Eurosport’s lead presenter Jonathan Edwards will anchor live coverage of the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2017 as part of the broadcaster’s expanded plans for its coverage of cycling’s Grand Tours.
Former Olympic triple jump gold medalist Edwards, who has worked as both a presenter and analyst at the past four Summer and Winter Games, joins Eurosport’s cycling presenting team for the first time since signing for the channel as its exclusive lead presenter for flagship sports programming, including the Olympic Games.
He will make his first appearance leading Eurosport’s cycling coverage at the opening Grand Tour of the season, the 100th Giro d’Italia, held from May 5-28, followed by the Tour de France in July.
As part of expanded production plans, Edwards will present from on-site at this year’s Giro d’Italia and will be joined by a host of top name riders and pro team staff, as double Olympic champion Geraint Thomas leads Team Sky looking to become the first British rider to win the famous Italian race.
In addition to Eurosport’s exclusive live coverage of the Giro, its sister free-to-air channel Quest, will also broadcast an hour-long highlights show of every stage at 10pm each night, presented by Edwards.
The former BBC Sport presenter spent four years hosting the the corporation’s cycling coverage as part of decade-long association with the BBC, which came to end after signing his exclusive deal with Eurosport. Commenting on his new role with Eurosport’s cycling coverage, Edwards said:
“Cycling is a huge passion of mine, both as a fan and a committed rider whenever I get the opportunity, so I’m incredibly excited to join Eurosport’s cycling team for the first two prestigious Grand Tours of the season. It’s another exciting chapter in my journey with the Eurosport team and the first stage in Sardinia can’t come too soon.”
2017 is Eurosport’s biggest ever year of cycling with over 200 days of live cycling and 2,300 hours of coverage, including all three of the Grand Tours.
For the Giro d’Italia, Eurosport will broadcast over 100 hours of coverage exclusively live on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport Player.
Alongside Edwards, Eurosport’s analysts and commentators include 21-time Grand Tour stage winner Sean Kelly, former Team Sky rider Juan Antonio Flecha and former British road race champions Brian Smith, Rob Hayles and Matt Stephens.
They will work alongside reporters Ashley House and Laura Meseguer conducting rider interviews before and after each stage.
Former Dimension Data general manager Smith takes on his new role as ‘The Coach’ at the Giro to guide fans through the more technical aspects of the stage as well as analysing significant attacks and exhilarating sprint finishes.
Stephens and Hayles will take viewers to the heart of the action and bring fans the atmosphere of Grand Tour racing en route as well as insights from the riders and teams.
Simon Downing, Head of Eurosport and Quest in the UK and Ireland, added:
“Jonathan is an exceptional broadcasting talent and through his love and knowledge of cycling is an excellent addition to Eurosport’s formidable presentation line-up and enhanced on-site coverage.
We can’t wait for the action to get started and are excited to bring every minute from the first Grand Tour of the season exclusively live to Eurosport fans and highlights to free to air audiences on Quest.”
Eurosport’s website – eurosport.co.uk/cycling – will provide extensive digital coverage of the sport throughout the season, while the Eurosport Player has launched an all-access digital pass that enables fans to watch live and on demand coverage from all three Grand Tours as well as other races on the UCI calendar including the Tour of Britain, the Road World Championships and RideLondon-Surrey Classic for just £29.99.