The hell of the north

Commentating on live bike racing is a dangerous business

Is commenting in a foreign language a hindrance or a help? Watching the first womens Paris Roubaix is an amazing historic moment. That it is being broadcast is good, though perhaps if they had chosen to make a feed available for the whole race that would do even more to promote womens racing. As always with cycling coverage the Eurosport team is a diversity of nations and that includes the Dutch presenter Iris Slappendel on the moto who gloriously described her experience in a live segment with the words “I’m shitting my pants”.

Now let’s be honest no native English speaker is going to come out with such a succinct and honest assessment of what it’s like to be in the race. And this is often the case that in our own language we instinctively censor ourselves. While in another tongue we feel far more comfortable about simple trying to express what we feel.

So here is to all of our fantastic cycling commentators, communicating with us honestly in a mass of languages.