• May the wind be forever at your back Paul Sherwen (third from left) (Supplied) (Supplied )Source: Supplied
One half of the long-time soundtrack to our Australian winters, Paul Sherwen, died overnight at his home in Uganda.
Cycling Central

3 Dec 2018 - 8:31 AM  UPDATED 3 Dec 2018 - 3:37 PM

He and Phil Liggett brought the Tour de France alive for us and into our loungerooms late at night, every July. The dynamic duo taught us about the beauty of cycling and we are grateful. 

How could we have fallen in love with this sport without their passion and their ability to set up the drama?

A former cyclist himself in the 1980s, and a co-commentator with Phil Ligget for 33 years, Paul had forgotten more than we could ever know about cycling and arguably, life.  

Sherwen was born in Lancashire in the UK, and raised in Kenya, returning to England in his late teens where he first turned to cycling, finding much domestic and French amateur success. 

He first threw his leg over a bike professionally in France with the Fiat squad in 1978, riding five Tours de France for La Redoute after joining the squad in 1980. Sherwen lined up for a total of seven Tours, earning notoriety for his six hour solo effort on stage 11 of the 1985 Tour.

This toughness was also suited to the classics where he shone including his 11th place at the 1980 Milan-San Remo and finishing 15th in the 1984 Paris-Roubaix, two of cycling's important Monuments. Sherwen saw out the final two years of his pro cycling career with Raleigh where he also produced victories in the British National Circuit Race Championships and the British National Road Race Championships.

Sherwen first tried his hand at cycling commentary with Phil Ligget in 33 years ago. And the golden era of Sherliggetism was born.

The duo was first introduced to Australian cycling fans in the late 1980s via Phil Bates who ran the Commonwealth Bank Cycle Classic and from 1991, on the SBS coverage of the Tour de France. 

Sherwen was a true citizen of the world, fluent in several languages and travelling most of it every year. But his heart belonged to Africa where he resided in Uganda for several decades and more recently regularly championing the rising stars of African cycling. 

Always a member of our SBS family, we extend our sincere condolences to Sherwen's cherished and beloved.  

Tributes flow for Paul Sherwen 

We'll leave you with some of the numerous posts on social media paying tribute to a man of his calibre:

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 pic.twitter.com/lLTe0bDdXC

— Robbie McEwen (@mcewenrobbie) December 2, 2018