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The definitive account of the life of Britain's greatest cyclist, reissued with a new preface and final chapter

Tom Simpson was an Olympic medallist, world champion and the first Briton to wear the fabled yellow jersey of the Tour de France. He died a tragic early death on the barren moonscape of the Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour. Forty years on, hundreds of fans still make the pilgrimage to the windswept memorial which marks the spot where he died.

A man of contradictions, Simpson was one of the first cyclists to admit to using banned drugs, and was accused of fixing races, yet the dapper 'Major Tom' inspired awe and affection for the obsessive will to win which was ultimately to cost him his life.

This new edition of William Fotheringham's classic biography, published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of Simpson's death, features a preface and final chapter featuring further revelations about Simpson's life and death.


The best cycling biography ever written


An intelligent, perceptive portrait


A beautiful explanation of why Simpson's legend still exerts such a powerful hold

Sunday Times

An enjoyable, clear-eyed biography

Times Literary Supplement

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 15, 2007

    Yellow Jersey

    272 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • Put Me Back on My Bike
    William Fotheringham



    December 31, 2012

    Vintage Digital

    272 pages

    Online retailers

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    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ

Also by William Fotheringham