The Vuelta a España isn’t just a test of physical prowess – it’s a dynamic theater, where the drama of cycling unfolds amidst Spain’s magnificent landscapes.
And guiding us through these riveting tales of grit, strategy, and wheel-to-wheel action are the commentators who breathe life into the race with their insights, anecdotes, and keen observations.
Whether you’re a seasoned cycling aficionado or a newcomer captivated by the allure of the peloton, knowing the voices behind the commentary can enrich your viewing experience.
In this article, we journey across networks and borders, introducing you to the broadcasters and their star-studded Vuelta a España commentators for 2023.
We’ll be covering:
- USA: NBC Sports
- Europe & UK: Eurosport & GCN
- Australia: SBS
- Canada: Flobikes.com
- Spain: RTVE
Let’s dive in!
USA: NBC Sports
NBC Sports is undeniably a heavyweight when it comes to sports broadcasting in the United States. For the Vuelta a España, NBC Sports holds exclusive rights, meaning they are the primary source for cycling fans across the country.
Accessibility is their strong suit. The event is telecast live on the NBC Sports network, but there’s more to their coverage than just traditional TV.
They also offer streaming options on NBCSports.com/live, ensuring that even those on the go, or without a cable subscription, don’t miss out. And for the tech-savvy, the NBC Sports Gold app is a godsend.
Available for both iOS and Android devices, the app delivers live streaming, highlights, and even on-demand replays. So whether you’re on your morning commute, at the gym, or lounging at home, La Vuelta is just a click away.
Think about those people whose voices are so distinctive, you’d recognize them in a bustling crowd. Phil Liggett is one of them. His commentary has been the soundtrack to many iconic cycling moments over the decades.
It’s not just his voice, though, but his vast knowledge and genuine passion that have cemented his place as the “voice of cycling”. Liggett has the uncanny ability to paint vivid images with words, making viewers feel they’re right there, in the midst of the peloton.
Fans are still adjusting to the tragic loss of Liggett’s long-time co-commentator Paul Sherwen, who 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.
To those new to the sport, “Bobke” Roll‘s insights might seem like revelations. To seasoned fans, they’re akin to the wise words of an old friend. Roll, a former professional cyclist himself, brings a wealth of experience to the table.
His role isn’t just to comment on the race, but to dissect it, analyze strategies, delve deep into the psyche of the riders, and bring out nuances that might escape the casual viewer.
And all this with an enthusiasm that’s downright infectious!
Steve Porino and Christian Vande Velde
The dynamic duo responsible for on-site reporting provides real-time updates and behind-the-scenes snippets. Porino, with his razor-sharp observational skills, often picks up details many might miss.
And Vande Velde? He’s not just any reporter. As a former pro-cyclist, he has raced with some of the participants, providing a unique perspective. His insights are often punctuated with personal anecdotes.
Together, they ensure that viewers are always in the thick of things, come rain, shine, or mountainous terrains.
Europe & UK: Eurosport & GCN
Eurosport stands tall as one of Europe’s premier channels, beaming high-octane sports action into countless living rooms. For cycling enthusiasts, Eurosport has been a constant companion, offering in-depth coverage of the Grand Tours, among many other events.
Their collaboration with GCN, the Global Cycling Network, is like mixing a vintage wine with a dash of modern flair.
While Eurosport brings decades of broadcasting experience, GCN adds a fresh, digital-age touch with its vast online presence and young audience.
Their joint venture ensures that the Vuelta a España 2023 reaches not only the television viewers but also the growing online community.
Viewers can access the race both via Eurosport’s traditional TV channels and its digital platform, Eurosport Player.
On the other hand, GCN offers live streams and extensive post-race analysis on its mobile app and website, catering to the digitally-savvy viewer who prefers on-the-go updates.
With his impressive tally of wins, including classics and stage races, Kelly has been there, done that. But what makes him a treat to listen to isn’t just his accolades; it’s the wisdom he brings from years on the saddle.
Imagine being able to convey the excitement of a sprint finish in not one, but multiple languages?
That’s Rob Hatch for you.
Hatch’s commentary often feels like a friend explaining the nuances of a race, making sure you don’t miss out on any detail.
With a voice that’s instantly recognizable, Declan Quigley brings warmth to the commentary box.
His rich history in broadcasting major races means he’s seen it all, from dramatic mountain finishes to nail-biting time trials.
Transitioning from professional racing to commentary isn’t easy, but Dan Lloyd makes it seem so. His years with GCN have honed his skills in front of the camera.
With a style that’s as unique as his racing career, Blythe brings a touch of modernity.
An Australian sprinting legend, McEwen‘s move to Europe for commentary has been a blessing for fans.
His keen understanding of race finishes, combined with tales from his illustrious career, adds layers to any race he’s commentating on.
For years, SBS has been the hub for international sports, often acting as the bridge connecting Australians to the rest of the sporting world. Their acquisition of the rights to broadcast the Vuelta a España is a feather in their already decorated cap.
For cycling enthusiasts down under, SBS On Demand is a veritable treasure trove. Beyond just live streams, it offers a rich blend of highlights, interviews, and analysis. What’s more, it’s all free!
A point to note, however, is the regional limitation.
Due to licensing rights, only Australians can access this online service. But for those in the Land Down Under, it’s like having a front-row seat to all the action.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to have an encyclopedic brain focused solely on cycling, just listen to Matthew Keenan. His vast reservoir of knowledge, from team strategies to historical contexts, is simply awe-inspiring.
Keenan’s 16 years of commentary, especially his stellar work during the Tour de France, are well-recognized globally. But it’s not just the facts and figures that make him special; it’s how he presents them.
His commentary often feels like a story, complete with drama, suspense, and those little emotional beats that keep listeners hooked.
Dr. Bridie O’Donnell
To label Dr. Bridie O’Donnell merely as a ‘commentator’ would be doing her a disservice. Her journey, from valedictorian at the University of Queensland Medical School to a world record-breaking cyclist, is the stuff of legends.
Her experience in Ironman triathlon, professional cycling, and her stint as the inaugural Head of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation lends a unique depth to her commentary.
His illustrious career speaks volumes of his prowess, but what truly stands out is his ability to connect with the audience. He understands the sport, the strategies, the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens.
This deep understanding comes from years of competing at the pinnacle of the sport, from Milan-San Remo to the Tour de France.
Flobikes.com has emerged as the digital beacon for cycling aficionados in Canada. The platform’s uniqueness lies in its dedicated focus on the world of cycling, transcending the barriers of traditional broadcasting.
This online domain offers fans access not just to live races, but an extensive library of replays, interviews, and analytical breakdowns.
Their acquisition of the rights to broadcast the Vuelta a España further solidifies their reputation as the go-to hub for cycling in Canada.
When it comes to accessibility, Flobikes.com offers a subscription-based model. But this isn’t just any subscription; it’s a ticket to a realm of exhaustive cycling content. Be it the Classics, the Grand Tours, or the World Championships, subscribers have an all-access pass.
Plus, the platform’s adaptability allows for streaming on multiple devices, ensuring that fans never miss a beat, even on the move.
Ever listened to a commentator and thought, “Wow, this person truly lives and breathes the sport”? That’s the kind of aura Anthony McCrossan exudes.
With over two decades of cycling commentary, McCrossan’s voice is synonymous with many iconic moments in recent cycling history.
His ability to bring out the intricate details, combined with his palpable excitement, can make even the most mundane moments seem electrifying. What sets him apart?
Perhaps it’s his knack for understanding the heartbeat of a race, or maybe it’s the countless hours he’s spent interacting with teams, riders, and organizers.
Unfortunately, illness has ruled Anthony McCrossan out for much of the 2023 Vuelta as of Stage 4.
The British former national champion has formed a great commentating partnership with Anthony McCrossan over the past few years, lending her voice to coverage of Grand Tours and Monument races across several channels, including GCN/Eurosport.
With regular co-commentator McCrossan laid low by illness early in this Vuelta, Walker has stepped up confidently to handle the increased responsibility.
When a former pro cyclist grabs the mic, you can expect insights that are both deep and textured. Nicolas Roche brings to the commentary booth what very few can: the lived experience of a professional racer.
Son of the legendary Stephen Roche, who won the Triple Crown of cycling, Nicolas was seemingly destined for the sport. His commentary is like having a seasoned rider whispering race secrets in your ear.
He understands the tactics, the team dynamics, the physical exertion, and the mental games. It’s this unique perspective, shaped by years of racing across terrains, that makes his observations invaluable.
As Spain’s national public broadcaster, RTVE (Radio Televisión Española) holds a special place in the heart of the Vuelta a España. After all, the race unfolds on Spanish soil, weaving through its picturesque landscapes and challenging terrains.
With exclusive broadcasting rights for the home nation, RTVE ensures that the Spanish population doesn’t miss a pedal stroke of this grand event.
Viewers can tune into La 1 or Teledeporte, RTVE’s main channels, to catch live action and daily highlights. Additionally, the broadcaster provides streaming via its online platform RTVE Play, a boon for those who prefer to watch on their computers or mobile devices.
A unique feature is the incorporation of regional flavors with localized commentary in various autonomous regions of Spain, ensuring that the Vuelta feels personal to each viewer, no matter where they reside.
Carlos de Andrés
For many in Spain, Carlos de Andrés is synonymous with cycling commentary. Having lent his voice to countless editions of the Vuelta, de Andrés brings a depth of experience that few can rival.
His ability to narrate the ebb and flow of the race, intertwined with historical and cultural anecdotes of the Spanish regions the race passes through, makes for a captivating listening experience.
His familiarity with the race, its key riders, and the undulating Spanish terrains allows for insights that resonate deeply with both seasoned and novice cycling enthusiasts.
A name that needs little introduction, Pedro “Perico” Delgado is not just a commentator; he’s a former champion of both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
When Delgado speaks, it comes from a place of firsthand experience, having been in the very peloton he now describes.
Whether explaining the tactical nuances of a mountain stage or reminiscing about his own battles against the clock, Delgado adds layers of richness to the Vuelta’s narrative.
Now you know about the Vuelta a España Commentators 2023…
From the vibrant terrains of Spain to the comfort of our living rooms, the thrill of the Vuelta a España is amplified by the passionate commentators who guide us through every twist, turn, and triumphant sprint.
Their narratives add color, depth, and excitement to every pedal stroke, making each stage memorable.
Now that you know who’s who behind the microphone, we’re curious: Where in the world are you cheering from? Which channel will you be tuning into? Do you have a favorite commentator whose voice instantly brings back memories of legendary cycling moments?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
P.S. While it has been possible to verify the various broadcasters, not all of the commentators mentioned in this article have confirmed their participation in the Vuelta yet. So, we based our understanding on their participation in races from earlier this year and last year’s Vuelta.