La Vuelta 2001 Update

Well, its been a long time since I last updated although a steady stream of Duffield appreciation email has been coming in. He certainly had a lot to talk about in the first week of La Vuelta with David Millar winning both the opening time trial and a road stage breakaway. The images on screen of Millar’s victories were greatly enhanced by Duffield’s overflowing enthusiasm and made for classic programming. Sitting here at the moment typing up these pages I’m listening to DD commentating on a quiet Spanish stage and he’s telling us about the tart he had last night! The mind boggles. Anyway on with your emails:

From: David
Subject: A duffers moment

Hello to all in sunny Surrey from the People’s Republic of South Yorkshire.

A favourite Duffers moment was when he was sharing the job with Stephen Roche on, as I remember, the TdF. Duffers made some reference in an awful “Irish” accent to Stephen living in “Cark”. Stephen came back with “we call it Cork, David”. Needless to say Duffers wasn’t fazed at all!

All those who complain about our friend should be exposed to the media droids who populate US motor sport.

BFN David

You are so right about the other media droids. Our American friends who watch OLN have bought this up and we dread the day Eurosport goes down the same route. Too many commentators are worried about sticking their necks out and tend to adhere to the lowest common denominator formula. I guess that’s why DD is so popular amongst cyclists that don’t want to accept the norm.

From: Tony
Subject: Duff in Beacon garb

Hi guys, thought you may want to see David in his true Beacon RCC colours (note the added Eurosport patch, and the arm on the saddle of a Moulton steed).

We have a guy in the Beacon who comes from “Kelly Country” and whose folks are neighbours of the great man – he’s been over there recently and says they get over 100 riders on the local clubrun. Sean K. recognised the Beacon jersey! We have some old press records of Duff in record breaking mode, if I can lay my hands on some I’ll relay them if you’re interested.


Tony Beacon RCC webmaster

Thanks Tony. I think I speak for everybody when I say we would all love to read any info you have in your club archives on DDs exploits. The Beacon website is very interesting as well!

From: Simon
Subject: Duffers

Heard during the Tour, on a wet day…

‘It’s big, it’s wet and it’s falling from the sky’

Simon, VC Etoile.

Thank you!

From: Gary, Sweeden
Subject: DD Classic

Hey you guys, you missed one.
“One” I hear you say, “but there are thousands.”
Well ok, but the one I am referring to is the famous “Kojak Duffieldism”.

A few years ago and on an uneventfull stage of the tdf and with Pantani in yellow DD was remarking about how Americans could now follow the tdf on ESPN. He then went on to say that they call Pantani the Kojak of the peleton and now that Americans are watching that it was possible that Kojak himself was tuned in. Unfortunately, Kojak himself, Telly Savalis had died a few months before.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a great fan of DD and owe my interest in professional cycling to him. I am an avid rider, cycling up to 1000 miles a month in the summer. When I emmigrated to Sweden and started cycling at the age of 27 in 1988 I knew nothing of cycling. Having grown up like most lads in England I was football crazy and no other sport mattered except once every four years when the Olympics came along and the whole country united behind our sportsmen who all too often failed.

Well, in the summers of 89 and 90 I watched some stages of the tdf on Eurosport and found DD’s insight into cycling and everything else do suit both my new found cycling interest and my general curiosity on most other matters. He entertained me and understanding him did not require a high level of knowledge about cycling. His commentary eased me into the interest of professional cycling and it is largely his words that have educated me on the stars of the past and the races that I knew nothing of that took place whils I was watching Chelsea FC’s attempt at playing football in the late 70’s, early 80’s.

It is DD’s attention to everything that welcomes allcomers to his commentary.

Believe it or not but I used to think that Eddie Mercks was English, that Lemond was French and that Fignon was American. I also believed that the first cyclist over the line in Paris on the final stage won the tdf overall. DD has educated me over the years to the extent that I was able to hold my own in a conversation with the backroom boys of the Rabobank team when they stayed in the same hotel as me during the tour of Sweden earlier this summer. We discussed stars and races of the 70’s and 80’s, many of the Rabobank staff took part in a lot of the famous races we talked about. And I surprised them (and myself) with what I knew.

A few years ago Eurosport changed policy and cancelled the English commentary on Swedish cable. The Swede who replaced him is an ex top-rider and a great commentator. Trouble is he concentrates on the cycling all the time and his commentary is best explained as cycling, cycling and more dammned cycling. This makes it less interesting for newbies into the sport, he never bothers to explains tactics and other things as he has the approach of preaching to a converted audience. Great for other ex top-riders, totally worthless for anyone trying to introduce a girlfriend or mate to the sport and intrigue of professional cycling.

The last two years I have not followed the tdf on TV, it just isn’t the same without DD, when you have had the best you can not settle for a lesser replacment. Indeed, my interest in professional cycling has dwindled since Eurosport pensioned off DD in Sweden.

So, to those that complain about DD, I say count yourself lucky, you don’t know how well off you are.

Like the website, good luck in the future…

Gary , President Mora Cycling Club Sweden

You’re right Gary, there are thousands. Hopefully with your help we will have a pretty good list of all of them soon. Its great to read your story and I’m sure DD would be chuffed to think he has helped you in some way to further enjoy your cycling. Keep up the good work over there in Sweeden.

From: Ventoux
Subject: DD Page

One you forgot – “Blown a gasket” the rider’s speed has dropped dramatically, usually uphill!


Thank you Ventoux. Keep them coming!

From: Pip

Great website, very enjoyable. My humble contribution, collected with a lot of love:

He’s got the bit between his teeth – looks like this rider is going to win the race/stage He hasn’t missed a beat – makes all the right moves, doesn’t make a mistake. His little crouch position – this one was about Michele Bartoli, who rides in a very flat-backed position, with his arms on the handlebars and his hands in the air in front of him (which kind of makes you wonder what will happen to him if he falls (which he did :-((()) Not his cup of tea/glass of Rioja/Chianti – we all know that Italian and Spaniards don’t drink tea, so they must be drinking the local wine, right? (wrong – they actually do drink tea)

– He couldn’t tell Frederic Magne fron Laurent Gane at the Manchester track world championships last year – he called them both Florian Rousseau…

– In regards with the Queen poster – he once said it was like working at a bank – all this money and you can’t touch it.

– At the worlds in 1999 he started to tell us how he met Chris and Sally Boardman at the bar, and how they forgot their wallet in their room so he picked up the check, then cauht himself and said that a gentleman shouldn’t tell!

Favourite names mispronounced: Missaglia (you’re not supposed to pronounce the G) Savoldelli (He says “Salvodelli” – other commentators do it as well though) Sciandri (he sayd anything between skiandri and shiandri – it’s pronounced Shandri) BTW, he pronounces “Simon” corrently. It shold be See-MOHN, which is quite close to what he says, given the fact that he is a hopeless Anglophone. Ever heard the French say O’Grady? Oh-grah-DEE 🙂

As for his detactors, well, I too have had my criticism, but after I posted it to the Eurosport website he tries to make me happy and tell us what’s going on the race radio and talk about the breaks as they happen. So if you have some constructive criticism (not just “I can’t stand him” – that’s your problem), please put it in words and let him know – he’ll try his best to meet your requirements. As for discussing unrelated topics during the race, he said many times that he is trying not to scare off the occasional viewer and make converts to cycling – I can live with that. Maybe if football commentators were rying as hard I’d be more sympathetic? Nah….



Thanks Pip, I stand corrected on his pronunciation on Simon but have you ever heard him say “Biggish Hitters” really quickly! And you are quite right about the constructive criticism – we all need help in what we do from time to time and DD is human like the rest of us.

From: Nelly, France
Subject: Did you know that one?

A little sentance to add to your list : David talking about Jalabert just before he took the poker dot jersey : “God bless his cotton socks !”

I love it Nelly (from France)

Thanks Nelly. Its a term of endearment that gets occaisional use here in the UK but DD does sometimes forget he is broadcasting to millions of people all over Europe sometimes doesn’t he?!

From: William
Subject: Agreeable Cycling

Liked your page on David Duffield – I had my first exposure to him when I caught a few stages of this years TDF. Listening to him rabbit on about his choice of dinner and wine the previous night whilst someone launches an attack on the peloton was surreal!

Many thanks William

Thanks William. Plenty more races to come this year for more menu spotting!

From: Brian
Subject: RE: duffers speak

Looking forward to the next update of the page.
Here’s something else that you might want to use:
And then there are Dave’s RRA records at

Cheers, Brian

Those Links are great aren’t they. If I wasn’t such a tight-arse I would splash out on the CD with the DD interview on it. I don’t think the publisher would be impressed when I stick the transcript of DD’s great words on this website though. And that Beacon site keeps popping up doesn’t it? I never realised DD did so much stuff all those years ago. Makes it pretty hard for any other trike riders in the Beacon to get any records now he has put them on the shelf.

Check out the whole collection of Duffield pages here and enjoy one of the all time great commentators.

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