Long-time cycling commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen are absent from this year's Tour de France coverage on ITV4, as many ask 'where are they?'

British Tour de France fans tuning into ITV4’s coverage of the 2016 edition of the big race on Saturday for the opening stage cannot help but have noticed the change in live commentary team.

Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen no longer provide the verbal updates during the race, having been replaced on the channel’s coverage by Ned Boulting and former pro David Millar for this year.

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Many have asked us where Liggett and Sherwen have gone – and the short answer is: they are still there, just not on ITV.

ITV4 used to buy in Liggett and Sherwen’s commentary from an internationally distributed audio feed – the same commentary is used by NBC in America and SBS in Australia, among others. And that’s where you can still hear Liggett and Sherwen.

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It made more sense for ITV to provide its own commentary to complement Tour coverage presenters Gary Imlach and Chris Boardman.

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Boulting paid tribute to the long-running commentary duo of Liggett and Sherwen, saying via Twitter: “Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen – the voice of my introduction to cycling, and for countless others the same… from us all, thank you.”

Both Liggett and Sherwen received numerous messages from fans saying that they would be missed, to which Liggett replied: “Paul and I really appreciate your tweets on exit from ITV, but let’s wish Ned Boutling and David Millar all the best.”

ITV4 airs daily live coverage of the race, with a highlights programme shown each evening between 7-8pm.

The 2016 Tour de France continues on Sunday with stage two, as Briton Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) wears the coveted yellow jersey having claimed the opening stage on Saturday.