Cycling legends: Tom Simpson – An afternoon with Chris Sidwells

Cycling legends: Tom Simpson – An afternoon with Chris Sidwells

FREE to join
Talk start time: 2pm
Date: Saturday 3rd August
Where: Fixed Wheel Microbrewery, Long Lane Trading Estate B62 9LD
Eventbrite FREE ticket >> here <<

What’s happening?

Join us at the Fixed Wheel Microbrewery, where Chris will join us to talk about the cycling legend that is – Tom Simpson. Get to know Simpson’s story from his birth in the north-east of England, though Olympic bronze at the age of 19, to his rapid rise through the ranks of European pro cycling to become one of the best cyclists in the world.

Bar snacks, freshly made cobs and a selection of craft and cask ale will be available to buy from the brewery taphouse.

The Tom Simpson talk

Delivered by the journalist and writer, author of 20 books on cycling and 1000s of articles over the last 15 years, Chris Sidwells, who is also Tom Simpson’s nephew, tells the story of adventure, ambition, success and ultimately tragedy, but it’s also a love story, a story of a charming man who won a place in people’s hearts so big that he still badly missed by many who knew him today.

The talk also introduces and presents Chris Sidwells’ latest book, Cycling Legends 01 Tom Simpson, which will be available to all who attend at a discounted price. Chris will also bring the bike Simpson won Paris-Nice on in 1967, as well as one of Simpson’s rainbow jerseys.

Who is Tom Simpson?

Tom Simpson has the best record in classics and the men’s elite world road race championships of any British rider ever. He was the first to win one of the five biggest single-day races, called the monuments of the sport, and the first to win the world professional road race title. So far only Mark Cavendish has repeated these two feats, but where Cavendish has won one monument, Milan-San Remo, Simpson won three.

In stage races, Simpson was the first British cyclist ever to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. He did it in 1962 when he finished 6th overall. He was the first British cyclist to win Paris-Nice and he won two stages in the Vuelta a España.

Loved in Europe for his charm and fighting spirit, by 1965 Simpson’s profile was so high in his home country he became the first cyclist ever to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Summing up Simpson the cyclist, Sir Bradley Wiggins wrote in his latest book, ‘Icons’ “The odds against him winning the Tour of Flanders when he did, at the age of 23, were colossal. Add in Milan-San Remo, his masterpiece Tour of Lombardy, his world road race title, Paris-Nice and the rest, and you have arguably the most complete British road racer of all time. Cavendish was –and still is- a better sprinter, I was a much better time triallist, and Tom couldn’t climb like Robert Millar. However, none of us could have won so many big, important and widely diverse races, and it’s unlikely anybody else will.”

One race eluded Simpson, though, despite repeated efforts to win it. That was the Tour de France, in which he had constant bad luck, with crashes and illness affecting his performance or putting him out. His desire to win it never dimmed, and in 1967 that desire cost him his life.

View all of Chris Sidwells published materials online here >

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