Tour de France photo gallery: Fans prepare for Ventoux

Many visit hillside memorial to Britain's Tom Simpson

As the Tour de France prepares to ascend the storied Mont Ventoux Sunday, scores of fans were already on the mountain, parking their camper vans, riding up the monstrous hill and getting ready to party.

Vive Le Tour, and voom, voom, Froome

With its barren, moon-like landscape, Mont Ventoux has played host to many a dramatic cycling scene, including one particularly grim moment in 1967 when British racer Tom Simpson died on the mountain with amphetamines in his jersey pocket.

Today, a memorial marks the spot where Simpson fell, 1.5km from the summit.

Many fans went to visit the memorial of tom simpson, who died while racing up the mountain in 1967:
Many fans went to visit the memorial of tom simpson, who died while racing up the mountain in 1967:
The Simpson memorial near the summit

On Saturday, many fans walked to check out the memorial before turning their attention to happier things — such as the massive party looming on Sunday as stage 15 of the Tour de France comes roaring up the mountain.

Traffic ascends the mountain ahead of tomorrow's stage 15 of le tour de france at the summit of mont ventoux in the alps:
Traffic ascends the mountain ahead of tomorrow's stage 15 of le tour de france at the summit of mont ventoux in the alps:
Although completely calm compared to tomorrow, Mont Ventoux was abuzz with action Saturday

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA
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