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Voice of cycling to be heard less at Tour

Famous British cycling commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen will have diminished roles in this year's SBS Tour de France coverage.

Voice of cycling to be heard less at Tour

Famous British cycling commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen will have diminished roles in this year's SBS Tour de France coverage.

Famous commentator Phil Liggett, nicknamed the Voice Of Cycling, will be heard much less in this year's Tour de France coverage.

SBS has revealed a significant overhaul of its coverage for the July 1-23 race, in which Richie Porte will try to become only the second Australian champion.


Liggett and his long-time sidekick Paul Sherwen will still be involved in the SBS cover, but not in the blow-by-blow commentary.


"Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen will feature as guests in SBS's coverage during the Tour contributing analysis and insights," SBS said in a media release.

Liggett and Sherwen have fronted the Tour coverage since SBS started broadcasting highlights in 1991.

What started as daily 30-minute highlights packages was a key factor in Australia's ongoing cycling boom.

The Tour now has massive coverage in Australia.

While Liggett and Sherwen are hugely popular in the sport, over the past few years, they have also polarised opinion and some fans have called for new commentators.

The British pair will continue to front the American NBC coverage of the Tour.

But their diminished roles mean a massive opportunity for Australian pair Matthew Keenan and Robbie McEwen.

Keenan and McEwen, the former sprint ace, will front the SBS commentary from start to finish of each stage.

The two Australians will also have new roles as commentators for the Tour's English-language international broadcast feed.

"I'm pinching myself ... Phil is an iconic figure in sports broadcasting," Keenan told AAP.

"You don't try to replace him - you can't."

Keenan has called cycling for several years and McEwen has proved a natural as an expert commentator since retiring five years ago from pro cycling.


AAP



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