Two cyclists tackling Mont Ventoux are recovering in hospital after suffering heart attacks hours apart while climbing the mountain on their bikes yesterday – and in both cases, the prompt use of a defibrillator may have helped save their lives.
Both men are now recovering in hospital in Avignon where they were taken by air ambulance after being treated by first aid responders from Carpentras, reports the Dauphiné Libéré.
The first incident happened at a little after 10am, close to Chalet Reynard, which last month provided the finish line of the Bastille Day stage of the Tour de France after the route was shortened by 6 kilometres due to strong winds on the bare upper slopes.
Another cyclist who happened to be a doctor used a defibrillator on the 40-year-old victim before first responders from the fire station in Carpentras arrived.
At around 2pm, another rider, aged 60, suffered a cardiac arrest at the summit of the mountain and was given first aid by a fireman who was on holiday, including using a defibrillator kept at the observatory there.
A third rider, a male aged 32, had to be evacuated from the mountain yesterday after injuring his collarbone in a crash, reports the newspaper.
While the nationalities of the cyclists concerned has not been reported, Mont Ventoux is particularly popular with riders from Britain, many of whom ride it in tribute to Tom Simpson, who died there during the 1967 Tour de France.
Given next year marks the 50th anniversary, it’s likely many will be planning a trip there next summer, with previous anniversaries such as the 40th marked by organised tribute rides.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.