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.

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Vive Le Tour, and voom voom, Froome
Vive le tour, and voom voom, froome:
Tim Ireland/AP Photo
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:
Tim Ireland/AP Photo
The Simpson memorial near the summit
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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:
Tim Ireland/AP Photo
Although completely calm compared to tomorrow, Mont Ventoux was abuzz with action Saturday