Tour de France: Yorkshire’s cycling heritage - Tom Simpson

Depending on how you look at it, Tom Simpson, of Doncaster, is either the most tragic of Yorkshire’s cycling legends, or the most iconic.

He was the first Briton to win the world road race title in 1965, the significance of that win growing with every passing year until Mark Cavendish won it three years ago.

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The tragedy came in his death and the mystery surrounding it. Chasing the yellow jersey on the 13th stage of the 1967 Tour, Simpson collapsed and died, reportedly from a mixture of amphetamines and alcohol, a mile from the summit of Mont Ventoux.

A plaque on Ventoux that marks the place he died has become a shrine for cyclists.