Richard Moore: Tributes to Scottish cyclist, author and journalist who dies aged 48
Moore was a regular contributor to The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday for over 20 years, covering Olympic and Commonwealth Games, the Tour de France and other major sporting events.
He wrote several books, including In Search of Robert Millar, a biography of the enigmatic Scottish cyclist who, against all odds, won "King of the Mountains" at the 1984 Tour de France and finished fourth overall. Moore’s book won the Best Biography category at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards.
Moore later worked with Hoy on the latter’s autobiography after his record-breaking exploits on the Olympic track.
Hoy wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely devastated to hear the awful news that Richard Moore 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.”
Hoy and Moore were team-mates at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, with Moore representing Scotland in the road race and the time trial. He was a talented cyclist but it was when he moved into journalism that his career really flourished.
The Edinburgh-born writer began covering the sport at a time when cycling was beginning to enjoy a huge surge in popularity, with Scottish riders like Hoy and Craig McLean leading the way on the track. The emergence of world-class road cyclists such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas thrust Britain to the forefront of the sport and Moore was a regular fixture at the Tour de France, chronicling their exploits for this newspaper and others.
Long-serving Scotsman sportswriter and good friend Alan Pattullo said the world of cycling and beyond would be devastated by the loss. "I got to know Richard well when I was asked to write about Lance Armstrong for The Scotsman in the late 90s and he guided me through the complexities of that particular topic.
"He delivered what I consider to be one of the best British sports books of this century when he wrote In Search of Robert Millar, but he was so much more than simply a cycling writer - his last column for Scotland on Sunday, in April last year, was inspired by the 25th anniversary of the events chronicled in Joe McGinness' book Miracle of Castel di Sangro, about an Italian village team getting promotion to Serie B.
"He also wrote a column for The Scotsman - Richard Moore's Sports Almanac - that pulled out lesser known, but nevertheless interesting stories, for readers to ponder ahead of the coming week. He was always on hand to turn round copy quickly and he could be relied upon to do so immaculately.
"He made many, many friends in journalism and crucially, was loved and respected by sports people too, in cycling in particular. On a personal level, he was my best friend and I am shattered."
Moore was widely recognised as an expert in the field of cycling and, in 2013, he launched The Cycling Podcast, with his great friends and fellow cycling journalists Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe.
It was a huge success, attracting a large worldwide audience, and his colleagues have paid tribute to their “leader, lynchpin, friend and brother”.
“The Cycling Podcast would simply never have started without Richard,” they said in a statement. “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.”
A versatile and forensic writer, Moore also penned two outstanding books on athletics. The Dirtiest Race in History: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the Seoul Olympic 100m Final, told the story of the notorious 1988 Olympic race, and was long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2012.
Three years later he wrote The Bolt Supremacy: Inside Jamaica’s Sprint Factory, about the rise of Usain Bolt and Jamaican sprinting.
In recent years, Moore was based in France with his young family, devoting more time to The Cycling Podcast.
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