Facebook Pixel Image

ROULEUR ISSUE 19.6 - NOW AVAILABLE

  • Tour de France 21 Stories: Vicious Ventoux

    Posted on

    Stage 12: Montpellier-Mont Ventoux

    Everyone knows the tragic tale of Tom Simpson, collapsing in the heat, amongst the white rocks of Mont Ventoux’s burning upper slopes, pronounced dead on arrival in hospital.

    But what of Jean Malléjac, who narrowly avoided the same fate, 12 years earlier?

    There were many brutal stages in 1955, but the 198k stage from Marseille to Avignon was one of the worst. It was won by Louison Bobet, one of the few riders to make it over Ventoux intact, despite excruciatingly painful saddle sores. He crossed the finish line with less than a minute’s grace, having been pursued by a scary bunch of Italians—one of whom, Pasquale Fornara, was right behind him on GC—and a tenacious Belgian, Jean Brankart, who would finish second in Paris.

    “I don’t believe I’ve ever ridden such a difficult Tour,” a grim-faced Bobet told press afterwards, while confiding to his brother, Jean, that he wasn’t sure how he could continue.

    “Spectators with sunstroke were dropping like flies,” Bobet’s team-mate Raphaël Géminiani later recalled. “At the bottom of the Tourmalet the Swiss [Ferdi Kübler] got up on his pedals and went sprinting away. He was off like a locomotive. That was his trademark. I just had time to warn him, ‘Steady, Ferdi! The Ventoux isn’t like other climbs.’ And then, between two apocalyptic attacks, Kübler put me in my place in his shaky French: ‘Ferdi also not champion like others.’ On the line, they had to scoop him off the road with a teaspoon.”

    It was the closing moment of Kübler’s career.

    Here was a stage for the specialist climbers, yet they were on their hands and knees. Charly Gaul, the handsome, slightly creepy Luxembourger who’d given everyone a fright in the Alps, now wilted like a poppy on hot tarmac. Gilbert Bauvin, the punchy little grimpeur from Nancy, was pedalling squares. The Belgian climber, Richard Van Genechten, keeled over into a ditch.

    But 10k from the summit was the worst scene of all. Malléjac, one of the top French riders, had collapsed, a terrifying wheezing sound emanating from his throat, one leg still pedalling the air. Sauveur Ducazeaux, a DS from another team who rushed to his aid, was horrified by what he saw: Malléjac was inanimate, his eyes rolled back to their whites, his stretched features waxy and contorted. The Tour’s Dr Dumas quickly arrived on the scene. “His jaws had to be forced apart to try to get him to drink and it wasn’t until a quarter of an hour later, after he’d received an injection of solucamphor and been given oxygen, that Malléjac recovered consciousness,” l’Equipe reported. “Carried off in the ambulance, he still hadn’t recovered his wits. He struggled, gesticulated, shouted, called for his bike, wanted to climb out, so much so that he had to be strapped down.”

    Fortunately Malléjac lived to tell the tale – or not. The doctors suspected amphetamine abuse. Malléjac declared he was perfectly clean, then claimed he’d been poisoned by his soigneur. A furious Doctor Dumas declared he would press charges for attempted murder.

    Malléjac recovered, rode two more Tours, and went to his death at the age of 71 protesting his innocence.

    94 thoughts on “Tour de France 21 Stories: Vicious Ventoux”

    1. excellent publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the
      other specialists of this sector don’t realize this. You should
      proceed your writing. I’m sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

    2. I am now not positive the place you’re getting your information, however great topic.
      I must spend a while finding out more or working
      out more. Thank you for fantastic information I was searching for this info for my mission.

    3. Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in web explorer, could test this?
      IE nonetheless is the market chief and a large component to other
      people will pass over your wonderful writing due
      to this problem.

    4. Hi, i feel that i saw you visited my weblog thus i got
      here to go back the desire?.I’m attempting to to find things to improve
      my site!I assume its adequate to make use of a few of your ideas!!

    5. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
      The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish.

      nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that
      you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

    6. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all
      people you really know what you’re speaking approximately!
      Bookmarked. Please also consult with my site =). We may have a link alternate agreement among
      us

    7. First off I would like to say great blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
      I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.

      I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.

      I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first
      10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?
      Thanks!

    8. Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a
      lot of spam comments? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
      I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

    9. I’m not sure why but this website is loading incredibly slow for me.
      Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
      I’ll check back later and see if the problem still
      exists.

    10. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing
      this website. I’m hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts
      from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own website now 😉

    11. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
      It is the little changes that will make the largest changes.

      Thanks a lot for sharing!

    12. Your way of describing the whole thing in this post is in fact nice, all can without difficulty be aware of it,
      Thanks a lot.

    13. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous
      to and you are just too wonderful. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating
      and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it smart.
      I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful
      web site.

    14. When someone writes an post he/she retains the image of
      a user in his/her mind that how a user can understand it.
      Therefore that’s why this piece of writing is great. Thanks!

    15. Link exchange is nothing else except it is simply placing the other person’s webpage link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do same in support of you.

    16. Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I
      guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly
      enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to
      everything. Do you have any suggestions for newbie blog writers?
      I’d definitely appreciate it.

    17. Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come
      back once again since I saved as a favorite
      it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

    18. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your
      blog and will often come back later on. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great work, have
      a nice holiday weekend!

    19. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.

      I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions.
      Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
      I desire to read more things about it! pof natalielise

    20. Admiring the dedication you put into your blog and detailed information you provide.
      It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed
      information. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site
      and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    21. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude!
      Thank you, However I am going through difficulties
      with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot join it.
      Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems?
      Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?

      Thanks!! pof natalielise

    22. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make
      this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
      Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got
      this from. cheers

    23. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
      I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or
      if it’s the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    24. Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar
      one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments?
      If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise?

      I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so
      any support is very much appreciated.

    25. Hi there colleagues, how is everything, and what you would like to say concerning this piece
      of writing, in my view its in fact amazing in support of me.

    26. I loved this post! i try to read your blog fairly often, and you’re always coming out
      with a lot of great stuff. I contributed this on my facebook, and
      my followers adored it. I really admire the great
      work 🙂

    27. Hey there superb blog! Does running a blog like this
      require a lot of work? I have no understanding of coding but I had
      been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any ideas or tips for new blog owners please share.

      I know this is off topic however I just needed to ask. Kudos!

    28. This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused.
      Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.
      I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
      how you presented it. Too cool!

    29. I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for.
      Do you offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
      I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a lot of
      the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome site!

    30. You’re so cool! I don’t believe I’ve truly read something like that before.
      So good to find somebody with some original thoughts on this topic.
      Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the web, someone with a bit of
      originality!

    31. Hey there! I’ve been following your weblog for a while
      now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a
      shout out from Dallas Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic job!

    32. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I should check
      things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.
      Look forward to checking out your web page for a second time.

    33. Hey outstanding blog! Does running a blog such as this require a
      massive amount work? I’ve absolutely no understanding of
      coding however I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, should you have any suggestions or techniques for
      new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic however
      I just had to ask. Thanks a lot!

    34. May I simply say what a relief to discover someone
      that genuinely knows what they’re discussing online.
      You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light
      and make it important. A lot more people should check this out and
      understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular because
      you certainly have the gift.

    35. If you are going for finest contents like myself, only go
      to see this site everyday as it offers quality contents, thanks

    36. I don’t even know how I finished up here, however I believed
      this submit was great. I do not know who you might be however
      certainly you are going to a well-known blogger if you are not already.
      Cheers!

    37. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
      Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
      I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get
      there! Thanks

    38. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.
      It will always be useful to read articles from other
      writers and practice something from other web sites.

    39. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your
      point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence
      on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something
      informative to read?

    40. I seriously love your site.. Excellent colors & theme.

      Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back
      as I’m trying to create my very own blog and would love to learn where you
      got this from or what the theme is named. Many thanks!

    41. Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired!
      Extremely helpful info specially the remaining section 🙂 I
      take care of such info a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long
      time. Thanks and best of luck.

    42. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
      Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You have
      done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

    43. Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was
      wondering your situation; we have developed some nice practices and we are
      looking to trade techniques with others, please
      shoot me an email if interested.

    44. Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
      I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my
      readers would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free
      to send me an email.

    45. Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from.
      Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this
      site.

    46. Usually I don’t learn post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up
      very pressured me to take a look at and do it!
      Your writing style has been surprised me.
      Thank you, very nice article.

    47. Hello There. I discovered your blog the use of msn. That is a really neatly written article.

      I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your useful info.
      Thank you for the post. I will certainly comeback.

    48. Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading
      correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
      I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the
      same outcome.

    49. Attractive section of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to claim that
      I get actually loved account your blog posts.
      Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I success you get admission to constantly quickly.

    50. Excellent post. Keep posting such kind of info on your page.
      Im really impressed by your site.
      Hey there, You have performed a fantastic job.
      I’ll certainly digg it and individually recommend to my friends.
      I am confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

    51. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my
      iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a
      youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
      I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it
      with someone!

    52. Heya! I realize this is sort of off-topic however
      I had to ask. Does operating a well-established website
      like yours require a massive amount work? I’m completely new to writing a blog
      however I do write in my diary everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and feelings online.
      Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for
      new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

    53. Hmm it appears like your website ate my first
      comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I
      submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
      I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to
      the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for novice blog writers?
      I’d genuinely appreciate it.

    54. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and
      was wondering what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a
      pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% positive.

      Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    55. It’s not my first time to visit this web page,
      i am browsing this web page dailly and get pleasant information from here all the time.

    56. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
      My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over
      the internet without my agreement. Do you know any solutions to help stop content from being ripped off?
      I’d definitely appreciate it.

    57. At this time it appears like Movable Type is the preferred
      blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what
      you’re using on your blog?

    58. Useful info. Lucky me I found your website accidentally,
      and I’m surprised why this coincidence did not came about in advance!
      I bookmarked it.

    59. I think everything posted made a lot of sense. But, what about this?

      suppose you were to create a awesome headline? I am not saying your content isn’t good, but
      suppose you added something that grabbed a person’s attention? I mean Tour de France 21 Stories:
      Vicious Ventoux – Journal is kinda plain. You could look
      at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create article
      titles to grab viewers to open the links. You might add a related video or a pic
      or two to get readers excited about everything’ve written. In my
      opinion, it would make your posts a little livelier.

    Leave a Reply

    Your e-mail address will not be published.