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Tour de France Coverage(20 posts)

Tour de France CoverageJim
May 8, 2001 10:02 AM
Does anyone know if Phil Ligget will be covering the Tour for OLN? The commentators for some of the early season races have been less than spectacular! Thanks
Wouldn't be the TdF without them.confusion
May 8, 2001 10:19 AM
I cannot imagine a TdF without Phil. I was happily suprised when I heard Paul Sherwin and Pil Ligget doing the Paris Roubaix on OLN.

I cannot say for sure but I would hope this means they will be doing the Giro and TdF also.

At least we can all rest assured there will be no more Adrian Karstin.
re: Tour de France CoverageEricO
May 8, 2001 10:29 AM
In this month's Cycle Sport, Phil states that he will be covering the Tour along with Paul.
re: Tour de France CoverageWayne
May 8, 2001 10:31 AM
Pretty sure I've heard that Phil and Paul are doing the TDF for OLN. Don't know about the Giro. Your right that sometimes OLN's commentators are not very good. I think what OLN does is buy the rights to alot of races from some other station and just uses their announcers, it seems to be somebody different everytime. The all time worst (well, next to Adrian Karstan) had to be Sean Kelly. Talk about boring! He sounded like he was about to fall asleep.
no doubtLnin0
May 8, 2001 10:40 AM
Sean Kelly, hero on the bike...caveman on the mic

I saw part of that race he did too. He is horrible. And is it just me or does anyone else find Bob Roll annoying?
May 8, 2001 10:43 AM
A collection of Liggetisms gleaned from TIOOYK'S past:

"And hats off to him as well!" (Anyone doing anything surprising, a la
Poli winning the GPM and stage at Mt. Ventoux)

"He's dancing on the pedals in an immodest way!"
(dag-Otto Lauritzen on Luz-Ardiden, 1987)

"Are they on the road to stardom, or are they lambs to the slaughter?"
(The early breakaway at Paris-Roubaix 1988, which stayed away for only
last 140 miles of the 166 mile classic!)

"Dancing to a tune few in this group have ever heard before, the lead
quickly to 3 minutes in as many miles."
(The same group, 3 miles later)

"His heart fights to catch up with the pace set by his
exhausted, LeMond's overall lead, slips away."
(Perfect music & camera work on the road to Superbagneres in 1989 make
futile counterattck to Fignon in the last 2km of this stage one of my
time ABC broadcast tour highlights)

In the 1986 Tour de France(TIOOYK), Hinault has a 5-minute lead on
LeMond, but on the 2nd day in the Pyrenees, Bernie just can't help
himself and attacks alone. Phil comments:

"Hinault: is he a superman or a fool"

"He really did make a mess out of that one!"--Used when describing
a major tactical blunder or a fundamental error in, say, taking a turn
a descent.

"The first pedals have been turned in anger."

"They said that this course was too easy. They said that it was too
short. They said that there were not enough mountains.


Most characteristic phrase I can think of is, " ... in all sorts of
trouble now."; but the one quote which is burned on the mind (and I'm
surprised nobody's mentioned it yet) has to be, " ... but lets
remember, at one point he had nearly two minutes; but just who's that
coming up behind because that looks like Roche ! That looks like
almost caught Delgarder(sic), I don't believe it !".

(And I just remembered, "... comes Abdoujaparov on the left and OH HE'S
GONE !!")

"The riders are starting to get a bit twitchy now!"

"And look at that, it's as though someone dropped a bomb
in the field" [ESPN - '94 Tour; Le Plagne stage where
Indurain decimates the field to catch Alex]

"And then it was time for the little men to get away."
[1990 Tour]

"And again, the handsome Spaniard, Miguel Indurain is
in the LeMond group." [1990 Tour - I think Phil may be
attracted to Indurain :-)]

"And Alcala sets off at a seemingly suicidal speed."
[1990 Tour - First Time Trial]

"Sorry for that little bit of picture breakup - it's
due to our microwave link-up to the helicopters."

"Oh, now that was a crazy fall, that was a crazy fall."
[1993 World's -> somebody crashed on yellow line]

"He's thrown a cat amongst the pigeons" is my personal favorite.

"Showed them a clean pair of wheels"

I haven't heard it since the CBS days, but one of the funniest I ever
heard was "The shadow-boxing is over" in reference to the last couple
of hours of Paris-Roubaix. I'm sure if we pore over our video
we can come up with dozens.

I also like: "Museeuw has made the mistake of his life
here!!"--describing the finish of the '94 Tour of Flanders, which
lost to Bugno by misjudging the sprint.

"They've gone."
from '94 tour...[insert madness and lunacy, screaming, general

"Oh my goodness me!"
"I don't believe *this*..."
"Well now, look at this..."
"Now (rider's name) is going to have a go at it!"
"It's all together now!"
"It surely looks like it's going to be a sprint finish now!"

During the '89 World's, Laurent Fignon had motioned to Steven Rooks to
go to the front of the chase. Liggett observed that Rooks responded
"in broad Irish exactly what he thought of that i
May 8, 2001 11:11 AM
I can almost hear him saying each one of them.

He does add excitement to any event he covers. Besides the race, he's one the main reasons I watch.

Liggetisms- my favoritealansutton
May 8, 2001 12:04 PM
From the Eurosport coverage of the 1994 Paris-Roubaix. I have never seen a race like that in my life, and I doubt I ever will again. Incredible is an understatement.

"And Duclos-Lasalle has punctured... there's no motorbike... still no
sign of the motorbike... gosh if the sympathy of France could
pedal a bike this man would be winning today... he's still looking for
that motorbike... here's Ballerini... and he's punctured too.
Liggetisms - continuedalansutton
May 8, 2001 12:10 PM
During the '89 World's, Laurent Fignon had motioned to Steven Rooks to
go to the front of the chase. Liggett observed that Rooks responded
"in broad Irish exactly what he thought of that idea." That, esteemed
readers, is my favorite Liggett quote.

"...But he's up the road!"
From the '89 Worlds broadcast. I believe it was from when Lemond
up with Fignon. It is the only phrase I remember verbatim from the
race, and what I always associate with Phil.

How about: "Well, I think you bring out something special in a rider
you throw in a few cobble stones!"

Or: "That was a disaster at the line there!!"

"This is NOT a made for television event".

"And the crowd are going berserk!!"


"He's not a time trial specialist, but his muscular legs hold
power." (referring to Steve Bauer)

"It's a long long way to go yet Miguel!" (Indurain's early sprint to
line in the 94 tour prologue)

"Nelissen was not looking where he was going!!!" (Armentierres crash)

"I tell you I keep coming back so as to witness one of the finest
sporting events in the world."

"Here he comes from out of nowhere, that little man in the
Green jersey, Abdoujaparov!"

This is not a quotation, but it is one of my all-time favorite
Liggett-isms. Several years ago, maybe 1992, during the Tour,
Ronan Pensec and Stephen Roche were involved in a breakaway
during a very rainy stage. As they were descending, Phil
mentioned how much Pensec was throwing caution to the wind to
make the breakaway succeed. The descent passed through a
small town ( I believe that the Tour passed through this same
town this year ). After the town, Pensec was by himself
flying downhill trailing a rooster tail of water behind his
bicycle. Phil was beside himself with what Pensec had
accomplished in apparently losing Roche on a descent ( Phil:
"Stephen Roche is no slouch when it comes to descending." ).
Obviously Pensec was riding at the very limit of the
conditions. Well, Phil's preceding commentary turned
prophetic when Pensec slid out and went down, just missing
being hit by the trailing camera motorcycle.

I don't think I've watched a race where Phil hasn't managed to
get in, "Well, this very workman-like group has managed to get
away from the main peleton."

Workman-like = a group with no established stars

Or as a Canadian, I always notice Phil calls Steve Bauer on the
lines of, "And there is little Steve Bauer...." or similarly for
Bert Dietz (especially at Paris-Roubaix this year), "This group
is being powered by little Bert Dietz." I guess they are little,
but Bauer doesn't strike me as being too small, for a cyclist.

Or on Ballerini's solo at Paris-Roubaix (or anyone who is on a
solo break on flat ground), "Here's Ballerini, legs tapping out
the rhythm."

"He's dancing on the pedals in an immodest way!"

My favourite Liggett'isms (used liberaly during group rides) are:

"Once again, they've stretched the elastic."


"It's a viciously cruel sport"

And that young American sensation, Lance Armstrong, continues to tap
the rythm with a look of fierce determination as he plays the hare to
the peloton's fox. And my goodness me, they are on him indeed. And as
the Banestos reel him in, they give not even a glance as Gerard Rue is
now stamping on the pedals! And the its all together again as they fly
toward the line and the sprinters will surely have another chance to
sharpen their legs. And, as I say that, there goes "El Diablo", that
little Italian, Claudio Chiappucci, launching a fierce attack! And the
reaction of the Tour De France is quick as Neil Stephens has straight
away taken "El Diablo's" wheel. It is apparent that the big men of the
Tour de France insist that the sprinter's have their day.
May 8, 2001 12:23 PM
"The cheek of the man, Paul" referring to Pantani last year.
"He's such a predictable little man." Same.
"He is now suffering like he has never suffered before in his life!" various.

"Armstrong is now ripping the legs off of them!"

May 8, 2001 12:54 PM
Paul Sherwen has a few classics also, these kept me laughing for minutes.

"He looks like a crab on a bike" refering to Fernando Escartin during the "98" Vuelta

" He's digging deep into the suitcase of courage" refering to Marco on the Ventoux stage last year.
Sherwenismsrollo tommassi
May 8, 2001 7:48 PM
I cried laughing when he described Escartin as a crab!!

My fave of Sherwens' wasn't from race coverage - it was a tagged on report of the World Cycling Productions Classics camp, when they had a tour group go over to Belgium. There's a section when they're talking about the upcoming pave, and someone makes a comment that Paul isn't wearing any gloves for padding the bumps, to which he replies: GLOVES ARE FOR WUSSIES!

It was so honest and funny, I'm glad they didn't edit that out.

Hats off to Mr. Sherwen, who has come into his own as a commentator, as much as a natural talent as a good mentor (Phil) to bring it out.
May 8, 2001 1:14 PM
One of my favorites thats not been mentioned,
used when a big name crosses the gap to a group of lesser known riders, "There's now a chief amongst the Indians!"
May 8, 2001 1:59 PM
I love reading all of the Liggetisms here, but my favorite is missing. Whenever I am hurting or chasing on a ride, I hear Phil's voice shouting, "And they've put him in a bit of a bother now!"

It always sounded funny to me & my American ear.
Lest we forget , "Oh, he's POPPED!!"boy nigel
May 8, 2001 2:56 PM
Phil's the man when it comes to colorful cycling coverage. Supreme knowledge, uber-colorful (and British!) phrasings, and a humble guy.

I always liked how (being a smaller rider myself) he can't say certain names (e.g., David Extebarria) without uttering "Little" before saying them. "And here comes the little Spaniard now," etc. Very endearing. He doesn't seem to say "big" or "large" before saying certain other names, though, as if he finds the small guys "cute" for some reason (as if they're dolls or toys of some sort).

The image of someone "popping" on a Tour climb makes a great visual. The riders must feel as if they're going to pop when they feel they're "blowing up" and the pressure's on.

Top marks to our lad Phil.
My favorite Liggetism!Bill J. Pappas
May 8, 2001 11:40 PM
One of my favorite Liggetisms is when he refers to the Saeco "Red train" or "Red Guard" of Mario Cippolini, and there know how of how to "launch him into orbit!" As they prepare to lead him out, prior to him getting into one of his trademak winning sprints. Giro d'Italia, and 99TDF videos.
Who has "Suffered like they have never suffered before!"? (NM)Fred2001
May 8, 2001 9:52 PM
Karstenismsmike mcmahon
May 8, 2001 10:38 PM
Does anyone have the sense of humor and time to put together a list of "Karstenisms?" I can't think of any specifics, but I can picture it going something like this: "France. . . a country full of Frenchmen . . . must be severely disappointed at the failure of a Frenchman to win a stage of this very important race held in France."
May 9, 2001 1:08 AM
My favorite Karstenism:

During a stage ending in Dijon, he advised the riders and viewers, "Just don't ask the locals in the car next to you if they have any Grey Poupon."

Gotta admit though, over the course of the years, he got better. If nothing else, his love of the sport really started to show. In the beginning, he was clueless. By 1999, he was still clueless, but he was obviously thrilled by the thought of another tour.
He makes it look so easy --->whenever Cippo wins NMMade in Taiwan
May 9, 2001 12:36 AM