Conquista - The Cycling Quarterly Issue 2 - Page 104

Testing Times A Miscellany of Le Tour de France 1966 1966 The net was starting to close in on doping and 1966 saw the French authorities unable to turn a blind eye any longer. France introduced mandatory drug testing, much to the disgust of the riders. The peleton got wind of the impending hotel police raid so many fled. All except for Raymond Poulidor who reluctantly tested. The next day an infuriated peleton brought the Tour to a standstill for the first time ever by dismounting and riding slow in protest at the infringement of Poulidor’s rights. A Miscellany of Le Tour de France Mr. Tom 1967 1967 The British rider ‘Mr Tom’ Simpson, was a massive hit with the French media, who loved him parading around Paris in his bowler hat. On the fateful morning of the Ventoux tragedy a journalist said to him “Is the heat the problem?”. To which he replied “It’s not the heat, it’s the Tour.” The Sun newspape r allegedly made up the phrase “Put me back on my bike”, which he is widely reported to have said moments before he died. Alec Hall and Harry Taylor (his manager and mechanic) who were with him in his final minutes both agree he simply said “On… On…On…” 104