Mont Ventoux, the Giant of Provence

On 13th July 1967, on the 13th stage of that year’s Tour de France, the British rider Tommy Simpson was climbing the dreaded Mont Ventoux when he started to veer from side to side of the road. Insisting that he be “put back on my bike” he continued until he was 1.5 km from the summit when he finally collapsed still clipped into his pedals, and died. A mixture of amphetamines and alcohol were later found in his bloodstream causing heat exhaustion and dehydration. Tomorrow will see this year’s tour pass the memorial which marks that spot where the brave Tommy breathed his last gasp and pedalled his final stroke. 

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