Tour de France Commentators 2023: Channel-By-Channel, Nation-By-Nation

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reviewed by Rory McAllister
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It is almost that time of the year where we surrender three weeks of our lives to plonk ourselves in front of the TV and let the Tour de France wash over us.

The dishes will pile up, the garden fence will remain unpainted, and the garden will start to resemble a rainforest, but these are the sacrifices we have to make.

Helping us through these three weeks is a Phalanx of Tour de France commentators. They guide us through the race, explain the team tactics, and shower us with knowledge of France, its history, and its mountains.

With the 110th edition of the most famous bike race just around the corner, this is your guide to the Tour de France announcers keeping us company as we travel with the riders through France.

We’ll be covering:

  • United States (NBC): Phil Liggett & Bob Roll
  • United Kingdom (ITV): Ned Boulting & David Millar
  • United Kingdom (Eurosport/GCN): Carlton Kirby, Rob Hatch, Dan Llyod & Matt Stephens
  • Australia (SBS): Matthew Keenan & Dr. Bridie O’Donnell
  • France (France Télévisions): Alexandre Pasteur

Read on to find out who you will listen to as the expected duel between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar heats up.

Tour de France Commentators: Title Image

United States: NBC Tour de France Commentators

Phil Liggett

You don’t get the title “The Voice of Cycling” by accident. Phil Liggett has earned that title by reporting on 44 years of the Tour de France.

Having spent that much time around the sport, Phil Liggett is armed with a practically inexhaustible supply of anecdotes and is undeniably the most legendary Tour de France commentator of all time.

The Englishman is able to deftly weave stories and insight to pass the time as the riders coast through the flat, transitional stages of the Tour de France.

Liggett can legitimately claim to be one of the main reasons some 400,000 viewers tune into NBC during July. His “Liggettisms” are legendary as he tries to find a way to make sense of the action (or lack thereof) on the road.

As the landscape of the sport shifts to stay relevant and with a long shadow of systemic doping, Liggett has remained a comforting, constant presence behind the mic.

His work in journalism has earned him an MBE, a sure sign of a safe pair of hands.

However, fans are still adjusting to the tragic loss of Liggett’s long-time co-commentator Paul Sherwen, who tragically passed away in 2018.

Together Liggett and Sherwen formed a legendary duo, becoming one of the longest-standing and best-loved commentary duos in sports history across three decades.

Bob Roll

Paul Sherwen left massive boots to fill, and the task was left to Bob Roll to take over as Liggett’s co-commentator.

Known as “Bobke” in the cycling world, Roll now sits in the chair beside Liggett and uses his experience of riding the Tour de France to round out Phil’s encyclopedic knowledge of the sport.

Sherwin is a tough act to follow, for many one of the defining voices of the sport who helped to make this utterly bonkers sport accessible to both cycling fans and viewers who just tuned in to bathe in the French countryside.

Bob knows this and doesn’t try to emulate Sherwin but has developed his own voice to bring a different cadence to the commentary.

United Kingdom: ITV

Ned Boulting

Journalist Ned Boulting helms the free-to-air coverage of the Tour de France on ITV for viewers in the United Kingdom.

Ned’s journey at the Tour de France started as an ITV reporter in 2003 before graduating to commentary duties in 2015. What he lacks in professional cycling experience, he makes up for with an inimitable knowledge of the sport and its many twists and turns through the years.

He has written several books on cycling, mostly focused on the Tour de France, and somehow finds the time to co-host a podcast, Streets Ahead, dedicated to active travel and improved urban design.

David Millar

Rounding out the ITV commentary team at the Tour is ex-pro (and fellow Scot) David Millar.

Millar was the first British rider to wear all three Grand Tour jerseys and won five stages of the Tour de France in the days before British cyclists regularly traveled across the Channel.

This was also an era when doping was rife in the pro-peloton, and Millar was no exception.

He is outspoken on all matters anti-doping these days and adds real gravitas to the ITV commentary team. His real skill is being able to get inside the minds of the riders on the screen and demystify the tactical battles fought on the road.

United Kingdom: Eurosport/GCN

Since 2020, the GCN and Eurosport coverage of the Tour de France has merged to bring perhaps the most comprehensive coverage of the race. The merger brings together a mix of old and new faces to front the coverage.

The main Tour de France commentators across the Eurosport and GCN multiverse tend to rotate between the Eurosport old guard of Carlton Kirby and Rob Hatch and the GCN upstarts of Dan Llyod and Matt Stephens.

Carlton Kirby

Carlton Kirby is a master at filling in the time during those long (dare we say boring) flat stages of the Tour.

With 25 years of commentating in the field, he knows his way around the Tour de France and has plenty of interesting facts in his arsenal.

Rob Hatch

Carlton is typically joined at the helm by long-time Eurosport stalwart Rob Hatch.

Rob’s main role is to dissect the action on the road as it kicks off and help viewers to understand the sometimes impenetrable team tactics.

He is also notorious in the cycling world for his eccentric pronunciation of some of the riders’ names and is constantly scrutinized by the pronunciation police. In fairness, he is only putting his skills as a languages graduate to good use!

Daniel Lloyd

Dan Lloyd was one of the original presenters of GCN when it was just a fledgling YouTube channel on a mission to get under the bonnet of pro cycling and ultimately get more people into the sport and on their bikes.

Having competed at the highest level in the sport, he brings an air of authority but also a genuine deep love of the sport.

Matt Stephens

Matt Stephens is another original GCN alumnus who cares deeply about the sport. He is a former British champion and was something of a maverick during his professional days, where he mixed a regular job with bike racing.

His research shines through when he is on commentary duties, but you also get the feeling that he is able to see the sublime and the ridiculous in the sport of cycling. His sense of humor keeps things ticking along smoothly before the day’s action really begins.

Australia: SBS

The national broadcaster SBS provides live coverage of the Tour de France to fans Down Under.

Matthew Keenan

Like most anchors, Matthew Keenan has an encyclopedic knowledge of the world of cycling and a deft touch at explaining the intricacies of a sometimes-complex sport to a broad audience.

As most young, amateur cyclists do, Keenan dreamed of competing in the Tour de France, but never made it. Instead, he found his way to the Tour through commentating, and 16 years later you can still hear and feel the respect he has for this great race.

Dr. Bridie O’Donnell

Helping Matthew add color to proceedings is Dr. Bridie O’Donnell, a real legend of the sporting world and a welcome female voice in a male-dominated industry (women ride bikes too after all).

Something of a polymath, Dr. O’Donnell has done it all. She only started cycling seriously after graduating top of the class in Medical School and then competing in Ironman competitions.

From there her focus switched to cycling where in quick succession she became the Australian national time trial champion and rode for trade teams in Europe and the US.

Oh, and she also broke the UCI Hour World Record in 2016.

Best of The Rest of the world


Anyone who has binged on the latest Netflix series Tour de France: Unchained will know that the racing and the vistas are approximately 3.7 times better when accompanied by a cultured and lyrical French Tour de France commentator.

For those looking for a more authentic taste of the Tour de France then look no further than Alexandre Pasteur, lead presenter on France Télévisions coverage.

You could even try to convince your partner that rather than wasting time in front of the TV for three weeks, you are hoping to learn French through osmosis.

Even if your French has not progressed beyond your high school lessons, Pasteur provides a fitting soundtrack to the action.

You can sense his optimism at the thought of a much overdue homegrown winner – and then his inevitable disappointment when they crack in the Alps.

Your Thoughts

The main beasts in this list are accompanied throughout the Tour by a shifting cast of ex-pros and cycling legends to add color to proceedings and to give their voices a break.

Let us know your favorite Tour de France commentators (or the ones you are forced to mute) and any we have missed off this list in the comments below!

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David rediscovered his love of two wheels and Lycra on an epic yet rainy multi-day cycle across Scotland's Western Isles. The experience led him to write a book about the adventure, "The Pull of the Bike", and David hasn't looked back since. Something of an expert in balancing cycling and running with family life, David can usually be found battling the North Sea winds and rolling hills of Aberdeenshire, but sometimes gets to experience cycling without leg warmers in the mountains of Europe. David mistakenly thought that his background in aero-mechanical engineering would give him access to marginal gains. Instead it gave him an inflated and dangerous sense of being able to fix things on the bike.

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