Following the Bestmed Phil Liggett Tribute Tour in December, the legendary British cycling commentator will have the trophies from two of South Africa’s leading road races named after him.
ASG Events have announced that the elite men’s and women’s winners in next month’s Bestmed Tour of Good Hope in the Cape Winelands and September’s Bestmed Jock Tour would become the proud holders of the Phil Liggett Tribute trophies.
Following a conversation last year between ASG chief executive Wynand de Villiers and Bestmed marketing and sales chief Chris Luyt, they decided to acknowledge Liggett’s support of the sport in South Africa with the inaugural tribute ride from Pretoria to Hoedspruit.
Now, said De Villiers, they had taken it a step further by honouring Liggett at two of South Africa’s road classics.
A former amateur cyclist, Liggett, now 73, was offered a contract to turn professional in 1967. Instead, he became a journalist, putting him on the road to becoming the world’s premier cycling commentator.
He was honoured in 2005 as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to the sport.
“During the tribute ride in December, we discussed with him at length the futures of the two events and agreed to work on putting measures in place over the next two years to evolve the events into fully fledged international tours.
“It’s an honour for the two events to be associated with Phil as it’s going to do wonders to have him spread their message across the globe.”
Luyt said he felt the trophies would become coveted prizes in the cycling world.
“We feel the Tour of Good Hope and the Jock Tour have the potential to attract top fields and I’m sure, in years to come, these trophies will mean a great deal to the winners.”
He added that Liggett graciously accepted the tribute in typical understated fashion.
“He is a wonderful guy and very humble. He joked in his distinctive English manner that he thought it was not good to ‘honour a guy before he’s dead’.
“For us it’s a dual purpose because we want to promote the potential of our brand, while having it linked to the renowned Voice of Cycling.”