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David Duffield

The World Goes Crazy Duffield After 2001 Tour De France

The interest in David Duffield reached fever pitch toward the end of the Tour de France 2001. Emails were received and the best ones are below for your enjoyment.

From: Ryan
Subject: duffield

One Duffieldism that I thought you would have got,

Now the (Saeco, Telecom etc.) team are starting to go = Team is working hard at the front. Usually uttered after the team has been working at the front for well over 20k. Also can be applied to a rider who has been at the front for at least half an hour.

Other classic Duffers characteristics include,

Confusion over which rider he is watching. Even if one was 10 minutes behind in the peleton and the other was in the front with a break of 3. This happens frequently when he is not sure who is in the break and if a team mate attacks from the peleton he thinks that is the rider attacking the break. Most recently when Cardenas won his stage and he was not sure whether he was watching Laiseka or Etxebarria.

As you have mentioned in other areas, failure to pay attention to what is going on. Which he does realise and then apologises for another 5 minutes by which time the race is usually finished.

One last one. This usually happens to Sean. Duffers asks a question, short pause and before Sean answers he then continues to evaluate all possible answers that Sean could give. Usually ends with Sean just saying YES when Duffers finally finishes his question.

I have watched Eurosport for two years now and suffered. Lots of people in our club like Duffers, but I think he is the worst commentator I have ever heard. Unfortunately I have no choice if I want to see any cycling coverage in the UK. The whole idea is to analyse the action from an informed point of view. He does appear to be informed but in no way able to analyse what is going on (probably comes from being a tester in his racing days). Comparisons to Murray are just not fair. Murray has made some fantastic mistakes but his following of the action has never faulted, despite mis-identifications, jinxed timing and poking Nigel Mansell on the huge bruise on his head. Still Duffers does deserve recognition for his “attempts” to try and popularise cycling and his dedication to the cause.

Like the site. Keep up the good work.

Birmingham Cycling Club

I guess with David you have to do part of the work when watching a race. You look after the technicalities of who’s in the break and who’s off the back and leave the entertaining stories of cheese, hard work, Fausto Coppi and rabbits called sixpence to DD. Lets see what the others say…

From: Edmund
Subject: Dufferisms

Hi, love the site!
Here are some tasty snippets which spring to mind:
Calling the banned Spinachi bars “Spinergy” bars (David, they make wheels!) In the early days of EPO awareness, he was calling haematocrit “haematoclit” bless ‘im……like that one, David! The little Columbian climbers who “weigh 7-stone wet-though” The marvellous moment during the Giro 2001 when the riders were getting hassled from the Simoni supporters and just as David was stepping into the pulpit to preach how something had to be done with the wild tifosi, Belli plants his right fist on a culprit’s coupon (the hapless victim turned out to be Simoni’s cousin or something)…David’s joyous reaction was priceless, and just a leeeetttle out of line considering they threw Belli off the race for that! The similar defining moment when Guidi was knocked down by that geeky lad brandishing a camera on Alpe d’Huez…David said something like…” and I hope that all the people who are friends of this man, never, ever speak to him again…!”, while sounding like he was frothing at the mouth…no, sorry..”spitting nails”!
I have a feeling we have a long way to go before exhausting new material for your site…

Ed Edinburgh

p.s. I like to sometimes watch Euro while listening to France Inter commentary on Long Wave radio…they also have live reports from the motorbikes and wow can they make it exciting!

Haematoclit??? What did he think epo did? Is it oestrogen based?

From: Ben
Subject: duffers

hi guys
i too have been a fan of the duffers stream of (un)consiousness for many years. i write a road race report for the de laune cc magazine and always give it a title from some of the phrases that he uses over and over again (these can be viewed on our web page: the personal favourite from this tour was him reading out the complete menu from his hotel on the 21/7/01 stage.

regards ben
de laune cc road race sec.

Gotta love those transition stages when the racing is so quiet that out comes the trusty menu from the night before. Good to see the De Laune on the web with such a good site.

From: Brian
Subject: Duffieldism

You ask for clarification of the phrase “the rough end of a ragman’s trumpet”.
There is a north of England working class expression of great surprise: “well f**k me with a ragman’s trumpet”. I’m sure that you’ll see the connection …….
Hope that this helps.
An excellent website BTW.


It helps.. Too Much!

From: Phil
Subject: No Subject

The Duffers site is fantastic!
My familiarity with the Duffieldism’s on the site is unnerving – obviously I’m spending far too much time watching old TDF videos on rainy Sunday’s – time to get a life.
We all have our favourites, but surely his legendary condemnation of the hapless young lad who knocked Beppe Guerinni off his bike on Alpe D’Huez in 1999 must rate as the apotheosis of Dave’s genius.
Remember the scene – the “yard of pump-water”-like Guerinni is riding to victory when, following a bit of a fandango go-right-go-left-go-over-the-bars, Beppe hits the floor.
Duffers: “Awwww nooooo!…..what a stupid, stupid man……if I knew that man I wouldn’t want to be friends with him ever again.”
Steven Roche (stifling a giggle) summed it up for all of us watching: “Well said Dave, and keeping it clean as well,”
This clip deservedly made it on to one of those bloomers-style shows on ITV.
Dave and Sean are the Eric and Ernie of sports commentary e.g:

Dave: “WhatdoyoureckonSean?Dearviewer,especiallythoseofyouswitchingonEurosportexpect
ofthegreenjersey, [no explanation what the green jersey is of course] AnywaySean,isDekkergoingtostayawaytotakethestageoristhebunchlyingdoggobeforego
inglicketyspit [another one!] andreelinghimin,ehSean?


Mygirlfrend, who has never watched cycling in her life before, is now addicted to Eurosport. Like most neophyte viewers she is often driven to distraction by Duffers but soon she will come to understand. Cycling ain’t cycling without the Man.
Full marks to you for providing us with a forum to express our devotion. Surely it is about time his nuggets were immortalised in print – so to speak.

Cheers, Phil

Thanks Phil, interestingly its the wives and girlfriends that are amongst his biggest fans (and consequently send him pictures of their pussies – see Duffield Facts) and Its probably because he is always *trying* to explain what bike racing is all about. Although its normally to the disappointment of the boring know it all *expert* amateur road racers out there , some of which have now started to send me abusive Duffield mail. Can you believe it? Plonkers.

From: Niall
Subject: Duffers

My favourite Duffieldism is when Dave get all euphoric and exclaims “THIS IS WHAT BIKE RACING IS ALL ABOUT”

Cheers, Niall

This is exactly the sort of thing that gets kids into cycling. Mad action on the screen and Duffield going crazy on the mic. Its got to have an effect in getting people into cyclesport somewhere. Well spotted Niall, keep ’em coming.

From: Alijosa , Singapore
Subject: duffield

Hello there I’ve had a chance of listening to cycling commentary in many languages and David Duffield beats them all. Name a person who can enterntain you for five or more hours during a long stage. Sure, others may be more knowledgable and proper but also oh so boring. And David…well, there’s always something to talk about.

One of the Duffieldisms that you migt have forgotten to mention: “….and the proverbial has hit the fan” , probably meaning: …and the action in a group of riders has started.

Thanks Alijosa for that one. How on earth do you manage to get to hear DD in Singapore? You’re right of course – there is always something for DD to talk about. Granted it might sometimes be at the wrong time but there’s always something to talk about!

From: Justi
Subject: Duff Duff

It always worries me when he says ‘by the way…’ because you know he’s going off somewhere – usually something to do with food, while the race is reaching the most exciting point and Sean Kelly is saying ‘Er, David, that’s the 1 kilometre banner they’ll be going under..’

Enjoyed the site though.


Thanks Justi – By the way….

From: Mike
Subject: The god of cycling

No-one has mentioned is ability to consume local wine/beer and off-the-track delicacies.

my only complaint is that he is a such an obvious fan of Armstrong. He does sell UK cycling better than anyone else.

By the way has anyone heard his story about fat-bottomed ladies and those without clothing for a PR shot? Is it me but are Eurosport reducing his contribution and commentary time.

Duffers isn’t duff just “going off on a tangent”.

Mike (Kingston/Thames)

It would be interesting to go out to dinner with him one night on the Tour. If anyone has met him in a restaurant is there any chance you can do a report for us? And does anyone reckon Russell Williams really eats that many baguettes as DD makes out?

From: Mike
Subject: Peter Farazijn

It’s out of date and in dutch but go to and click on the relevant bit.

Ciao again.

Thanks Mike. Did you send us this in a “By the way” off on a tangent tribute to DD? Its a good page isn’t it and Peter Farazijn was an interesting rider.

From: Martyn
Subject: Duffers

Here is one that seems to have disappeared a bit this year in favour of “the battling ossy” The bold Stewy or anyone else that attacks and gets 10 seconds down the road. Not to mention the great ride at the Tour of Langkawi.

Indeed. And now DD can’t mention the Bold Stewy without mentioning his Cobra sports car either.

From: Paul
Subject: We Love David Duffield

Love the site.
I remember reading in Cycling Weekly about David’s three-wheeled exploits in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s, and I’m sure I met him, at least once, while on Sunday rides with the Kingston Wheelers. He would have been on his way home from a time-trial but I don’t recall daring to speak to him – he was an awesome figure even then, because of his achievements and his obvious madness!
In between throwing my shoes at the television, I love the man! Long may he continue to delight and infuriate us, as he would put it (and does, many times a day), “too, as well” (i.e. also).

Paul, Surrey

Thanks Paul. Not many people contact us regarding DDs riding exploits. It would be interesting to find out more about what he was like in those days.

Thanks everyone for the emails. Please keep sending any info you might have on the great man and for those of you out there who don’t like David’s style of commentary then in the words of the man himself:

“If you can’t stand the heat of the kitchen then don’t come into it!”

Has anyone got any pictures of themselves with David? It would be great if we could display them on here, perhaps with his autograph is someone has that as well.

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David Duffield

David Duffield Brought BMX To The UK – Early Video

David Duffield Introduced Raleigh BMX

Not a lot of people know but David Duffield was one of the pioneers of BMX in the UK.

While working as the marketing manager at Halfords Head Office in Redditch, David played a big part in building the first BMX Track opposite Halfords HQ at Icknield Street Drive, Redditch.

The first official BMX race in the UK took place on 30th August 1980, at the track David Duffield set up.

This track also went on to host the International Anglo American races of 1981 and 1982, when BMX suddenly was booming.

In 2010 Redditch Premiers BMX club members got in touch with David to invite him to the Redditch BMX Tracks opening ceremony some 30 years later. David even left some of his precious memorabilia from that era in the Club house for the members.

David Duffield didn’t just talk about cycling. He was cycling!

We can’t embed the video anymore – check out the original here:

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David Duffield

Request For Help

There are still a lot of people who for whatever reason haven’t had the pleasure of listening to David. With that in mind we want to collect some of his more famous sayings together on this website. To help us achieve this all you have to do is send up some mp3 sound files of DD in full flight.

Topics we are particularly keen to get hold of include:

Little diddy men
Rabbits called sixpence

and others…

To do it you could either hook up your video player to your computer via a special scart lead or via a microphone next to the TV speaker.

Alternatively you could record all future webcommentary at either to a tape recorder or if you are very technically minded you might explore how to use a bit of software like to do it for you.

Remember if you’ve never heard DD yet then the best way to get cycling in the UK and Europe is to get either on Analogue satellite (my favourite because they show the most cycling and its all free) or via cable or a sky digital package.

Whatever you manage to get send it through and we will see what we can do!


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David Duffield

Encounter With a Hero

My dream finally came true! At the London bike show Cycle2002 I finally met David Duffield and thankfully he was exactly how I expected him to be!

I managed to get to the show in Islington at 10.30am on the Saturday as I had heard David would be there along with some other cycling commentators before shooting off to his London studio to provide the commentary for that afternoon’s Tour of Spain. I found the Eurosport Cafe just in time to see DD being interviewed by one of the newer Eurosport commentators who does a bit of track commentary and in the corner I noticed Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen who provide the terrestrial Tour de France commentary as well as the newer OLN commentary for the emerging US viewers. After a quick “Hello”, handshake and a “I really like all the work you do” type chat with Phil and Paul I noticed DDs interview had ended and I was able to get straight in:

DD Left and new bloke from Eurosport (Sorry I forget your name, especially after we said hello during the great comentary you did at the Herne Hill Good Friday track meet!). Before anyone emails in suggestions I already know it is not Phil/Paul/Gary. Its not Adonis Russell Williams and it doesn’t look like he parts his hair with a chamois leather so its not Mike ‘Dungeon’ Smith.

And its not Christy Anderson either!

“Hello, I’m Marco”

“Oh hello I met some of you lot the other day”

“Yeah, I do the web pages about you though. I hope you don’t mind!”

At this point the excitement was making me dizzy so I forget the exact words of our conversation but it was something like:

No I really like them thanks for all the work you put in

Not at all its my pleasure, thanks for all the commentary you do, we really love it, it makes it so much more interesting and you wouldn’t believe how many fans you have got out there who are prepared to write in extolling your virtues. Infact I don’t really have to do anything except put all their great contributions together.

Oh Thanks, I understand you have some pictures from a friend of mine in Australia?

Yes Nisa sent some great shots in and I also get a lot of emails from lots of your friends all over the world including a recent one from Shaun Wallace (great British trackie) and also a 70s World Champion Sprinter from Australia.

If ever you have any problems with anything we write about you please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Eddy M (RRA boss who it turns out is a mutual friend) and we’ll amend it for you…

No, No don’t worry.

We’ve also got some stuff from when you were racing up on the site now – a picture of you being different in the National Cyclo Cross Championships and also two accounts of your tricycle record breaking rides including ‘the wrong way to end to ender’. We got them from old Sporting Cyclist magazines and I’m not sure about copyright issues.

Well Sporting Cyclist isn’t around anymore and all of those were done by Jock Wadley who unfortunately isn’t here either. I’m sure wherever he is he would be pleased they were being read again!

Do you think you’ll do anything more on the trike?

No those days are long gone! You know the village where I live had a scarecrow competition! I made one up using my old trike that I used to race on, a Greg Lemond jersey and pair of black tights! You know, made the scarecrow and everything. IT WON FIRST PRIZE!!! Out of 47 scarecrows it won first prize!

You’ll probably be getting an invite to our club dinner this January, do you think you can you make it?

Unfortunately I’ll be in Australia for the Tour Down Under before heading off to Malaysia for the Tour of Langkawi. Thanks for the signed menu from last year though, sorry I couldn’t make it (DD was ill last year so the hundred or so people at our dinner wrote happy messages on the menu and another card which got sent to him. Its an Addiscombe tradition to do that for friends who miss a dinner through ill health).

One other thing…You aren’t planning on retiring soon are you?

Well, I’m going to keep going to Athens 2004 if I can then I’ll cut it down a bit. I’ll still do the big races like the major tours and the classics but I’ll knock some of the other smaller ones on the head. Some months I’m hardly ever at home…

Are you going to Zolder (for the World Road Championships)?

Ooh yes I’ll definitely be there for those.

Do you think Cipo can do it or will the Italians self implode?

Well I don’t think he will be able to do it. I think they’ll self implode!

Do you ever chat much with Cipo? I reckon he’d be a real character? (I imagine both he and DD are quite eccentric and would appreciate each others wit)

Unfortunately he only speaks Italian and French and I don’t speak Italian and my French is very rusty. He says hello but I’m afraid that’s about as far as we get. I’d love to see him win though.

Did you see much of the recent track champs (Britain won 3 golds)?

Yes its been great. Russell’s been doing a great job with Mike Smith. When I was commentating at the Olympics I nearly fell off my chair when Queally won the Gold. You know I carry a union jack around with me and get it out whenever a Brit wins. The other commentators think I’m mad but when Queally won I was waving it all around!

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Ok thanks very much, remember if there’s anything you don’t like please get in touch. Oh and by the way here is one of our Addiscombe posters – it has the new web address on it which is a bit easier to remember.

Oh good that last one was a bit of a mouthful. Thanks for doing it all and keep up the good work!

Me (marco) left with DD. Note Paul Sherwin being interviewed far right and also well known domestic race photographer (with beard) behind me Paul J Wright

DD with one of his many female fans. He was genuinely keen to find out about everyone and in this case offered all sorts of advice about Sustrans paths and the national byeway scheme to get people out enjoying riding their bikes away from main roads.

I managed to keep within earshot as his fans came up to him and these were the snippets that I caught:

I don’t commentate for the cycling expert – they know what’s going on in a race. I commentate for everyone else and try to point out what’s going on.

Lance is very friendly with me but now has so much security around him that he’s hard to get to. He still waves or says hello as he passes and I often ask him how his cat Chemo is!

Sean Kelly is absolutely amazing at reading a race and points things out you would never notice.

My cat isn’t very well and is on its last legs. I’ll try and spend as much time with it as possible.

I have a dachshund so getting a new cat might be problematic (he said the dog’s name and it was on a par with Sixpence the Rabbit but I forget what it was exactly!)

I was ill last Christmas and thought I had DVT but in the end it was ….

Russell Williams nearly fell off his chair when Hoy beat Tournant by one thousandth of a second at the World Champs!

When I was 8 years old I can remember constantly chatting in class and getting hit with a ruler by the master who shouted at me “Duffield, you are an old washerwoman!”

A veritable feast of cycling heros! Sean kelly being interviewed

I managed to say hello to Sean and also give him an Addiscombe poster with the web address on as well as telling him a little about the Duffield appreciation site. Who knows, maybe he will email in with a couple of stories for us!?

Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen were also there and seemed equally friendly. Paul even rolled his trousers up to show some of his fans the scabs and scars on his leg that accompany being a racing cyclist!

DD had a pretty good long chat with top bike designer Mike Burrows (Boardman superbike, Giant etc). Suspension, Minis, Moultons, strong cheese? Who knows what they were talking about????!

At this point you realise just how lucky we are in the UK and Ireland to have so much cycling talent around. Mike Burrows the top designer, Sean Kelly the hardman of the 80s and Phil, Paul and Dave… the three top English speaking cyclesport commentators in the world.

DD and Phil Liggett discussing the commentary plans for the penultimate day of the Vuelta.

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