Home » Cycling Commentators on Eurosport 2021

Cycling Commentators on Eurosport 2021

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 saw the Vuelta Ciclista Valenciana this season, you would have heard Jez and I’ve also heard him in a couple other races on the men’s side this season too. I knew I’d heard the voice before and the photo above gave a little clue. Anyone who’s watched the Tour Series/Women’s Tour/Tour of Britain in person or was at the Harrogate Worlds will have heard Jez on the mic. Usually heard doing .Pro level races (and the odd WorldTour one too), it would be great to hear him able to do some more women’s cycling commentary on Eurosport as well.

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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.

39 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:

  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.”

  8. Eurosport’s cycling coverage is superb. Rob Hatch is the best commentator in the sport, he strikes the perfect balance between pure passion and inane chatter. His pronunciations are fantastic and he knows the sport inside and out. Carlton Kirby is also a great commentator but I can understand why some might find him a tad annoying. His excitement towards the end of a stage is always superb – who could forget his coverage of Iljo Keisse’s win at the Tour of Turkey. He has great chemistry with Brian Smith and Dan Lloyd too. I enjoy Smith’s insight, especially from a former DS/GM point of view. He seems to know every rider in the peloton. Dan Lloyd is a quality chap and always offers some interesting thoughts. I like Sean Kelly too and his words carry that little bit of extra clout given his palmares.

  9. The female presenter at 21:20 on evening 28th June was dressed more like a woman from the streets of Soho rather than a TV presenter. Completely unsuitable.

  10. If anyone thinks Kirby is a good commentator they either live a very sad or lonely life. He is better suited to the Kids channel. Why does he keep laughing after every second word. What he also needs to do is evacuate himself from the Cavendish colon. He is horrendous!!!.

  11. Margaret Huggon your comment is “completely unsuitable”. Why do women put down other women so much? I’m guessing your talking about Orla, she’s amazing and just happens to also be gorgeous, sorry if that offends you
    Ben Stewart: I agree with most of your post, but to slate the legend that is Sean Kelly is a crime! Clearly not the most articulate but i’d rather listen to the opinion of someone who has won Milan-San Remo 7 years in a row!

  12. Ps: if Carlton Kirby is marmite then I’m a massive marmite fan! 😁😁👍👍 Wonderfully knowledgeable, brilliantly descriptive, occasionally bizarre, 100% passionate, and always entertaining! “There’s pain all over this mountain” Legend 💪

  13. cannot watch any cycling when Rob Hatch is commentating he even tries to put a twang to riders with british or usa names spoils it

  14. I turn the sound off when Mr Hatch comes on with his pretensious exaggerated pronunciations French team acronyms. He babbles on and on with such naivety l wonder how he gets away with it. I have eurosport on now and it has dutch commentators on my ad-free connection. Don’t know the language but the relaxed tone, without the need to fill every second with babble is glorious. Like good musicians, they allow space for their “music” to breathe, and a d for us to relax Just sayin’ 🙂

  15. Ben

    I am not a monoglot, but when speaking English to English people( Hatchs job) l don’t want to throw in French vowel sounds in acronyms fdj – “eff day zhee” when an english ear expects the opposite “eff dee Jay”. It is pretensious snobbery. As is your accusation about being a monoglot.

  16. Not an easy job being a commentator especially these days with helmets and sunglasses hiding the riders when viewed from a distance.
    Can’t fault Dan Lloyd , Brian Smith or Sean Kelly ( legend) but Rob Hatch gives out rider’s names but often doesn’t mention the team they ride for- annoying if they are not the better known riders – Carlton Kirby knows his stuff but insists on laughing at his own jokes!

  17. Carlton Kirby is an absolute legend, knowledgeable, funny and always entertaining. Don’t have any problem with Smith, Kelly and Lloyd, Rob Hatch however just irks me, I agree with others about his trying to accent virtually every name, place or team he possibly can, it grates rather quickly.

  18. I am finding Laura Winter hugely annoying on TDF. She seems to be very egotistical. I know we need more female commentators but surely they should be recruited on merit.

  19. Like a lot of the above comments, Rob Hatch forgets he is talking to every day Brits, without the advantage of a language degree. We have watched Eurosport’s coverage of The Tour, the Giro, and the Vuelta for many years, but now when Rob is commentating, we need to look at a map, to see where the riders are! And we often say who!…. when he mentions the name of the riders. He would be best placed teaching languages. We just want to enjoy the races, without feeling belittled when we don’t understand this English speaking commentary.

  20. I can’t listen to Rob Hatch. Hooben Gehayhoh, Paki Nice, Liege baastonyeliiieeege etc. perhaps there’s a job for him as the policeman in an upcoming remake of Alo Alo.
    Everything about Bradley Wiggins sickens me.
    I suspect that Sean Kelly is showing signs of dementia, starting six sentences in one breath and rarely finishing one of them. Clearly worse this year, I think he should seek medical advice.
    I watch ITV whenever I can because Ned Boulting is less annoying and David Millar is streets ahead of anyone else.

  21. I have just watched Anna Kiesenhofer solo to Olympic gold. Chapeau Anna. It is appalling to have to watch this brilliant ride with the sound off. I can’t bear to hear Eurosport commentators ignorant of basic knowledge of German- `kies` does not rhyme with `why`. I can’t decide if this is worse than the insufferable Mr Hatch or not.

  22. can you please ask your comentators to stop talking nonstop the pictures are self explanatory most of the time,i have been watching now for an hour and there has not been a moment of silence!,!,,,,,,,

  23. We’re trying to watch Stage 7 of the Vuelta in the U.S., and the audio keeps switching between the American announcers and two British announcers, one of whom I gather is Hannah Walker. The British coverage sounds like the same team we heard for the Olympics, and my biggest problem with it is that the background noise is turned up so high in the audio mix we can hardly hear the announcers at all. Is this an attempt to accommodate all the complaints I see above about the announcing? If so it’s a weird way to address the problem.

  24. Hey! I think (because I’m not in the US) that the Vuelta is shown on Peacock over there – the other British commentator should be Ant McCrossan I believe.

    Hannah sometimes does coverage for Eurosport/GCN over here but it’s very rare that we get to hear Ant doing coverage in the UK!

  25. Just watched todays stage of Tour de l’Avenir, Brian Smith and another guy were talking about English riders from London, Brian`s F/Law was one and he was saying that why does not Inner London (M25) have more riders He gave Thomas GLOAG as one rider, he forgot to mention a certain guy that won the Giro in 2020, Teo.I think Brian Smith is by far and away the best that Eurosport has and I feel so sorry for him working with Kirby who is a comlete baffoon.

  26. Above commentators are not shy to share their unsalted opinion! 😬

    Personally I think most commentators are doing a good job and are very knowledgeable about cycling. My favourites are Dan Lloyd and Matt Stephens and my least favourites are Carlton Kirby and Rob Hatch. Mostly because the latter two tend to repeat their cliches throughout the commentary: Kirby acts as if his humour is extremely tongue in cheek and Hatch uses hyperboles in describing how good the racing is.

    Would love to watch a race commented by Lloyd and Stephens side-by-side!

  27. Absolutely crap commentary on the Vuelta. They often have no idea what’s going on, you have to work it out for yourself. Do they get money for this? Never paying for Eurosport again, absolute ##~$~%%

  28. And have they been threatened by “Asstnaa” if they don’t mention their name enough even when there’s nothing going on for them…

  29. I find Sean Kelly most irritating. He makes no effort at pronunciation. He pronounces th correctly in words like the and Spanish words and yet refuses to budge on turd and Hugh Carty.

  30. The Quest highlight coverage of the Vuelta this year has been truly appalling even when they manage to put the show on. The first stage was missed without an apology. There is a lack of editing which means the highlights do not flow and you do not know what is happening. I like Rob Hatch. He is very clear with short sentences. But what’s with his idiotic obsession with town planners and roundabouts. Its highway and traffic engineers who design the roads. Get your facts right if you are going to go on about it. As others have said Sean Kelly is so annoying. When recorded I just fast forward his sections. He would be better if he practiced slowing down and taking a breathe between his sentences. Less is more. It is nice when there is any other voice.

  31. Just dumped Flobikes here in Canada as they continue to hire american yokel announcers for lower tier race coverage. Ever cringe when you get a Bob Roll broadcast?- these were worse.
    GCN / Eurosport announcers are great- love Brian and Matt and of course the totally mad Carlton. Color commentators are the best/ few things in life are more amusing than hearing Sean Kelly discuss Gianni Meersman running out of gas……hats off to Hannah Walker alongside Anthony McCrossan in the past Vueltas.

  32. Carlton Kirby, Dan Lloyd & Jose Been have been fantastic this year. Eurosport With Carlton offer the best commentary & coverage of any cycling presentations on TV. Dan Lloyd has added a fantastic viewpoint joining from GCN & the real find has been Jose Been commentating on the Classics. Her knowledge & Dutch pronunciation of all riders, teams & places is brilliant.

  33. Rob Hatch is a big head, a show off. He reminds me of the kids who sell hi-fi and computer equipment, who go out of their way to make the buyer feel stupid. We’ve all met his type and they don’t impress anyone.
    A couple of years ago, Peter Sagan was in a advert that was often shown on Eurosport. He pronounced his name as us Brits would and nothing like Rob Hatch’s pisprounciation. Odd that.
    Hatch should get a job commentating on the Spanish Eurosport channel, as that is where he chooses to live and leave us to listen to the other excellent commentators.

  34. I enjoy hearing how place names, and rider names, should be correctly pronounced, thanks to Rob Hatch. I also love Carlton Kirby, he is such a genuine guy, and a great raconteur. I can happily listen to any of the current Eurosport commentators, both lead and colour. The ex riders bring real insights into how the pros race, and the technical aspects of kit and racing.

  35. I personally can’t listen to Rob Hatch.The most pretentious pronunciation of foreign names i’ve ever heard.Come off it Mr Hatch.You’re speaking to English speaking people.I often have to change channels when he is on.Thank God for Mr Kirby and the rest of the team.

  36. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so too do British cycling commentators detest silence. In their effort to avoid dramatic pauses or to allow some of the action to “speak for itself,” they fill every moment with the inane chatter; it’s as though they are sitting in a pub discussing cycling with their best mate rather than attempting to present a race to thousands of fans around the world in an informative and enjoyable way. Is this what British sports fans expect from their commentators? If so, it is a very sorry state of affairs.

    I suggest every British “commentator” watch how Phil Liggett (an exception among the Brits), Bob Roll and Christian Vande Velde broadcast a race. I have come to dread listening to races being covered by the Brits and make good use of the mute button. Please step up your game and understand the value of “negative space.” Allow for dramatic pauses and learn to be comfortable with the sound of silence.

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