Put Me Back on My Bike : In Search of Tom Simpson, Paperback Book

Put Me Back on My Bike : In Search of Tom Simpson Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The cyclist Tom Simpson was an Olympic medallist, world champion and the first Briton to wear the fabled yellow jersey of the Tour de France.

He died a tragic early death on the barren moonscape of the Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour. Almost 35 years on, hundreds of fans still make the pilgrimage to the windswept memorial which marks the spot where he died.

A man of contradictions, Simpson was one of the first cyclists to admit to using banned drugs, and was accused of fixing races, yet the dapper "Major Tom" inspired awe and affection for the obsessive will to win which was ultimately to cost him his life.

An authoritative evaluation of Simpson's death, and of the life that led to it, has been long overdue, the more so since cycling has been rocked by a succession of drug scandals.

Put me Back on my Bike will revisit the places and people associated with Simpson to produce the definitive story of Britain's greatest ever cyclist.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: sport
  • ISBN: 9780224092395

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This is an interesting book that has been overtaken, at least partly, by more recent events. Tom Simpson was the first British cyclist to wear the fabled yellow jersey in the tour de France. He also died on that event, the result of a concatenation of circumstances, and, as a result, triggered the first drugs scandal. You could easily argue that the scandal has continued, with peaks and troughs, ever since. This is partly Tom's life story, but also a tale of how those involved have a vested interest in the story. The evidence of the people involved can never be truly impartial and that has been presented in the way the story has been shaped over the years. This is interesting, it tells of a time past and how the past shapes the present. Even today, riders scale the Ventoux and leave a tribute at the roadside marker that memorialises Tom's death. In the last few years 2 British cyclists have not just worn but won the yellow jersey, that dates this book, but hardly changes the imoact of the first man to break the national duck.

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