After 18 years of covering le Tour de France, we've amassed a huge archive of classically PEZ reportage, including what may the earliest piece of PEZ material ever recorded, a once-lost rare video of ace cycling commentator Phil Liggett actually interviewing me! Grab a coffee and let’s set the ‘Way-Back’ machine to 1990...
I recorded my first Phil Liggett interview, with the world's most well-known road cycling commentator, on a roadside at the 1990 Tour. Since then I've interviewed Phil several times and been on a couple rides. But this was our first time meeting on skype and we talked about a host of topics: his favorite era of modern cycling, sharing a room with Paul Sherwen, Tour'18 and even podium girls.
I'm always inspired when a new Grand Tour route is presented to dig into the vast PEZ archives looking for lost gems of content. In 1990, I went to my first Tour de France, and stumbled upon the grand master of pro cycling commentators - Phil Liggett - filming his recap for delayed broadcast in the USA on the lower slopes Mt. Blanc.
As a kid in the UK who grew up getting into cycling thanks to the Channel Four coverage of the Tour de France, it was a real pleasure to speak to one half of the commentary team who called those incredible races: Lemond vs Hinault in 1986; Lemond vs Fignon in 1989; Robert Millar’s stage wins in the Pyrenees; and Stephen Roche’s stunning 1987 Tour.
Phil Liggett needs no introduction and PEZ was most grateful to reach him at home in Bayford in England before he traded the northern hemisphere winter for the sunshine of summer in South Africa. We wanted our annual catch up but also to find out if there was any truth to the inevitable rumours that he might be retiring. In good news for cycling fans everywhere, however, PEZ was pleased to hear that he had no plans to bow out just yet.
It's been said that Phil Liggett can make anyone he meets feel like an old friend, just from chatting... That's how I felt after I talked to him last week from his home 40km outside London - like I'd just finished shooting the poop with an old buddy.