Thursday, 13 July 2017

Sad day 50 years ago

July 13th 1967 saw one of the Tour de France's most tragic events, the death of Tommy Simpson. This year's Tour has omitted the mythic Ventoux climb, where a Jim Morrison style shrine has sprung up.
Simpson was favourite  to win the Tour, but he was in poor health and drugs were keeping him going. On a hot day (up to 40 in the shade) when riders were not allowed water and often finished dehydrated, Simpson struggled up the mountain and collapsed in full view of the TV cameras. Doctors tried to resuscitate him, but it was too late. Simpson was a folk hero, son of a miner who moved to France aged 18 and became a firm favourite for his courage. But behind the glamour was a man beset by drugs and debt, whose name is now most famous for dying in the saddle.
Picture : Getty Images
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