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Cycling Commentators on Eurosport 2021

Cycling Commentators on Eurosport 2021
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The voices of the cycling commentators on Eurosport are beamed into our homes. Every single bike race we watch has some commentator giving their spin on the action. Eurosport has a select core of lead commentators who find themselves describing the action we see. They’re always paired with an ex-pro to provide the colour commentary, with insights about the racing, learned through their time in the pro ranks.

Each commentator has their own style and you only have to listen for a few seconds to work out who they are. Everyone knows that Rob Hatch is the guy who pronounces each foreign word ultra-correctly and that Carlton Kirby will be the one telling the dad jokes.

Lead Commentators

Rob Hatch

Probably now the highest-profile commentator on Eurosport, the only criticism Rob seems to get is due to his perfect pronunciation of all words in all languages. It makes sense when you find out that he was a languages graduate – Rob was in fact in his 4th year of Uni at Bangor when I started my 1st year there (also in the languages department). Hatch is often on the biggest races and usually covers the race finishes too.

Carlton Kirby Eurosport Commentator

Carlton Kirby

Kirby is the most marmite commentator there is. He inspires such devotion that he has his own fan club, yet also is on the receiving end of a petition to get him sacked. For mine, Carlton is the perfect commentator for the ‘early shift’ on long, flat grand tour stages. With nothing doing, Carlton Kirby still finds plenty to talk about and discuss, with the dad jokes aplenty too.

Declan Quigley

You used to hear Declan Quigley covering the Giro d’Italia but now seems to find himself part of the B-tier. He’ll often be heard covering non-WorldTour classics and stage races with his distinctive Irish accent. With Rob Hatch on the world feed coverage this season, Quigley covered a lot more of the classics in 2021, including the women’s Tour of Flanders.

Jose Been

A recent addition to the Eurosport team and the only female lead commentator (even if the name catches plenty out on Twitter). She’s heard covering non-WorldTour classics most often where she can use her native Dutch to pronounce riders and place names perfectly. She has done a lot of races paired with Magnus Backstedt this season.

Marty McCrossan

The lead commentator for cyclocross and women’s cycling on Eurosport. It’s rare to watch either without hearing Marty’s voice in recent years. He’ll usually be heard paired up with Dani Rowe for women’s cycling and Jeremy Powers for the cyclocross. Once you click onto hearing his penchant for listing riders, you can’t un-hear it!

Dan Lloyd

A former rider who has stepped up to lead commentary after initially being a colour commentator. With the joining up of GCN and Eurosport, he’s now regularly seen across all coverage. From talking about spring classics to grand tours, he’ll also be seen in the studio after races. Talking about the day’s events and doing analysis with the touchscreen TV.

Matt Stephens

The first former rider to jump into lead commentary from GCN! He was initially mixing his GCN duties with the odd spell of commentary but soon changed the balance towards commentary. As his profile grew, he began compering cycling events like the 6 Day track racing and is regularly used by Zwift for their online commentary race events too.

Jez Cox

If you’ve heard Jez commentating, you’ve been lucky! Seemingly used quite sparingly, he fills an unofficial role as Marty’s backup for women’s cycling. If you watched the Vuelta Ciclista Valenciana this season, you would have heard Jez and I’ve heard him in one other race too. Probably underused and would be a great addition to doing more women’s cycling commentary than he gets.

Colour Commentators

Sean Kelly

The distinctive Irish voice on Eurosport. Sean Kelly is a great of the sport of cycling – a 9-time monument winner, 4-time Tour de France green jersey winner and winner of the Vuelta a Espana in 1988. Mr Paris-Nice won that race 7 years in a row during the 1980s

Magnus Backstedt

Most famous for winning the 2004 edition of Paris Roubaix, Magnus Backstedt had a long pro career. He won a stage in the Tour de France in 1998 for GAN and after retirement, ran development teams in his adopted country – the UK. His daughters, Zoe and Elynor are currently emerging talents in women’s cycling.

Brian Smith

Smith was twice a winner of the National Road Championships, in 1991 and 1994, as a rider before becoming a directeur sportif. He helped develop the Endura, NetApp (became Bora-Hansgrohe) and MTN-Qhubeka teams in their early days before becoming a staple on Eurosport.

Dani Rowe

An Olympic, World and European champion on the track, Dani Rowe can now be heard covering women’s cycling on Eurosport. She retired from racing after 2018, a season where she finished 3rd in the Women’s Tour. She brings insider knowledge of the women’s peloton to the race commentary.

Adam Blythe

Another former National Road champion, in 2016, Blythe’s relaxed style has seen him move from the studio to behind the mic. He initially started combining riding with Eurosport work in his final season in 2019. Blythe was a consistent lower-level classics racer and sometime sprinter.

Jeremy Powers

Powers can be heard exclusively during cyclocross races, usually paired up with Marty McCrossan. The American former pro rider won 4 national titles in cyclocross and was a top-10 ranked rider. He also was known to race on the road during US races.

Dan Bigham

Bigham helped to give deeper insights into the world of aerodynamics during the opening time trial of the 2021 Giro d’Italia. A former F1 aerodynamicist, Bigham has turned his attentions to cycling and helped his track team beat national teams. He is now a consultant for high-profile teams like Canyon SRAM and the Danish national track team.

Hannah Walker

A former national track champion, Hannah Walker spent years on the road racing as well. She retired from racing in 2018 whilst at WNT and transitioned to a Marketing/PR role for the team. She initially was heard commentating on women’s cycling races but has also been seen in the studio during coverage of 2021’s Giro d’Italia.

9 thoughts on “Cycling Commentators on Eurosport 2021”

  1. Commentary of Giro de’talia 2021 not good at all.take a page out of the broadcasters of tour de france. All about Bernal no other riders matter and TV cover very poor does only show front runners all the time

  2. Contrary to Muriel I have found the coverage on Eurosport of this year’s Giro to be exemplary. The way the commentators managed to fill in and keep us entertained and updated when the weather was so bad the pictures could not be broadcasted was a true test of their abilities. It reminded me of my old favourite commentator, surely the king of all of commentary al time, the one and only David Duffield (RIP), who could fill in for five hours without any action taking place on the screen anywhere! If any of your younger readers are wondering who I’m talking about, the man was an absolute living legend, and some of his famous sayings and musings can be found here:
    https://bikesy.co.uk/features/david-duffield/

  3. My wife and myself watched all 21 Stages of the Giro but were disappointed with certain aspects of your coverage.
    Firstly we like to tape all the Stages to watch in the evening and found on a number of occasions that the tape stopped before the end of the race,presumably because the riders were behind time.So we didn,t know who won.This has happened in previous races on your schedule and is very frustrating.
    Secondly although you promised to show ALL each Stage race you didn,t on Stage 21 so we missed seeing Ganna win the ITT.
    Finally we thought the Commentary by Rob Hatch was truly awful.We note with amazement people are trying to replace Carlton Kirby who we think easily the better of the two.What with the ludicrous pronunciation of all words foreign,the constant chatter about who won what 30years ago,the repeating of e.g. Nibali has crashed,Nibali has crashed e.g.

    Sorry to complain but hope this input is useful.

    Paul Cox.

  4. Rob Hatch is brilliant (love his language skills). Carlton is a legend. Dan Lloyd is a new favourite. I often turn down the sound during both Declan Quigley and Sean Kelly’s long ramblings. I really struggle with their voices. By and large, a great lineup on Eurosport

  5. Amazing how people can find Rob Hatch’s correct pronunciation to be ‘ludicrous’. Let me guess – a monoglot Brit, by any chance? Music to my ears, unlike eg Graham Willgoss, who mangles everything horribly. Pronounces the ‘maglia rosa’ the ‘magglya rossa’ which means ‘red’…anyway, Rob makes commentary into an artform, does his homework and brings an immaculate balance of passion, insight and expertise. Carlton is fantastic as well, with a beautifully elevated turn of phrase and tongue in cheek humour. Dan Lloyd is knowledgeable, witty, unassuming and extremely likeable too. Sean Kelly’s inarticulate monotone gets on my nerves – he’s too like the boring-voiced priest from Father Ted for me to take him seriously. 😂 Nuff said.

  6. Amazing how people can find Rob Hatch’s respectfully correct pronunciation to be ‘ludicrous’. Let me guess – a monoglot Brit, by any chance? Music to my ears, unlike eg Graham Willgoss, who mangles everything horribly. Pronounces the ‘maglia rosa’ the ‘magglya rossa’ which means ‘red’…anyway, Rob makes commentary into an artform, does his homework and brings an immaculate balance of passion, insight and expertise. Carlton is fantastic as well, with a beautifully elevated turn of phrase and tongue in cheek humour. Dan Lloyd is knowledgeable, witty, unassuming and extremely likeable too. Sean Kelly’s inarticulate monotone gets on my nerves – he’s too like the boring-voiced priest from Father Ted for me to take him seriously. 😂 Nuff said.

  7. Being Canadian, I had been raised on Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin doing TDF commentary. I am quite enjoying your commentators. I find Rob Hatch and Daniel Lloyd are the clearest speakers, perfect enunciation. I’ve been trying to figure out what regional dialect of English they speak. I checked and found that Dan Lloyd is form the south of England, while Carlton Kirby is from near Manchester. I find Brian Smith’s Scottish somewhat hard to follow, but not nearly as difficult as Sean Kelly’s Irish. Mr. Kelly, despite his fame and palmares, doesn’t really say much that’s not obvious. But then, every now and then, he’ll say something absolutely brilliant and revelatory! Magnus Backstedt is probably the most interesting color commentator, I love listening to his experienced insights. The best commentator for foreign name pronunciation, though, has got to be Jose Been. She seems to be the most careful to get things right. I remember Phil Liggett would just absolutely butcher Italian names! I really appreciate when commentators can pronounce names properly. My test of proper pronunciation is when they do Russian names. I listen for “Vin OK u rov” rather than the more common and incorrect “Vin o KU rov.”

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