All posts by Tony Varey

About Tony Varey

Tony Varey took up cycling at school in the 1960s and became an avid follower of the sport. Struggling to understand the rapidfire RTL race commentaries on a transistor radio certainly helped his French!He then left it behind and followed a career in the oil business including time in Latin America and the Middle East before returning to cycling in his fifties.His enthusiasm has recently been invigorated by the rediscovery of the joys of riding vintage steel-framed bikes around the lanes of West Sussex.

Tommy Simpson

Simpson’s Last Finishing Line – Tour de France 1967

Tommy SimpsonMuch has been written about the death of Tom Simpson on Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France 13th Stage (Thursday 13 July), and indeed I still have the press cuttings.  However, I kept also a cutting from a paper of the morning of 13 July  –  i.e. reporting on Stage 12 the previous day.   J.B. (Jock) Wadley, writing in The Daily Telegraph, captured beautifully the romance of the Tour, and below is the report in full, but your attention is drawn to the last line which is nothing short of ominous. Continue reading Simpson’s Last Finishing Line – Tour de France 1967

Poulidor anquetil janssen

Poor Old Poulidor?

What a Question!

Poulidor and Janssen (1967?)

It is said that Raymond Poulidor was unfortunate in that his career coincided with Jacques Anquetil for the first half and Eddy Merckx in the second. But how unfortunate was he in reality?

He was dubbed the “Eternal Second” as a result of coming off worse in so many of his encounters with Anquetil and Merckx, and he was always portrayed as less sophisticated than the somewhat débonnaire Jacques Anquetil (although they were both farm boys). However, he was very popular with the French public and, it is said, made more money than Anquetil as a result, and also invested it more wisely… and is still in high demand! Continue reading Poor Old Poulidor?