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Cycling world mourns death of Paul Sherwen

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British road race champion and cycling commentator Paul Sherwen has died at the age of 62.

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Sherwen was the national circuit race champion in 1986 and road race champion the following year, results which came towards the end of a career which also saw him compete in seven editions of the Tour de France between 1978 and 1985.

In more recent years, Sherwen was one of the most recognisable voices of the sport, commentating alongside Phil Liggett on the Tour and other major races around the world – broadcast on SBS for Australian audiences.

He was a regular visitor to South Australia for the Tour Down Under, with his annual January appearance with Liggett at the SA Press Club a fixture on the calendar of local cycling enthusiasts.

SBS cycling host Michael Tomalaris, a long-time colleague of Sherwen, paid his respects on social media.

“Shocked to learn of the sudden passing of Paul Sherwen. A former pro-cyclist who became a familiar voice for SBS audiences as a member of his partnership in commentary with Phil Liggett. This was our last time together in July this year. A true gentleman. RIP,” Tomalaris tweeted with an accompanying photo of himself and Sherwen.

Australian cycling star Robbie McEwen was another to recognise Sherwen’s impact.

“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Paul Sherwen. An absolute gentleman – I knew him for over 20 years & listened to him & Phil for almost 30. Always generous with his time, I learnt plenty working alongside him. My sincere condolences to his family & loved ones,” he tweeted.

British Cycling and a number of WorldTour teams, including Australia’s Mitchelton-Scott and Mark Cavendish’s Team Dimension Data, also posted tributes to Sherwen.

“We were truly saddened by the news of the passing of @PaulSherwen. A former national champion and great voice of our sport, our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time,” a tweet from British Cycling read.

“We are saddened to hear the news of the passing of Paul Sherwen and would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and the whole cycling community. RIP,” Mitchelton-Scott tweeted.

The Santos Tour Down Under released a statement saying its team was “in shock and deeply saddened by the news” of Sherwen’s death.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Paul’s family, and also with Phil Liggett, during this difficult time,” it said in a statement.

“Whilst this makes no sense as we process this news, what we do know is that our lives and the Santos Tour Down Under were all the more richer for having the privilege and honour of Paul being a long-term part of the Tour Down Under team.

“He was a true professional, brought great insight to the fans, he was generous, always had a smile on his face and put one on yours, and had a deep passion and care for the work he did and the people he worked with and for, including the riders and fans. There is a place in our hearts which will now be empty as we look back and think of all the wonderful moments we have shared with Paul at the Tour Down Under.

“January will not be the same without him.”

– with AAP

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