The cycling world can claim to have a few legends of the sport over the years, guys like Merckx, Lemond, Coppi, Pantani, Indurain and Hinault.
But there’s one man for English speaking fans that isn’t a cyclist but still up there as a living legend. He has for decades brought cycling fans the excitement and passion of the sport to our homes on a regular basis. His voice is synonymous with the cycling world and if you’ve watched any of the major cycling events on English networks then you will know who I am talking about; Mr Phil Ligget.
I remember as a kid watching him on the channel 4 and their coverage of Le Tour de France. Those three weeks in July was pretty much the only TV coverage of cycling the British public had access to.
Obviously since then cycling has become more popular and the ability to stream live images all over the world means that it has gained more air time. You can pretty much catch World Tour cycling races on a channel somewhere or live stream it from the web. For certain races you are still able to hear the tones of Phil Ligget describing what’s happening, what the areas famous for and how good the local food is.
I was lucky enough to catch Phil at the Mitchetons Bay Cycling Classic in Australia, the cycling season opener. He was there to commentate on the Elite men’s and Women’s race, and then he was heading off for his first pro race TV gig of the year at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. I was excited not only to meet someone I have been hearing over the airways for years but also to get his perspective on racing in Australia.
So here we have it then, one of my first interviews of the season. I introduce to you Mr Phil Ligget.