Obituary: It is with great sadness that we report the death of one of the best known writers, authors, journalists and podcasters in the cycling world – Richard Moore. Ed Hood looks at his career from bike to keyboard and talks to some of Richard’s friends.
Not for the first time, The Three Fates have beaten me to the punch. Every Saturday and Sunday I walk the 25 minutes to the newsagents and back to collect the weekend papers, to accompany me on my 50 minute journey I listen to the ‘Cycling Podcast’. Daniel Friebe, Lionel Birnie and Scotland’s own Richard Moore analyse in slightly irreverent fashion the races which have taken place that week and look ahead to upcoming big events.
Every week I think to myself; ‘I really must catch up with Richard about doing an interview for the site.’
[Ed. Note: We were in fact lucky enough to interview Richard in 2014 here.]
On Tuesday morning, 29th March I received a ‘phone call from Roddy Riddle to tell me that Richard had passed away on Sunday night. It’s not often I feel shocked but that was the emotion which ran through me as Roddy spoke. I didn’t post anything on the morning just in case there had been some terrible misunderstanding but when more friends messaged me as the day went on I realised there was no mistake, Richard had been taken at the age of just 49 years.
Born in Edinburgh in 1973, Richard got into cycling through his father’s enthusiasm for the sport with his first racing bike – a Harry Quinn – acquired at age 12. Edinburgh Road Club membership followed at age 13 and a diet of club 10 mile time trials; by 1991 he was Scottish Junior Road Race Champion.
University put cycling towards the back of the stove but by 1997 he was back in serious harness with an ambition to ride the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. A stage win in the 1997 Lands Classic Premier Calendar race in Yorkshire and solid rides in the Manx International, Tour of the Cotswolds and Girvan Three Day brought GB selection for the 1998 Tour of Langkawi and in 1998 his dream of Commonwealth Games Selection was realised. Unfortunately a puncture ended his chances in the road race and he finished 22nd in the time trial.
He ended his cycling career in 1999 and moved into journalism, initially working with Business a.m. newspaper and moving full time into a journalistic career which would see him contribute to, The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, The Herald, Sunday Herald, Sunday Times and Guardian as well as Cycling Weekly, Cyclist, Pro Cycling and Rouleur magazines.
His first venture as an author was in 2007, the award winning, ‘In Search of Robert Millar’, with other titles including, ‘Etape: 20 Greatest Stages of the Tour De France,’ the non-cycling, ‘The Dirtiest Race in History: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the Seoul Olympic 100m Final’ and, ‘Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the greatest ever Tour De France,’ would follow.
The ‘Cycling Podcast’ was launched in 2013 and has gone from strength to strength with daily updates from all three Grand Tours and the addition of the, ‘Cycling Podcast Feminin’. Good content with race news, analysis, interviews, equipment reviews and good banter caught my ear the first time I listened and every Saturday and Sunday I would tune in.
On Wednesday morning, The Cycling Podcast team confirmed Richard’s passing: “Monday was an unfathomably difficult day. In the morning we received the news that our leader, lynchpin, friend and brother Richard Moore had passed away. We are all shattered.
Before the podcast’s genesis in 2013, Richard had already built one flourishing career as a brilliant, versatile and prolific author and journalist. His books won awards, his warmth and humour drew friends – an enormous circle of the most diverse personality types spanning sports and continents. To us, he was a force of nature, unerring but above all unifying. There can be no consolation today, but the closest thing is knowing that the network of affection and love he knitted will now become an edifice of support for those most deeply affected by this loss.
The Cycling Podcast would simply never have started without Richard. Our thumbs would still be poised over the record button, frozen in June 2013. He cajoled, drove, supported and indulged us from the first episode to what will not be the last, released a week ago, for we owe him that and so much more.
Driven by his dual passions of cycling and journalism, Richard’s greatest achievement with The Cycling Podcast was not as the life-force behind an innovative media product; it was as the builder, the federal spirit of a family that today comprises dozens of contributors, friends all around the world, and listeners who felt that they became just that – Richard’s friends.
It will take us some time to process this tragedy, and, mainly for the sake of Richard’s family, we kindly ask for your respect and understanding over the coming days. In due course, it will be our imperative to convey more fully how privileged we feel to have known Richard, and to keep his towering legacy alive.”
Richard moved to Northern France in 2020 allowing easy access to Belgium and the Classics he loved so much, most recently attending Gent-Wevelgem.
Scottish track cycling legend, Sir Chris Hoy said: “Absolutely devastated to hear the awful news that @richardmoore73 has passed away. Can’t quite believe it. An incredible person who touched so many lives. Wish I’d told him just how much I thought of him before he went. Rest in peace Richard x”
Multiple Scottish Champion, Sandy Gilchrist told us: “I first got to know Richard when I was national team manager for Scotland, and Richard was on my young development team. He then progressed to the elite level and represented Scotland at significant events, including the Commonwealth Games. After finishing his competitive cycling years, he engaged in his passion for being a cycling journalist travelling to major races to cover these events. His contribution to cycling – his legacy – is his cycling books, podcast, and articles. My condolences to his family and friends; the cycling community has lost a great journalist, cyclist, and friend.”
Richard’s team mate and Roddy Riddle had this to say: “The loss of Richard has really hit me hard, Richard aka ‘Big Vern’ was like a brother so I feel I’ve lost a family member. I first got to know Richard through racing the Scottish racing circuit early 90’s, this soon developed into a great friendship on but even more off the bike where he would come up to Inverness to train with myself and my brother Kenny and in the off season enjoy a good night out in Inverness or I would do the same staying in his family home in Edinburgh. Holidays and stag weekends and training camps abroad were a regular part of our bond together. One of my proudest moments on the bike was wearing the yellow jersey during the 1996 FBD Milk Rás in Ireland which would never have happened without the unselfish work from Richard when we were in an early break during the stage. I took the jersey but he absolutely rode like a man possessed to help me take the jersey – that memory will always be with me. I retired that same year to then start coaching Richard, this turned out to be an amazing partnership which led to Scottish Championships, a Premier Calendar stage win and selection for the 1998 Commonwealth Games Road Race. Big Vern I will miss you Big Man but will always remember the many good days, weeks and laughs and your mischievous actions we had together.”
Richard Moore, racer, author, journalist, podcaster, son, father, husband, colleague, friend, rest in peace.