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Eurosport commentary

I know theres a thread about English announcers in general, comparing ES to VS but its long and since theres one for versus, there might as well be one for those of us who rely on Harmonn-Kelly- Kirby.

Any comments.

I like Harmonn, though some on this forum say hes not great in person (wouldnt know) but today there was a funny incident.

A woman, wrote in to ask Harmonn about the Olympics, and also inocently asked why he hadnt mentioned Haimar Zubeldia.

Harmonn switched at the Zubeldia question saying " Because hes done absolutely nothing, like 150 other riders" and then for the next 5 minutes recited from memory presumably, riders at the Tour whom he also hasnt mentioned

" I havent for example mentioned David Moncoutie, Or Jermome Coppell or Dmitri Fofonov. I havent mentioned Amael Moinard or..." going through at least a dozen riders.

poor woman, just wanted to ask a question, but it was still quite funny.
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Apr 9, 2011
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Benotti69 said:
i value Kelly's opinion and it works very well to dampen the airs and graces of Harmon and Kirby. Kelly also has no ego unlike most other commentators who love to hear their own voice.

I love when Kirby and Harmon go on for a bit agreeing with each other about something likely and Harmon asks Kelly what he thinks - silence and bit of an intake of breath and ´I don´t see it that way .....

good stuff wonder how Harmon, big Maggie and Kelly would go together
i honestly like them.

harmon screaming "common johan!!!!" as JVS entered the velodrome and "johan van summeran is going to win paris roubaix!!!! its magnificent!!!! you absolute star!!!!!!!!!!!!!" as he crossed the line was just prefect imo taking into account the situation of a life long domestique getting the biggest win of his life.

kelly knows his stuff about cycling. he could have a lighter accent and talk more lively but i can deal with the way he is.

kirby has a lot of flaws but the guy at least tries. on the TdS it looked like he had done his research.

then again i only watch british eurosport when i can't watch it on the portuguese one. i must say tho that during the tour the addition of olivier bonnamissi(a french jornalist that has been living in portugal for 15 years) to the 2 portuguese guys does wonders for the commentary. if you watch a full stage without laughing out loud a bunch of times you are something special.
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It's funny when Sean Kelly launches into a massively long sentence talking about something, and he just carries on speaking about it while something important is happening in the race.

I think the British ES guys are good anyway. Hard for them to talk from midday to 4-5pm every day, but they do it well. Kirby is a lot better in this TDF role (adding in random comments and facts etc) than he is commentating.

I don't like Brian Smith, and Duffield is past it now but still nice to hear from sometimes.
Libertine Seguros said:
The problem with watching the Portuguese coverage is that you have to listen to Paulo Martins.

true but i honestly try to block him out of my mind when he is speaking unless he is making fun of olivier's alimentary habits or poor choices on the betting game they do btw the 3( a game where each one of them chooses a rider with 50k to go and at the end of the stage the rider arriving position counts as points, they do this every stage and at the end the one with less points wins) . luis piçarra is a much better commentator then martins and mostly him and oliveir are just fun to listen. i don't need detailed info about the race as i get plenty of it here
I'm starting to like Kelly more as a commentator. I used to think he's boring, but if you really listen to what he says he's usually right and he dampens Harmon's enthusiasm a little, who thinks every break will succeed and every attack will be critical to a race.
Kirby is a brilliant comentator. I feel sorry for him, offers me plenty of material for the forum with his fantasy cycling history eg "theres Joaquim Rodriguez, he did well in the Tour of Flanders" and he gives it his ALL when calling a sprint. He must dope just to keep his lungs going for that long the way he shouts without taking a breath for the last 3k.
Oct 29, 2009
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I admit I rely primarily on versus for coverage as I actually have that network, but I do like the folks at Eurosport. The coverage on versus gives a lot of basic information about racing, like drafting, etc. It's as if they are appealing to a demographic totally unfamiliar with racing. I'd rather they not do that because I'm familar with tactics and cycling in general, but I understand why they do it. I'm sure some appreciate it. Eurosport spend more time talking about the race and conversing. I like that, but on a boring or routine stage, the accents can honestly put me to sleep. I've drifted off a few times only to wake up in the last 200 meters to them yelling :eek:

Edit: I think i can attribute my drifting off to Kelly's trailing off......
Apr 1, 2010
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Today I switch to P&P for nostalgia and it being a sprinters stage.
Thank goodness for David Harmon, Eurosport and the team.
Harmon has vastly improved from a couple of years ago and is now very good at his job.
Even Carlton “No Nothing”Kirby has got better and it’s so obvious he is now doing research as he is now confident pronouncing non anglo riders which in the past he didn’t.
A thumbs up from me. Bravo
Harmon and Kelly are a fantastic balance. As previously mentioned also, Kirby's quite good in his current role. His Stage 5 f*** up aside, Harmon's calling of a sprint is unparalled. There's a 101 things all happening at the same time, but he has a great knack for calling the most relevant piece of action and immediately identifying the rider.
luckyboy said:
It's funny when Sean Kelly launches into a massively long sentence talking about something, and he just carries on speaking about it while something important is happening in the race.

I think the British ES guys are good anyway. Hard for them to talk from midday to 4-5pm every day, but they do it well. Kirby is a lot better in this TDF role (adding in random comments and facts etc) than he is commentating.

I don't like Brian Smith, and Duffield is past it now but still nice to hear from sometimes.

Good point. That is actually what he does best (or rather the only thing he does well).
King Of The Wolds said:
What I love most about Kelly is his ability to start every sentence with, "Well, errrrrmmmmmm, yes...", and somehow manage to pull it off.

omg that is so true its hilarious

best moment tho is l-b-l 2010 on rouche aux faucons.

harmon: "on the middle of your shot on your right hand side the world champion cadel evans, he is super strong we saw it at fleche wallone. on the far left of that shot is alberto contador in the turquoise gritting his teeth because he knows evans is strong . . . i think contador is suffering a little bit actually."

selly: "could"

harmon: "yep, you think?"

kelly: "yes i know we can see his style. . . ."

harmon interrupts: "i know he says." laughs

kelly: "we can see his style he is making a lot of. . . " harmon laughs some more

kelly: "contador is a rider that you know is very agressive and when the likes of phillip gilbert and andy schleck go on the attack if he got it he wouldn't allow them to get away and we can see here" contador attacks "his peddling style contador is suffering. but oh contador on the attack"

harmon: "oh there we go."

makes me laugh every time
May 20, 2010
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Haimar Zubeldia was never mentioned even when he was racking up Top 5 finishes in the Tour. Must be the most media underhyped rider of last 2 decades.

Im forced by geography to listen to Serbian Eurosport commentary for the last 3 years, and before that it was all Harmon&Co for me.

The Serbian guys were absolutely dreadful the first year, one of them an ex semi-pro rider who knows what cycling is about but just doesnt have what it takes to be a commentator, and the other dude a commentator with 0 clue about cycling. I dont need to mention that their rider recognition was next to none.

3 years later, and both of them have improved immensely. You cant call them good yet, but they are getting there slowly. They tell riders apart better then i do myself and they actually make those dull flat sprint stages more manageable with their commentary.

It just takes some research, a little brain and a lot of experience to become an useful cycling commentator.
Mar 10, 2009
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Let me start by saying that there is no way that I could do their jobs, even Kirby's in the dungeon. Their depth of knowledge is impressive. They do make mistakes, yes, but to do what they do for 3+ hours per day in sometimes difficult circumstances I have to take my hat off.

Their attitude to doping cases is exasperating in its apparent or wilful naivety. I don't want them to be like German TV but some more acknowledgment of what is going on and deeper analysis of the circumstances is merited. Their silence is deafening. I can not condone Harmon's response - or lack thereof - to this week's Kolobnev withdrawal. It is disgusting that he brushed it off after several seasons of singing his praises at the faintest sight of the Russian in a break or trying to make a move. I hope that Harmon is thoroughly ashamed of himself.

This is only one example but I don't want to dwell on this outside of the clinic.
Harmon is a hypocritical, xenophobic borderline racist bawbag. His attitude is pretty much 'wogs begin at calais.' Kirby's knowledge of cycling can be written on the back of a very small postage stamp.

Their cheerleading for anglophones is vomit inducing, and their double standards over clinic issues. (The Vino/Valverde LBL commentary).

Harmon thinks that 'emoting' is all he needs to do rather than any preparation. His commentary is basically, look for the Brit, Aussie, American and cheer for them, failing that look for the Sky, RS, BMC, Garmin, HCT rider and cheer lead for them.

He's arrogant, smug and ironically thin skinned when it comes to criticism.

Kelly is great - it is a shame we have to endure Harmon. I'd like ES to have a red button feature so I can mute Harmon and just listen to Kelly.

That said, compared to Duffield who sadly got a bit senile towards the end, and Statler and Waldorf, Harmon is the best of a bad bunch, which is a pretty damning indictment of the quality of cycling commentators.
Jul 24, 2010
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Thought of any examples yet?

Maybe that Paris-Roubaix commentary posted on page 1 is a good example of his "wogs begin at Calais" attitude. Perhaps he thought Johan Vansummeren was from Surrey.
Plenty thanks and I've already given them. As I've said before my opinion is based on having listened to him over a number of years and I don't keep a record of every stupid thing he says because if I did it would be longer than war and peace. If you like Harmon then that's probably because his view and your view of the world chime together nicely.

PR is a good example of him thinking emotion is more important than calling the race action.

However, I will credit him where this style was beneficial and where he did a mostly good job and this was on the Stage 4 of the Giro, although he blotted his copybook there with some fairly crass comments about DDL when it was neither then time or the place.
Jul 24, 2010
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Oh I see. So his emoting overrides his racism. Gotcha.

You came up with zero examples the last time you trotted out this drivel, and shock horror you'll come up with zero examples this time.

It's funny how often you bring out the "wogs being at Calais" line. I can only begin to imagine how excited you must have got when you realised there was a new thread for you to use it in. Maybe as excited as when you realise you'll get to make the oh so cutting "but I thought Anglo riders don't dope" line for the billionth time today.