Highlights of 2012 – Part III

Time to sing the praises of the little guy. It’s Stage 7 in the Tour of Turkey and Iljo Keisse attacks the breakaway and tries to go for the stage. Was it the best race of the year? No but somehow the result and the commentary marry together to make a great video.

Eurosport’s Carlton Kirby gets carried away here, abandoning journalism and observation for cheerleading. Was it too much Turkish coffee? But this is no criticism, the video is a celebration of passionate sports commentary and the action and suspense are genuine.

As for Keisse, he’s long been known as a track specialist, notably a six-day rider. But his career was going round in circles in the courts too after a positive test for a stimulant which was appealed, overruled and had more twists than the Poggio before finally resuming competition.

It was a small moment where a close result joins with TV commentary to make a memorable moment of the year. Unlike other sports cycling is not contained to a stadium and even in the biggest races there are not enough TV cameras to track everything so there’s always an element of the unknown and sometimes a vacuum to fill. Even in this instance we see Kirby unsure on the final corner when the bunch approaches, is that Keisse standing by the barrier or not.

42 thoughts on “Highlights of 2012 – Part III”

  1. Wow, that was amazing! Had not seen this before. Absolutely loved it. Thanks for making sure I didn’t miss this. King of cool indeed, and true passion from the commentators. This is what you show people to get them into cycling ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Missed the Tour of Turkey this year so thanks for sharing this absolute gem of a video. Don’t think I’ve ever heard Carlton Kirby get quite as excited as this, glad he saves it for special occasions.

  3. Wow. He was pretty twitchy on that corner, nerves?

    There was another thrilling finish up a mountain this year, wonder if it makes it into the 5…

  4. Firstly thanks for leaving a fascinating series of articles during your break. Beautifully written and informative.

    The racing in the video is wonderful, sadly I have to say the commentary is not. In the space of 5 minutes Carlton makes his usual litany of errors “race radio will be buzzing” “eh there’s no race radio” and “he’s going to get caught” eh he didn’t.

    Cycling deserves better. The fact there was no radio contributed to the drama at the end. Making silly predictions, presenting them as fact and then seeing them not come true is extremely distracting.

    It’s a massively hard job, I forgive calling the rider on the side wrong, but his numerous foot in the mouth moments don’t cut it for me.

    Still great racing though!

  5. Yes, this is my highlight of 2012. I had the fortune of watching this “live” from Australia at the time, and it’s moments like these that make it worth watching all the minor races during the year. You could not have scripted a better finish.

  6. Regarding the commentary, the distinction is between one-eyed cheerleading and getting caught up in the auction. I can’t imagine that Carlton Kirby was an enormous Iljo Keisse fan before the last five minutes of that race, so this was definitely the latter and therefore entirely acceptable. Laudable even.

    As for why the former’s so bad, try watching the official coverage of cricket’s Indian Premier League and try and work out at what point commentary became purely a branch of marketing.

  7. It’s that kind of commentary like makes me prefer Brit eurosport coverage over American coverage. There seems to be a genuine fondness for the sport – celebrate and rave about any awesome performance – rather than the colder or “professional” analysis offered by Universal sports coverage of the Giro (who were they again? Go-Go and Schlanger) where they focus on American riders.

    I saw similar differences when watching Olympic coverage of so many different events (swimming, gymnastics, cycling – it didn’t seem to matter). The Brits emphasized the sport while Americans emphasized the national team/individual. When watching the Brit coverage I gained an greater appreciation for the individual athletes because the commentators had passion for the sport, not just the home team.

    • So little pro cycling coverage in America, I’ll settle for what I can get. Mostly, cycling discussion is relegated to Lance and drugs by the big, mainstream networks.

      During the Olympics, NBC spent too much time on silly backstories, way too much coverage on Americans (I like learning about people from all over), too many commercials, and too much time trying to push their programming. They actually cut into the tape delay of the closing ceremonies to show a sneak preview of a sitcom!!! ๐Ÿ™

  8. Re commentary, Scot Brian Smith an ex pro and one time British National champion and Motorola rider is informative as always and manages to keep his focus whereas Mr Kirby, well yes understandable, over excited hardly does it justice, first time I have seen this finish, great stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Onward ever Onward

  9. Yes – quite possibly race finish of the year … absolutely brilliant – I had my victory salute going before Keisse did !!! Carlton Kirby gold … THAT’s MY sport right there ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. The last 500m always seems to last an eternity when the peloton is chasing down a break. Great to see the fox come out on top. Watching this made me think of who would be in a fantasy break. Voeckler, Chavanel, De Gendt , Ignatiev and Nibali. Has anybody any thoughts?

  11. Thanks for the reminder of such a great finish – loved it. Smith’s calm, (always) informative stlye plays beautifully off Kirby’s excited, passionate take – works brilliantly for this finish.

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