By Robbie Broughton
Matt Stephens, one of the original presenters for Global Cycling Network (GCN) announced last week that he is leaving the show to concentrate on his commentating work.
GCN is one of the most popular shows on the internet with 1.3 million subscribers to its Youtube channel and, with its light hearted banter between its presenters became something of a ‘Top Gear’ for cyclists.
Although he’s known for his quirky and self deprecating humour on the bike Matt was a successful rider in his own right, representing Great Britain in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games where he finished 61st in the road race.
He went on to become the British National Road Race Champion in 1998 before turning professional, riding for the British based Harrods team, Linda McCartney Racing Team and even managed to combine a career as a police officer while riding for Sigma Sport between 2001 and 2011. His racing career ended in 2011 when he broke his knee in Paris –Troyes.
In a statement on Twitter on 24th April he explained: “After four and a half amazing, incredible and quite bonkersly wonderful years, I’m leaving Global Cycling Network to focus more on my commentary work and live events…The best thing of all is that through our videos, in my own often slightly different way, I’ve been able to share my passion…yes ‘passion’ for cycling with you.”
He says that he has been “absolutely overwhelmed with the kind words about me leaving @gcntweet from you lovely people.”
It’s no exaggeration to say that his humour and presenting skills will be greatly missed by many a GCN viewer. There have been many funny and crazy moments.
Who can forget his woeful attempt at cyclocross, his backward pedaling technique and the cold weather outfits that made him look like Michelin man? He famously donned roadside ferns as camouflage in a road race against fellow presenters Simon Richardson and Dan Lloyd and had trouble relieving himself when he was wearing bib shorts, but he is perhaps best known for his comic impressions of various riding styles.
Matt’s departure from GCN gives him more time to work on live events, most notably for Eurosport, where he is proving to be a capable and popular co-commentator and foil for the likes of Carlton Kirby.
Good luck, Matt. We’ll miss you on GCN but your departure is sure to be valued elsewhere!