “voice of cycling” will continue to be that of Phil Liggett.

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