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Paul Sherwen, one of the most well-known cycling commentators who is widely credited with introducing the English-speaking world to sport, died Sunday at his home in Uganda. He was 62 years old.
Sherwens voice became almost inseparable after a stellar career as a competitor to the Tour de France and other major cycling events. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was seven times on the tour and twice British champion. However, the British cyclist is best known for his 33 years when he commented on the world's most famous and grueling cycling competition – many with co-commentator Phil Liggett.
For more than three decades, Sherwen spread his passion for cycling in British, Australian and American television and radio to new generations of fans. He reported on the sport as an analyst for NBC Sports during five Olympics.
"We are sad to express our condolences to the friends and family of Paul Sherwen, who died this morning in his home in Uganda," the news agency said in a statement on Sunday.
"Paul has been synonymous with the Tour de France in the United States and will be greatly missed by his legions of fans and the NBC Sports family, who was honored by Paul in July this year for Paul's 40th Tour" NBC. "Our thoughts are with Paul's wife, Katherine, her children, and all those in the cycling community who have become Paul Sherwen fans over the course of his long years and call the sport he loved."
Members of the cycling community, including its longtime broadcast partner, were blinded by the news of Sherwen's sudden death.
"Last night, I had gone to bed with a heavy heart in Africa and felt sad as never before," wrote Liggett on Twitter. "My teammate has not been with me for 33 years, their hundreds of messages showed how well @ PaulSherwen was loved."
Yesterday evening, I went to bed with a heavy heart in Africa, feeling more sad than ever. My teammate was not with me for 33 years. Their hundreds of messages showed how well @PaulSherwen was loved. Now think of Katherine and his children with love.
– Phil Liggett (@PhilLiggett) December 3, 2018
British Cycling also noted the loss of former National Champion in a Tweet he called him "a great voice of our sport".
We were really saddened by the news of the death of @ PaulSherwen . A former national champion and a great voice of our sport are our thoughts at this time with his family and friends.
– British Cycling (@BritishCycling) December 2, 2018
Lance Armstrong, who had won the Tour seven times before being stripped of his championships during a doping scandal wrote about Sherwen's meeting in 1992 when he worked as press spokesman for the Motorola team. "He has always been a class and a good friend," said Armstrong.
Totally shocked and sad when Paul Sherwen passed away. He met Paul in 1992 when he worked as a press officer for the Motorola team. He was always a classic and a good friend. My deepest condolences go to his family. RIP Climber.
– Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) December 2, 2018
"The soundtrack to our July and our sport has been silenced," Australia Cycling Central wrote on Twitter. "We are too disappointed for words right now."
Cycling commentator and former professional Paul Sherwen passed away at the age of 62. I do not know any specifics unless he was in Uganda, where he lived and worked in mining operations. An extremely warmhearted guy and a true gentleman from the first time I met him until the last time I saw him pic.twitter.com/P05yiang3H
– Neal Rogers (@nealrogers) 2 December 2018  Born in Lancashire in the UK, Sherwen grew up in Uganda at the age of seven, NBC Sports reported. "He helped create Paul's peloton that brought bicycles to Africa and championed the Ugandan Conservation Foundation and supporters of the Helping Rhinos initiative for African wildlife."
The cause of Sherwen's death is not yet known.