December 6 | In this episode of The Cycling Podcast, Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe remember Paul Sherwen, who died at the weekend aged 62.
Sherwen was a pioneering rider – heading to France to make it as a professional in the late 1970s when very few British or English-speaking riders managed to make that breakthrough. He was the first of the 'second wave' of English-speakers to tackle the Tour de France and he paved the way for the likes of Graham Jones, Sean Yates and Robert Millar, as well as Phil Anderson and Allan Peiper from Australia.
Sherwen rode the Tour seven times for the Fiat and La Redoute teams, finishing it five times, he was twice British national champion, and when he retired he was a directeur sportif for the iconic Raleigh-Banana team.
But he is perhaps best known to millions of British, American and Australian cycling fans as one half of the television commentary double-act he formed with Phil Liggett. For successive generations of cycling fans he has been a friendly, welcoming voice for newcomers discovering a complex sport.
He was also one of the first team press officers, with the Motorola team in the early 1990s, and – having been brought up in Kenya – he returned to Africa and lived in Uganda, where his passion for the people and the countryside was obvious to everyone who met him.
In this episode we hear from Sherwen's great friend and colleague Phil Liggett, from contemporaries from his early professional years, John Herety, Sean Yates and Tim Harris, from journalist Luke Edwardes-Evans, American rider Ian Boswell and François Thomazeau and Orla Chennaoui.
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If you're looking for a cycling challenge over the festive period, why not take part in Rapha's Festive 500. Already almost 30,000 people have registered on Strava. The challenge is to ride 500 kilometres between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (inclusive). If you can't manage 500km you can still take part and so how far you can ride.
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