The Tour de France approaches, so for my latest podcast review, it’s time to cover something French.
It’s a French cycling podcast from commercial radio station RTL-l’Équipe, and the quality of the show is what you’d expect- no sound issues for example. In addition to the download, the show is broadcast live and online every Monday 11am-12pm, and repeated again on Monday afternoons. It may be showing off a bit to declare that I listen to this- I can pick up most of the discussion, although inevitably quite a bit passes me by. If you can understand French though, I’d rate it as must-listen.
The show is expertly chaired by RTL host Emmanuel Barth, who manages the various personalities well and gets the best out of them, fostering at times heated debate about the professional road racing scene. This typical French polemique, the kind you’d find in the bar or around the dinner table, is imbued with a passion that can put British discussion to shame at times.
The guests vary but the line-up tends to revolve around a squad of regulars:
Cycling journalist Jean-Paul Brouchon, seems to have something of the bon viveur about him. He comes across as a vastly experienced voice of reason, but one who will also curtly criticise where he sees fit. Pierre Salviac, erstwhile rugby commentator, plays the part of irascible agent provocateur, the grande gueule or ‘big mouth’. Velo Magazine journalist Nicolas Perthuis is a quieter personality but one who really knows his stuff. You also have Frédéric Millet, from “Le Cycle” magazine
The interviews are unsurprisingly all French riders, but there is no shortage of protour guys who are willing to come on the show and discuss in some detail their training regimes, contract situations, form and race schedules. Interviews have included Pierrick Fedrigo, Christophe le Mevel, Christophe Moreau, and Nicholas Vogondy. Host Emmanuel Barth is also is not afraid to press the interviewees with difficult questions and allows the contributors to do so also, which is wonderfully refreshing. I find that in the UK or USA, interviewers seem to be afraid to upset the stars or lose their grip on their contacts, which sometimes leads to a timid style of interviewing.
How can Pierrick Fedrigo say he can’t win a classic after winning the Criterium International?! Well… Pierrick?
Nicholas Vogondy doesn’t really have a speciality… Nicholas: what do you say?