Urban Hunter have launced a new range of t-shirts to celebrate the memory of legendary British cyclist Tom Simpsom 42 years after his death on the slopes of Mont Ventoux brought on by a combination of heat exhaustion and amphetamines.
Ventoux "the Giant of Provence" is likely to play a pivotal role in this year's Tour as the penultimate stage before the race hits Paris that fact plus a meeting with Simpson's friend and teammate Vin Denson is what inspired Urban Hunter to create their Simpson t-shirts in collaboration with US outfit Gage & DeSoto.
The 'On-on-on' t-shirt takes its name from Simpson's actual last words to Harry Hall on the slopes of the Ventoux and while some might question celebrating the achievements of a drug taking cyclist Richard from Urban Hunter makes a plea for understanding arguing that Simpson's doping should be judged within the context of the times:
“Tom Simpson’s cycling career was simply breathtaking. In 1960, his first season as a pro, he came within one stage placing of winning the yellow jersey in his first Tour de France. In the 1962 Tour he wore the yellow jersey and finished sixth overall. He took Paris-Nice in 1967. But remember the long events such as the 3 week Tour were not his forte. His great events were the one-day classics or week-long races. He could ride these in his all or nothing, aggressive, swashbucking style. He was always great to watch, spectators loved him. He won the Tour of Flanders (1961), Bordeaux-Paris (1963), Milan-San Remo (1964) and the Tour of Lombardy (1965). He was World Champion of the Road in 1965, his greatest achievement. It would be 32 years before another Brit would wear the yellow maillot jaune of the Tour again. It would be 45 years before another Brit, Mark Cavendish, would win Milan-San Remo again.”
Simpson was a great cyclist who paid the ultimate price for doping at a time when it was very much more accepted than it is today and while his memory may still stir controversy for some, he is also remembered with a great deal of affection and respect as anyone who has ever seen the monument to him on Mont Ventoux will testify.
The Urban Hunter t-shirt features the famous Peugeot checkerboard pattern and are available in a range of colours for £21.95. To find out more visit www.urbanhunter.biz
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.