The long-term host of SBS’s cycling coverage, Mike Tomalaris, is expected to leave the network this week after 30 years of service to the broadcaster.
“Mike Tomalaris is moving on from SBS after more than 30 years with the network,” reads a statement from the network to TV Blackbox. “We wish him well for his next chapter.” That brief explanation is the only official comment about a rumour that has been circulating in media circles for about a day.
RIDE Media has contacted SBS for comment and we’ll update this story when further details are made available. Right now, according to TV Blackbox, it will be a quick departure for ‘Tommo’ who has been the face of cycling for the network for 25 years.
Tomalaris has hosted SBS’s Tour de France coverage since 1996 and has long been a passionate supporter of cycling.
According to the report, the news was relayed to some SBS staff by the Director of News, Mandy Wicks, via an internal email. TV Blackbox also suggests there will be no formal farewell and that he may not present some programs he was scheduled to host this coming weekend.
If true, it heralds a big change for SBS’s cycling coverage which has been refined significantly over the years, with new faces often emerging, but with Tomalaris always being a stalwart of the team for the TDF and other cycling events.
In 2020 and 2021, SBS didn’t send a crew to France for the Tour, opting instead to provide commentary and analysis from the Australian studios because of the pandemic. Tomalaris always enjoyed the trips to the Tour and it helped him establish a love of racing – and cycling in general – that was infectious.
Through his work at races, Tomalaris developed a passion for cycling and, after years of talking about it and reporting on racing, he eventually took to riding a bike himself and has completed numerous rides helping raise funds for charity.
Exactly what the future holds for Mike ‘Tommo’ Tomalaris is yet to be explained but we’ll follow up this story with more news when it comes to hand.
– By Rob Arnold
*Note: the route for the 2022 Tour de France is due to be revealed in a few hours. Find out where the race will go next July, follow the live broadcast via LeTour.fr.