Paul Sherwen, cycling broadcaster and former professional rider, has died at the age of 62 of heart failure.
Sherwen began his professional career in France, riding for Raphaël Géminiani’s Fiat squad in 1978. A year earlier he raced for Athletic Club de Boulougne-Billancourt, the amateur team that produced the likes of Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Thévenet and Stephen Roche.
He would go on to join La Redoute, riding five Tour de France for them, and seven in total. Sherwen gained a reputation for suffering through long mountain stages, including stage 11 to Morzine-Avoriaz in 1985, a stage he rode solo for six hours after crashing early on.
Other career highlights included an 11 th place finish in the 1980 Milan-San Remo, and 15th in the 1984 Paris-Roubaix, as well as stage wins at the Tour Méditerranéen and Four Days of Dunkirk.
His biggest successes as a professional came during the final two years of his racing career though, at the British Raleigh squad. There, he won the British National Circuit Race Championships in 1986 and the British National Road Race Championships the following year, beating future JLT-Condor team boss John Herety to the win.
Sherwen was best known for his commentating, starting off at British broadcaster Channel 4 while still a professional rider in 1986. That began the famous and long-running partnership with fellow broadcaster Phil Liggett. Alongside Liggett, he covered 33 Tour de France, as well as numerous other races, commentating for America’s NBC network and SBS in Australia, among others.
Overnight tributes flooded in on social media for Sherwen. Liggett, who worked across broadcasting with Sherwen for several decades wrote:
I went to bed in Africa with a heavy heart last night feeling sadness like never before. My team mate for 33 years was no longer with me. Your hundreds of messages showed how well @PaulSherwen was loved. Let's think of Katherine and his children with love just now.— Phil Liggett (@PhilLiggett) December 3, 2018
In a statement released on Sunday, NBC said: "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.
"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.
Cyclingnews would like to extend its sincere condolences to Sherwen's family and friends.