|Full name||William Paul Sherwen|
7 June 1956 |
|1978–1979||Fiat - La France|
|1980–1983||La Redoute - Motobecane|
|1985||La Redoute - Cycles MBK|
|1986||Raleigh - Weinmann|
|1987||Raleigh - Banana|
|British National Road Race Champion|
Paul Sherwen (born 7 June 1956) is an English former professional racing cyclist. He is now a broadcaster on cycling, notably the Tour de France. He raced in seven editions of the Tour, finishing five, and gained a reputation for his ability to suffer over long mountain stages.
Born in Widnes, Cheshire, Sherwen was brought up in Kenya. He started his sporting life as a swimmer, finishing second in the under-14 Kenyan swimming championship. Upon returning to Britain, he won the regional under-18 championship for Runcorn and District. However, at 16, he turned to cycling and rode for the Weaver Valley CC in Cheshire, receiving guidance from Manchester coach Harold Nelson and trained regularly with other local riders destined for professional careers, notably Graham Jones, John Herety and Ian Binder.
A year later, he won Folkestone-London, attacking from the gun. For the French team ACBB (Athletic Club Boulogne Billancourt) he won Paris-Barentin, Paris-Mauberge and the Tour de l'Essone, was third in the amateur Paris–Roubaix and second in the British championship. He won the Archer Grand Prix cycle race in 1976 and 1977. Despite spending only part of the year in France due to examinations, he came second in the season-long Palme d'Or competition. 1977 saw him ride the world championship in Venezuela, the pro-am Étoile des Éspoirs and the Scottish Milk Race.
He finished 70th in the 1978 Tour de France. In 1980, he came close to being eliminated on the third stage of the Tour. He finished outside the cut-off time (a percentage of the winner’s time), but was reinstated in view of his solo chase after a crash. The reinstatement delayed abandonment, and he was to repeat the process six years later.
Sherwen was 20th and 11th in Milan–San Remo in 1979 and 1980 respectively, and 15th in the 1984 Paris–Roubaix. He finished third in the Tour du Haut-Var, won by Sean Kelly, in 1982, following a stage win in the season-opening Tour of the Mediterranean. He came second in the Four Days of Dunkirk in 1983, winning a stage. He won the Grand Prix de Denain.
In the Tour, Sherwen finished 111th in 1982 and 116th in 1984. During the last mountain stage of 1984, he diced with the cut-off time. Riding with Australian cyclist Allan Peiper towards the summit at La Plagne, Peiper was knocked from his bike by a Dutch enthusiast. Sherwen – aware of the cut-off – told him to get back on his bike and they crossed the line just inside the limit.
On the first day in the mountains of the 1985 Tour de France, Sherwen crashed in the first kilometre before the race had left Epinal. With Bernard Hinault setting a fast pace, Sherwen had little chance to regain the other riders. He rode solo for six hours over six mountains, accompanied by a motorcycle outrider, and was over an hour behind the stage winner, and 23 minutes outside the cut-off – the Tour publicity caravan had started its return journey and had to move to one side to allow Sherwen to complete the stage. However, again, his courage and endurance were rewarded by reinstatement – he did continue and went on to finish this Tour which would be his last.
Sherwen joined Raleigh in 1986 alongside Mark Bell, Paul Watson, Jon Clay and Jeff Williams. He retired after two seasons winning the British road race championship in 1987 his final season. He then managed the Banana-Raleigh team until Raleigh pulled out at the end of 1989. During this time, he worked as a co-commentator with Phil Liggett for Channel 4's coverage of the Tour de France. After Banana-Raleigh, Sherwen worked as the Public Relations Director for the American Motorola Cycling Team.
During the Tour de France, Sherwen commentates for ITV, Australia's SBS Network and the United States' NBC Sports with Phil Liggett. Sherwen lives in Kampala, Uganda where he has interests in a gold mine, commuting between Uganda and the United States regularly.
- 1st Archer Grand Prix
- 1st Premier Calendar
- 2nd British National Road Race Championships (Amateur)
- 2nd Premier Calendar
- 1st Archer Grand Prix
- 3rd in GP de France
- 3rd in Paris-Roubaix Espoirs
- 3rd in Aix-en-Provence
- 3rd in Stage 2 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
- 3rd in Stage 3 Ronde van België, Brussel
- 2nd in Gistel
- 2nd in San Sebastian
- 3rd in San Sebastian (b)
- 1st in Tour du Hainaut Occidentale
- 1st in Stage 1 Tour Méditerranéen, Béziers
- 3rd in Stage 5 part b Tour Méditerranéen, Monaco
- 3rd in Tour du Haut-Var, Seillans
- 3rd in Ruiselede
- 1st in GP de Denain
- 1st in San Sebastian (b)
- 1st in Stage 3 Quatre jours de Dunkerque, Saint Quentin
- 2nd in General Classification Quatre jours de Dunkerque
- 2nd in Stage 3 Driedaagse van De Panne, De Panne
- 3rd in Paris, Paris
- 3rd in GP de Wallonie, Charleroi
- 2nd in Clermont-Ferrand
- 2nd in Great Yarmouth
- 3rd in Stafford
- 3rd in Stage 1, Tour of Ireland, Wexford
- 3rd in Sint-Denijs
- 1st British National Criterium Championships
- 13th in Stage 5, Tour of Ireland
- 23rd overall Tour of Ireland
- Winner of the British National Road Race Championships (Professional)
- 3rd in Stafford