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The ups and downs of 10 years as a female cycling commentator

The ups and downs of 10 years as a female cycling commentator

It was a decade ago today that José Been did something she never thought possible: commentate on a bike race. August 18, 2012. Ten years…

Thursday, Aug 18

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It was a decade ago today that José Been did something she never thought possible: commentate on a bike race.

August 18, 2012. Ten years ago today and the first day I ever commentated live on a cycling race.

Time flies when you are having fun, as the old saying goes, but it’s true. I’d never held a job longer than a year and this one has been going for 10 now. I wanted to share a little throwback on the good times and the bad times because wow the world has changed in 10 years for female cycling commentators.

I started with Eurosport Benelux in 2011. The then-manager Danny Nelissen had spotted my tweets and needed someone to write short news stories. He called me out of the blue and offered me not only the writing job but also a screentest at Eurosport because, as he said, he wanted more female voices on the channel.

I did the screentest and in June of 2011 did my first news broadcast. I don’t know if Roger Federer had actually died but my announcement of his win at some tournament surely sounded like he had. Having a microphone in front of you is a daunting thing.

When I joined Eurosport, it was well known that I loved cycling but I was also told straight away, on the day of my interview, that for a woman without a past in professional cycling there would not be an opportunity to become a cycling commentator.

I grew up with cycling […]

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