Harworth's Tom Simpson remembered

CYLISTS and fans from across the region were in France on Friday for the 40th anniversary of the death of Britain's most famous cyclist, Tom Simpson.

The 29-year-old Harworth cyclist died a mile from the summit of Mont Ventoux in France on the 13th stage of the 1967 Tour on August 13th.

The walkway to the memorial that stands just a few feet from where he fell from his bike, suffering from heat and exhaustion, has been updated to welcome a new legion of pilgrims.

Cyclists from across the area, and from Belgium where Simpson resided during his days of professional cycling, visited Mont Ventoux and open a new set of steps up to the memorial.

"All the rocks and the hillside leading up to the monument has worn away and Tom's daughters suggested putting some steps up to it," explains Dave Marsh, who runs the Universal Cycle Shop in Dinnington and led the contingent of supporters across the Channel in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

"We are going down with a party of riders from the Dinnington and Harworth clubs. We have had a fund set up to build steps to the memorial and were given the go-ahead for building to start last week."

"Hopefully it will be done in time for the 13th (Friday). We'll be taking banners and signs from various clubs."

Fundraising has been done in England and in Belgium and was continuing apace even on Monday when Dave received 200 in donations.

Joanne and Jane Simpson, daughters of Tom, were due to cut the ribbon at 11.30am on Friday morning, on what was expected to be a very emotional day for all involved.

Simpson was a local and national legend. He was an Olympic bronze medallist in the team pursuit in Melbourne in 1967, a silver medallist in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games two years later. The Harworth cyclist was the World Road Race Champion in 1965.