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.

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

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.