Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Digging Deep into the Suitcase of Courage" and other Liggettisms


This is the best Tour de France since 1989! So much is said and written about what the French call the "convicts of the road" - the mighty superhumans who race their machines day in and day out. I want to salute another cycling hero of mine - Phil Liggett. Phil Liggett is the voice of world cycling. The man who has provided commentary on every Tour in recent history. I actually met Phil in Cape Town in 1993 (when I was still good enough to be racing in events that Phil did TV commentary for). Anyway, I salute you, Phil, with these classic Liggettisms:


"And Armstrong is coming down the finishing straight like a grand prix motorcar!"

"An absolute beast of a man" Used in reference to Ulrich From 2004 TdF

"he's sitting at the back of the peleton nursing an injury. no word on the specifics of the injury but rumor is he has a boil on the you-know-what." 2004 TdF

"There's Armstrong. His face giving nothing away. He is in complete concentration but I imagine that his ears are twitched back just listening for the whistle of a tire on the pavement -- the sound of an attack." 2004 TdF

"Ullrich and Kloden are having a bit of conversation back there. I wonder if Lance understands any German?" 2004 TdF

"Oh my there's some rubbish in the road. it appears as if a mini tornado has been through here. and (unknown cyclist) behind him as if to find someone to blame well he's going to have to look to the heavens. 2004 TdF

"This is DESTRUCTION TIME."

"If there's one thing Cadel Evans has learned in his first Tour de France...it's how to hurt himself!"

" he would rip the bike in half if he had half the chance" Regarding Botero chasing Vino on the Galibier.

"well, are you coming or not and the answer is NOT!" Refers to "The Look": Armstrong looks straight into the eyes of Jan Ullrich.

(The Peloton passes a field with white cows) "The peloton is passing a field of white cows. This region of France is known for its bovine....(goes off on tangent)....Of course, none of that matters to any of the riders, except that they might like a nice steak at the end of day." - 03 TDF

"Tap tap tapping out a rhythm" - One of the many pedaling related quotes

"These riders know how to win in style."

"Hes' praying for the summit to come as soon as possible"

"he's soaked in talent" On Ulrich

"Ullrich is pumping those two pistons he calls legs."

"Now the boys are enjoying a nice slice of tailwind"

"Simoni has been reduced to a touring cadence." When Simoni got dropped from the leading group.

"The crowd is cheering for their Pin-up Boy!" Virenque nearing the finish
of stage 7.

"Armstrong has let them all have their chances and now he is reeling them
in like some great fisherman."

"...and Fabian Cancellara is riding to a high level of superbness..."

"...and there's Roberto Heras, the little boy in the blue jersey"

"He's lit the blue touchpaper" -- i.e., someone has attacked. Apparently another 'chiefly British' term. Blue touchpaper is evidently highly flammable paper used to lit fireworks and such.

Paul says something like "Look at Armstrong; what is that face saying?" and Phil says "It's says 'I'm going to win the Tour de France' Regarding 04 TdF; stage to La Mongie or Plateau de Beille when Armstrong was in a small group in the final climb to the summit.

4 comments:

Mark Pearson said...

How about this classic:

"and he's out there in front breaking wind for the rest of the peloton ... "

Charles North said...

Wow! That's great. Sherwin has some great lines as well. I think my all-time favorite is this: "The road up the Alp d' Huez is lying on the side of the mountain like a piece of discarded string."

daniel said...

How about the well worn: "Look at the face now of [rider]..."

Ryan said...

Some of my favorites:

"The Col-de-Bericucheretta is as difficult to pronounce as it is to climb." - 1986

"The Col-du-Granon towers above Briancon and climbs seven miles to nowhere" - 1986

"Greg LeMond is riding for his life here" - 1989