David Duffield Facts and Figures

Here are some things we have learnt about David over the years.

He was born 20th May 1931. (Send him a birthday card via www.eurosport.com!)

He rode a trike very fast. He even held a lot of British Records for trike racing.

He enjoys food more than the average person! Every region he goes to he has to try the local delicacies. At the TDF 2000 one of dishes he tucked into was Prunes, much to Russell’s disappointment in the car the next day!

His idol was Fausto Coppi.

He is a big fan of 007.

He has received the FT Bidlake trophy which is normally awarded to outstanding cycling athletes but was awarded to David Duffield  “in recognition of his unique ability in the promotion of cycle sport through his television commentaries of international cycle racing”.

His first cycling club was the Beacon RCC. He was even in a skiffle group with some of the other members. (Does your club have a skiffle group? Email us about it!)

David played guitar but the group also had a “tea chest bass”.

He has size 12 feet. As he often reminds us…

His favourite song is Candle in the Wind.

He doesn’t have time for holidays but does get to go all around the world with Eurosport starting with Australia at the Tour Down Under at the beginning of the year via all the classics and major tours in Europe through to the World Championships.

He still goes out training on the bike when he gets the chance and manages a bit of running.

He went on the Critical Mass bike ride in Sydney when he was there for the Olympics and thought it was good.

His favourite drink is Whiskey and Perrier but he seems to like wine as he gets to tell us what wine region he is in wherever he is on the tour.

His favourite race is Paris – Roubaix.

He likes cats so much that his female fans often send him pictures of their pussies when ever they write to him.

He loves his chips to be covered in mayonnaise. When in Belgium do as the Belgians do…

He likes it when the Tour goes to Bordeaux. Not because of the exciting sprints that Bordeaux lends itself to but because of the mussels!

He has previously worked in advertising, worked for the British Cycle Corporation, Alex Moulton, Raleigh, Halfords, Falcon-Claud Butler, Pashley, Muddy Fox and also commentated at the finish of events such as the Milk Race.

David helped launch BMX in this country and had something to do with the introducing the Raleigh Chopper.

David is against cyclists using performance enhancing drugs. On EPO he says that “it thickens your blood like strawberry jam…which can stop your heart beating when you are asleep…and if you are not careful in the morning you could wake up dead.”

On the Tour de France David once put petrol into his diesel car and as a result couldn’t make it to the commentary box when the engine seized up. To get out of this pickle he  had to commentate over the phone from his hotel room whilst watching the race on  TV.

Surprisingly David has only ever fallen off his chair once while commentating. In the 1989 TdF the final stage in Paris was a time trial. Greg Lemond beat the French favourite Laurent Fignon by just 8 seconds to snatch the yellow jersey and ulimate victory. When the times were announced as Fignon crossed the line DD fell off the back of his chair and the commentary went quiet for a bit before he composed himself and came back on air.

David likes cheese. Infact he likes it so much he will try just about any type of cheese despite how bad it initially smells. He once bought some cheese that the cheesemonger in Bath recommended to him that smelt incredibly bad. At the time David drove a mini (somehow due to his link with Moulton, but that’s another story) and the smell of the cheese was so strong that he couldn’t carry the cheese in the car lest it stunk it out. Instead he managed to tie the cheese to the mini’s roofrack and drive home with the cheese on the roof.

Tour of Romandy Update

During the 2001 Tour of Romandy David started the programme by talking about all the things that got sent to him recently and mentioned this website! Fame at last for Addiscombe we thought as he spoke about our club and our erstwhile man behind the scenes, friend of Duffield and RRA boss – Eddie Munday! But there was more as David then gave out the web address of the Agreeable World and in true Duffield style got it a bit jumbled up. It was only fitting really. He then went on to mention our list of things about him and then he specifically mentioned about his female fans sending him pictures of their pussies and how he likes to look at them while he is working. All around Europe there must have been avid Duffield fans trying to get the gist of exactly what he was talking about. We will have an audio sample here soon of that bit of the commentary as soon as we work out how to connect the video to the 33k modem but we can assure you it was vintage Duffield at his best. “Chapeau David” as you would say!


Giro 2001 Update – How Dave got into cycling

Back in 1951 on the 3rd June whilst serving in the army with his pal Mike David Duffield watched his first ever Giro stage finish at Trieste. 50 years later whilst commentating at the Giro in 2001 DD recounted on TV how he and his pal were furnished with a pair of Bianchi bikes while they were serving and had plenty of time to ride when they were not guarding “the fractous border”.
Dave recounted how it was his friend Mike who was in the Evesham Wheelers got him into cycling and if it wasn’t for him DD wouldn’t be where he is now. Dave’s voice then began to waiver a bit as he said how Mike was taken by Cancer and is no longer with us and then he dedicated the days programme to his pal before breaking off from the commentary for an unusually long time. A touching moment really as you think of all the great things DD has done in the past 50 years and all down to his old pal Mike. In true professional commentary Dave had cleared his throat and was back informing us of the race coverage in no time. What a star and a sweetie!


Eurosport Commentators David Duffield Russell Williams

David Duffield – The Greatest Cycling Commentator of All Time

Summer just wouldn’t be the same without the three week insight into Le Grande Boucle that David Duffield provides us with. Every day he can be heard on the television for up to 7 hours a day commentating for Eurosport on the Tour de France without a break. Very often he is assisted by either his nemesis Russell Williams or his hero Sean Kelly but he will always have more to say than his co-commentator and very often he says it at the wrong time. How many times have we shouted at the screen when David is hunting out obscure facts from the 1950s:

“Dave , the break! ”
“Dave , look , Pantani has blown!”
“Dave,  fer chrisakes tell us what is going on.”

Only for David to tell us that “Aah , something is going on here….” which we guessed might have been the case already.

For those of you who have never come across David before, this might sound off-putting, but have you ever considered how difficult it is to commentate non stop for 7 hours whilst sitting in a windy gantry at the top of an Alpine mountain, trying to find the apple that was going to sustain you throughout the rest of the day which has just dropped on the floor and rolled under the desk of your German colleagues? No, I bet you hadn’t but these are the sort of things that David has to get through every time there is cycling on the television.

We are very lucky to have someone of David’s calibre entering into our homes bringing us the latest news from the peloton. Sure he gets it wrong from time to time but you get used to it and you admire the way he gets himself out a pickle in the same way Will Hay would always come out on top against  heavily stacked odds. We need characters like David; motor racing has Murray, boxing had Harry , cricket had Johnners, football has Motty and thankfully cycling has Duffers.

With this in mind we would like to dedicate a small part of our Agreeable World to David Duffield.

“Hats off to you David!” or “Chapeaux” as you frequently say.

If you have got any more info on David we would love to add it to our list. Likewise we would like you to send us any Duffield speak that you hear on Eurosport.

The Original Duffieldisms

Some of David’s common sayings include:

Duffer’s speak English
“Tail end Charlies” Riders struggling at the back of the peloton
” He will be licking his lips” Looking forward in anticipation (to the climbs/sprint /TT etc)
“Turn your granny to the wall” The riders will be descending a treacherous Alpine road at over 80 kph. It will be too scary for your grandmother to watch.
“He goes round corners like a fifty pence piece” Description of Jan Ulrich’s ragged cornering style
“Raining cats and dogs” Above average rainfall for this time of year
“Going full bore out” Traveling at top Speed
“Cheeky little chappie” Rider of restricted height who keeps  trying to get away from the peloton. Often Spanish or Italian.
“Come a box of tricks” Have an accident and end up on the floor. Often while descending or sprinting.
“Er…” Frequently uttered timefiller on long flat stages.
“Riding himself to a standstill” Riding so hard he will not be able to sustain it.
“Face as long as a fiddle” Unhappy looking rider. Often the day after he has “Come a box of tricks”
“On the rivet” Sitting right over the front of the saddle whilst riding as fast as is possible.
“After doing the thick end of …(fifty)..miles” After riding …(fifty).. miles
“The man with the hammer has got him” The rider is so fatigued he can barely continue.
“The hammer’s gone down” There has been an increase in speed
“Riding himself into a frazzle” Riding very hard
“Hang on to your hats” Watch carefully.
“Rough end of a ragman’s trumpet” No translation available. Suggestions please.
“Its all over bar the shouting” The race is already decided
“Its not over till the fat lady sings” The race could be won by anyone. Often uttered five minutes after “Its all over bar the shouting”
“Ripped this thing to pieces” A rider is making life very difficult for other riders in the peloton
“Hanging on for grim death” A rider is struggling to maintain the pace of the other riders
“Put the cat amongst the pigeons” An attack has happened that will illicit a strong response
“Go absolutely bananas” Get very excited
“Lying a bit doggo” A rider is very tired in the peloton or break. From “dog tired”.
“A gnat’s whisker away” Very close. Often in a sprint when a photo finish is required. 
“Its about as useful as a chocolate chainring” Its not very useful at all.
“It’s a bit dark over Bill’s mother’s”  The weather over there looks a bit ominous
“He’s gone all around the Wrekin” He’s taken the long way around [the roundabout.
“It might blow the valves in your television set!” Turn the volume on your TV down as the commentary is going to be very loud and excited
“He had the toilet two steps in no uncertain terms” He has been suffering from gastroenteritis. In this instance referring to Francesco Casagrande in the TdF2001
“It must feel like he’s been hit with a shovel” The rider out in front on the climb has been overtaken rather quickly by the chasers
“He’s at the bottom of the barrel” The rider is now very fatigued
“He’s like a fisherman reeling in his salmon” The rider is passing other riders who were ahead and catching them one at a time. (Whilst they are probably being hit with a shovel. And at the bottom of the barrel.)
“There are 21 stages in the race and 21 teams. Each team will win a stage except some which will win more” There are a lot of teams and a lot of stages which will be hotly contested.
“Come down the finishing straight like a dose of salts” Traveling at high speed approaching the final sprint.
“Its not all beer and skittles by any means” The racing at the moment is so hard it can’t be enjoyable for the riders.
“They’re a chirpy little lot, like Kelme used to be” The team are well suited to climbing in the high mountains and instigate a large number of attacks.
“Mike Smith in Paris, I need to see a man about a dog!” Mike Smith, please can you cover for me on this long stage as I need to pop to the toilet!
“He’s come out of there like a cork from a bottle”  A rider has launched a devastating attack and left the peloton behind.
“He’s shot his bolt and gone out the back” The rider has pushed himself too soon and is now getting left behind
“Sackcloth and ashes” I apologise for an earlier mistake I may have made
“Time for a quick sherbert” Time for a quick drink

Thanks to Simon Davies for the sharing his favorite Duffieldisms (TM)

(yes we did indeed invent that term!)