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Ex-pro cyclist turned commentator Paul Sherwen dies aged 62

Posted on: December 3rd, 2018

cyclist cycling commentator Paul Sherwen dead

Paul Sherwen, right, covered the Tour de France 33 times with Phil Liggett. The 62-year-old has died at his home in Uganda (Photo: Karen Rakestraw)

 

The former professional cyclist turned commentator Paul Sherwen had died. He was aged just 62 years and reportedly died suddenly at his home in Uganda.

He had lived in Uganda since he was aged 7 years and was also a citizen of the east African country. Sherwen was a professional during the days of Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche.

And he will also be well known to slightly older cycling fans as one of the voices of Channel 4’s Tour de France coverage.

In the days before each stage was broadcast live, Sherwen joined Phil Liggett to bring us the highlights from that day on Channel 4 each evening.

After Sherwen cut his teeth with the British broadcaster and gelled as a commentating and presenting duo with Liggett, the pair then went on to move to US television.

And for many years they were the voices and faces of cycling for NBC Sports. At the time of writing, the exact circumstances of Sherwen’s death were not clear.

However, reports suggest it was sudden and unexpected. Many well known riders have taken to social media to pay tribute to him.

And his co-commentator Liggett, with whom he was synonymous, said he would deeply miss Sherwen; his partner for more than three decades.

“I went to bed in Africa with a heavy heart last night feeling sadness like never before,” he said.

“My team mate for 33 years was no longer with me. Your hundreds of messages showed how well Paul Sherwen was loved. Let’s think of Katherine and his children with love just now.”

 

 

British Cycling said in a statement that it was shocked at Sherwen’s death and praised his contribution to the sport.

“We were truly saddened by the news of the passing of Paul Sherwen. A former national champion and a great voice of our sport, our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

NBC Sports said in a statement it was proud to have helped Sherwen celebrate at milestone on this year’s Tour; his 40th as rider or commentator.

“We are saddened to offer our condolences to the friends and family of Paul Sherwen, who passed away this morning at his home in Uganda,” NBC Sports said.

“Paul was synonymous with the Tour de France in the U.S. and will be greatly missed by his legions of fans and the NBC Sports family, which was honored to be part of Paul’s 40th Tour last July.

“Our thoughts are with Paul’s wife, Katherine, their children, and all of those in the cycling community who became Paul Sherwen fans over his many years calling the sport he loved.”

 

Trailblazer and British champion

Sherwen did not enjoy the kind of success that British cyclists regularly achieve in the modern era.

But during his time he was among a small group of British pros in the international peloton paving the way for those who followed.

He turned professional in 1978 with the Fiat-France team. Having raced with that squad for two years, he went on to ride for six seasons with La Redoute-Motobecane.

He rode the Tour de France seven times and won stages in the Tour Méditerranéen and Four Days of Dunkirk.

Sherwen was a team mate of Stephen Roche’s at that team for two years; in 1984 and 1985.

And he then returned to Britain for a period to race on what was a very vibrant pro scene there at the time.

He competed with the Raleigh Banana team and won the British criterium championships and was crowned national road race championships.

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