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Renowned Cycling Commentator, Paul Sherwen, Dies At 62

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A pillar of the cycling community has passed away. The broadcaster and former rider Paul Sherwen died yesterday at his home in Uganda. He was 62 years old.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Sherwen was one half of a duo that made up the voice of cycling. He and Paul (ph) Liggett brought the Tour de France into millions of people's homes as part of a commentary team that lasted more than 30 years. Here's a bit of their work as compiled for a TV ad.

(SOUNDBITE OF TOUR DE FRANCE COMMENTARY MONTAGE)

PHIL LIGGETT: Tom Boonen has stopped him before and may be doing it again.

PAUL SHERWEN: He's taken the race by the horns here this afternoon, writing his name into the history books with a performance like this.

MARTIN: That second voice was Sherwen's. He once told an audience he tried to make cycling interesting for everyone.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SHERWEN: I don't like to feel that I'm commentating to the cycling fans because there's 50,000 to 100,000. I like to be commentating to your mom. I like to be commentating to a little old lady down the street who says, wow.

INSKEEP: Sherwen was a respected rider before he became a commentator. He won the British national title twice and competed in the Tour de France seven times. Matt Keenan, who worked with him, recalls the effect he had on people.

MATT KEENAN: You know how there's some people that when you see, you just smile before a word is spoken? Or their number comes up in their phone, and you smile before you've even said a word to them? That was Paul Sherwen.

MARTIN: The Tour de France will happen this summer, as it does every year. But this time - the first time since 1983 - the tour will happen without the voice of Paul Sherwen. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.