The voice from Tour de France
As the the Men’s Elite Individual Time Trial gets underway, the famous Tour de France commentator Daniel Mangeas will be watching the World Championship cycling from a spectator’s perspective rather than in an official capacity, as he took a seat near the course on Fjellveien.
Story by Benedicte Aase Vabø
If you have been to France in July and have seen Tour de France, you have definitely heard the voice Daniel Mangeas. From 1974 to 2014 he was the official presenter on the French podium. Even if he has retired from Tour de France, the 68 year old can attest that he is still very active. “I’m still commentating on other cycling events, other than the Tour de France, such as the French championship, 4 Jours de Dunkerque and GP Plouay to name a few. I only work 20 days or so in the year, so that's its not a big difference. I will work as long as I feel young." says Mangeas.
Mangeas has seen many World Championships over the years, but believes that Bergen is totally unique host city.. "What's different is all the Norwegians who go with a flag and get dressed up. There are people from the whole world here, but it feels like a Norwegian championship. Usually it's flag from every country and you forget almost where you are, here you do not forget where you are, "he says.
Mangeas has a special connection with Norway since his son Jordane is married to a Norwegian, Tina. “That is special for me to be in Norway now, because Norway has a special place in my heart” he says. The Norwegian connection also dates back to the time when Knut Knudsen won the Tour de la Manche in 1972 in the area from which the Frenchman comes from. "I remember when Knut Knudsen won, he was the first Norwegian to win a ride abroad. It was also the first time I discovered a Norwegian who was a great rider, he says. Manyas was 22 years old and this is one of the memories that has stuck with him. "I’d love to meet him again," said the Frenchman.
Manyas actually enjoys Norway so much that he would like to live here. "I’ve always liked visiting Jordane and Tina” he says, and Jordane votes in. "I must never ask him twice to come and visit”. About Bergen, he has only positive things to say. "I love Bergen, I like spending time to sit in a cafe and look at the people go by. It is a city that is tiring for the legs, but it has a lot nice atmosphere” says Mangeas.
Believe in French and motivate Norwegians
About the championship so far, he believes that it is very well organized and that everyone feels welcome. He is very much looking forward to Sunday's Road Race and has great hopes for the French riders. "I'm looking forward to Sunday because France has an interesting team, with Julian Alaphilippe, Tony Gallopin and Warren Barguil. Other favorites are Peter Sagan, Alexander Kristoff, Michal Kwiatkowski and Edvald Boasson Hagen. Norwegians are probably very motivated since they are on home soil”, says Mangeas.
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