Eurosport commentary

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So Jens Voigt works as a Co-Commentator for German Eurosport now, and he's doing it in a particular way. He explains EVERYTHING. So someone who only watches one race in ten years can understand what's going on. I was really irritated and annoyed in the beginning, but he was growing on me during today's stage. Have to listen more to make a final judgement, but he's nice towards all the riders and does not support the German riders more than the other ones, so that's definitely a plus.

But one thought I had during his commentating: There should be diffent levels of commentation and you should be able to chose in the player: for beginners, standard, advanced.
This does make sense, unfortunately it's something that just comes with the Tour and you'll have to grin and bear it. If he's still doing this when he's commentating on the Tour du Haut-Var or the Binck Bank Tour or the Ruta del Sol, then it will be absolutely excruciating. But the very fact that the Tour de France has such currency to a lot of casual fans means there will be a lot of novice cycling fans. Many of whom don't need it dumbed down that much and can pick it up themselves given time, but many of whom will need a primer in the basics.

I mean, on this forum in the 2010 Giro we had a host of newbie Australian fans who were apoplectic that Ivan Basso wasn't being accused of wheelsucking on the Monte Grappa stage, because he didn't help Evans and Scarponi chase Nibali, and this was evidence of the forum's clear anti-Evans bias. This rage only worsened when Basso sprinted away for 2nd to steal bonus seconds from them after doing no work. But this was elementary cycling tactics that anybody who knows the sport would not just tolerate but expect. In fact, had Basso done anything else he would rightly have been pilloried for his stupidity. And of course, the following day, Basso, fresher than the other GC men because of having got the free ride not chasing his teammate, was strongest on the Zoncolan MTF. But because of the almost unique status of cycling as all three of a pack, a team and an individual sport, some of these nuances were lost on newcomers.

This is the kind of thing that is meant. Do I need to hear Phil and (formerly) Paul tell me about little petrol engines and big diesel engines for the eleven thousandth time? Of course not. But the sport also will not generate new fans if they aren't given the opportunity to learn. The Tour, for better or for worse, frequently the latter, is the hook that brings most people to the table for their first meal of the sport, and attracts a larger casual audience. Once you know the basics, you really can't learn much from Phil Liggett compared to Séan Kelly, but Séan's dry delivery, heavy accent and willingness to talk over the action with technical issues and complex discussions of tech and the like could be off-putting to a novice fan, especially one that doesn't know what a coup having somebody as legendary as Kelly in the commentary booth is.
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