Baltimore Sun Thursday, January 27, 2000
"Cycling: John Eustice, (click here for photo )a former U.S. Pro Cycling road race champion, told local cyclists this week that his victory in the national championship in Baltimore in 1982 helped him attain a position as commentator for ABC and ESPN covering the Tour de France.
Sharing behind-the-scenes insights with members of the Thulman Eastern/CW bike racing club, Eustice said he drove a press car of 100 mph so the TV crew reaches the finish well before the racers.
The club also presented awards to Shawn Downing, rider of the year; John Cox, rider of the millennium; Jennifer Scott, best new rider; Adam Forgion, moust improved junior; Celia Adams, most improved female; and George Poscover, most improved male."
Press Release 1/23/00
John Eustice Spotted at Federal Hill
On Sunday, Jan. 23, the CW/Thulman Eastern bike racing club held its 52nd Annual Awards Banquet at Sisson's Microbrewery Restaurant in Baltimore. CW/TEC was founded in 1946 and is the oldest bike racing club in Maryland/Virginia/Delaware.
Attended by over 50 people, one of the highlights of the evening was the formal announcement of a NEW 3 YEAR Sponsorship agreement (2000 through 2002) with Thulman Eastern Corporation--"First in Fireplaces"--at a whopping 50% annual increase over the previous 3 year sponsorship agreement. "Commitments as generous as this one are very hard to come by, and we are very excited at the prospect of promoting TEC through our competitive cycling program" commented Chesapeake Wheelmen President Keith Shuey.
The guest speaker was John Eustice, who is currently a commentator with ABC and ESPN. Mr. Eustice is also a former USPro cycling road race champion, having won the inaugural National Championship road race in Baltimore in 1982. He also raced in Europe in the 1980's. He credited his '82 victory here in part with helping him to attain his position as a bike racing commentator with network television.
Mr. Eustice spoke about what it is like behind the scenes at the Tour de France. He first worked for ESPN for its inaugural coverage of the Tour in 1992. Hearing that ESPN would be covering the race, he "made a pest of myself, calling ESPN every day until I finally spoke to the producer. He asked who the hell I was and I told him I was a former national champion, I spoke French and I knew Greg Lemond. A few days later I got a contract in the mail."
As the bike racing expert on the Tour coverage team, he sets the story lines for the day, gives the on air personalities, such as Adrian Karsten, information on the riders and the favorites for that days stage, helps with rehearsal of the commentating segments, does his own information pieces and drives the press car from the start to the finish each day.
Mr. Eustice says Karsten has driven about 700 meters in all the Tour coverage, as his style of driving does not suit the cars, the roads or the speeds. He added, however, that Karsten is very sharp and has excellent delivery for the masses, which cycling needs. Karsten has a masters degree from Northwestern and does a weekly segment for National Public Radio.
After they arrive at the finish for the day's stage they "have 4 hours to
produce a one hour show." While the producers are editing the commentating and features tapes, he and Karsten work on the post race commentary and interviews. "Everyone is going 100 miles and hour all the time" according to Eustice. One of the highlights of each day "is the catered lunch of regional food within each of the French provinces the race passes through." Once their car was stopped in a small town by a group of men in robes, large hats and medallions, who claimed they were the "Gastronomic Society" of the town and insisted that the journalists stay and eat. When Eustice and Karsten declined, they found the car piled high with food and wine. "In this way the race becomes a celebration of community and culture" said Eustice of the moveable feast.
Eustice speculated that "Lance Armstrong's use of a higher cadence than most of the other riders in the mountains allowed him to recover more quickly" and played a role in his amazing Tour victory.
The CW/TEC Awards:
Rider of the Year: Shawn Downing,
Rider of the Century: John Cox
Best New Rider: Jennifer Scott
Most Improved Junior: Adam Forgione
Most Improved Female: Celia Adams
Most Improved Male: George Poscover.