Tour de France’s Mates at the Finish

Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen

Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen

If you’ve watched the Tour de France on television in the past 34 years, you know British cycling commentator Phil Liggett. He’s been reporting on the Tour since 1973, and the race wouldn’t be the same without him. He has a unique way of calling events, such as when a rider loses energy, Liggett yells, “The rubber band has snapped!” Liggett elegantly describes hills as “undulations.” And he has other Liggettisms too, such as incorrectly naming riders. Once in a while, he’ll accidentally refer to any U.S. rider as Lance Armstrong. We excuse those mistakes because Liggett is a true cycling fan and his love of the sport is contagious. Check out his fan club here.

Liggett’s sidekick at the finish line is Paul Sherwen, another commentator with a lovely British accent. Sherwen knows what he’s talking about: He is a former professional cyclist who raced in the Tour de France seven times and was two-time British National Cycling Champion. Liggett and Sherwen must get along well. For 21 days of the Tour, they sit tightly snuggled in a booth for hours commentating the race. When do they have time to eat, get fresh air or go to the bathroom? They must be good mates, eh?

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Filed under le tour 2008

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