We'll be celebrating the great man's World Championships victory 50 years on, with unseen photos and memorabilia on exhibition at the Manchester Rapha Cycle Club

British cycling clothing brand Rapha and Cycling Weekly are proud to present a free exhibition for cycling fans starting this September, celebrating half-a-century since one of Britain’s greatest ever riders, Tom Simpson, took victory at the 1965 World Championships.

The exhibition, entitled ‘1965: Tom Simpson’s Golden Year’, will feature unseen photos and memorabilia from the life of Simpson at the Rapha Cycle Club in Manchester from September 17 to November 1.

TSGY-TwitterThe exhibition will run completely free for its duration, but there’ll be a special launch night on September 17 with a panel of guest speakers. Simpson’s nephew, Chris Sidwells will be on the panel, as well as former pro Barry Hoban who rode with Simpson, who will give insights on the man.

The launch event is also free, and you can secure your spot for what will be a special night at the Rapha club by making sure you RSVP on the following link.

  • Norfolk_n_Chance

    Simpson and all other dopers from 60s til the present are exactly the same. ALL are cheating scum!!!

  • Norfolk_n_Chance

    Totally agree!

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    I don’t hink you’re “born” even now! Perhaps you should stick to football or some other crap which is still in total denial about peds.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    I suggest you go and have a chat with Vin Denson. Learn something about the culture of cycling at the time. Tom took a few swigs from a brandy bottle I believe – most likely raided from a roadside cafe. He had a bad stomach that fatal day, and he naively thought it might give him strength.

    Try a bit of compassion and humanity. Tom’s death was a real tragedy, and one which many of us still remember with sadness.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    I think I’ll forget about you instead.

    Do you really think you can compare doping in the 60s with Armstrong’s doping? Go and read the books about Tom’s life. Armstrong was a sociopath, a downright nasty piece of work. Tom was a lovely guy, and he has family living here in the UK – have some perspective please, and have some respect.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    Are you sure it isn’t you that’s been drinking too much Andrew? Your post is almost total codswallop. Have some respect man.

  • Bob

    You make a good contribution to the debate Ian, whether people agree with you or not, however its only your subjective view to say what Tom would have achieved, and what Armstrong wouldn’t – Lance was world champ before being embroiled in the drugs issues that ruined him, (maybe he was taking them then I don’t know), but Tom was definitely on them when he won his WC, and all the time after. Tom is regarded by many as a legend and Armstrong a devil, but there’s no real difference I can see – publicity would be better given to unblemished ‘clean’ achievers like Hoy, Wiggins, Pendleton to name a few so we can move forward to make sure its worked into the general public psyche that cycling drugs, not keeping alive the memory of this part of history – GL

  • If you’ve got a moment pop over and search my computer. No Googling done. You simply jump to conclusions through prejudice rather than trying to understand the lessons of history and the context in which events occurred. Also if you pop over you can scour my library of 600+ cycling books and immerse yourself in the sport’s history as I have done over the years. The results were not the same as you state. I remember Crits in Belgium in the 60s where the leading protagonists were so overwhelmed with their amphetamines that I saw instances of these guys blowing up after 50/60km and the clean guys winning. I firmly believe that Simpson would have won far more without the chemicals but the same is not true of Armstrong. Therein lies the difference.

  • Norfolk_n_Chance

    I’m not going to argue the fact that you know the 60s (I
    wasn’t born) but Googling ‘Drugs in cycling’ then looking for the earliest date (1880) doesn’t mean you’re more knowledgeable than me buddy.

    I agree that they had different drugs in the 60s compared to
    90s, but the results are the same from doped racers compared to those who are paniagua.
    Obviously Saint Tom as your blinkered view of his cheating. The chap died from drugs. He’s a bad man and he’s as iconic as Armstrong.

  • “Simpson was the real start of drug use.” With this one sentence you display your complete lack of knowledge of this sport. Go back, will you to the 1880’s and then trace the use of drugs from there to Simpson. Many came before him – on the track and on the road. Many British riders in the 60s couldn’t hack it in Europe and that was partly because they did not want to participate in these practices. However, many home pros in the 60s were also taking things like amphetamines. Roll on the 90s when EPO – a totally different drug that had a huge effect on users and transformed the peloton. For me that is the difference between the 60s (period) and the blood doping days from the 90s (late eighties). Did the amphetamines of the 60s increase the overall speed of the peloton? Did it deny opportunities to clean riders? There was always a tolerance to drug use until deaths starting occurring. With EPO the wake-up call came when Dutch and Belgian riders died in their sleep because of their blood coagulating. After that period the professionals moved in to make it ‘safer’ and it has to be said that LA pushed drug use to new limits. Simpson was no more the start of drug use than my cat. Indeed, I would argue that his case was so high profile that it ushered in an era where the UCI started (albeit slowly) to try and reform the sport. Sadly, money talks and when the designer drugs appeared in the 90s the UCI, may well have been complicit as I think their leadership at the time was somewhat suspect. I wouldn’t condemn Simpson because to do so would be to deny the history and culture of those days. He remains an iconic figure and a lesson to today’s younger riders. To dis him displays a lack of understanding of the prevailing culture of those times. So yes, I continue to be in awe of him as much as I am of Coppi, Anquetil and so on.

  • Norfolk_n_Chance

    For 5 points you’ve got to guess the three riders and years they were caught?

  • Norfolk_n_Chance

    Simpson’s death was a cocktail of drugs and booze. Simpson was the real start of drug use. Drugs hit its peak in the mid-90s when little testing took place and riders died from strokes/heart attacks from not knowing how to charge correctly.

    From the late 90s’ to 2010 almost every single road race/time
    trial podium (even the top 100 riders) were littered with dirty chargers.
    Riders today are still getting caught. My best mate got a 2 year ban for a mixture of drugs. And two other riders I used to regularly road race against also received bans. So have first-hand experience of racing against such people!

    What I’m trying to say is that ALL dopers shouldn’t be given the
    light of day. They should not be treated differently depending how nice/nasty they are. Simpson’s dirty as much as Armstrong and Cycling Weekly & Rapha are d*cks for Celebrating his doped achievements.

  • Not at all. Simpson contributed so much as his death helped to usher a new era in to help the fight against drugs. Anyway the world was different then. Miller has done a lot since his conviction: he didn’t play the sociopathic game of Armstrong so can be forgiven given the context. Armstrong I agree. Pantani? Well, it got him in the end so what can we say. Learn the lesson is the only answer here.

  • Chris: I kept a scrapbook after Tom died and it is still in my possession here in Thailand. Would you like this for a museum/Rapha/archive? Treasured possession but happy to pass on. Get me through Facebook Chiang Mai Track Cycling Club.

  • Funnily enough Andrew, I rode with Simpson (training) twice and met him at social events in he 1960s. I was a trainee journalist with CW at the time. I saw no evidence of the heavy drinking. I know you are approx the same age as me and you may also have first hand experience but it sounds doubtful.

  • Chris Sidwells

    Andrew, where is your evidence that Simpson’s alcohol intake had to be seen to be believed? Where is your evidence that he was teh worst you ever knew? And who are you comparing him to?

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Your dreaming Tom Simpson was the worst I knew and his alcohol intake had to seento be believed.Tribute,this man set the sport back years but you’re right in saying modern drugs are far superior and administered properly they cannot be detected the riders or sportsperson will always deny taking them but there is so much money in sport today its inevitable that team doctors will be employed to administer them.

  • Norfolk_n_Chance

    Surely Simpson, Miller, Pantani, Armstrong and Staite (obviously) shouldn’t let them have any column space or tribute to them. Best to forget about all!

  • The difference between drugs then and drugs now is that drugs now can turn cart horses into race horses. I would also say that it is an exaggeration to say that “Tom took more than anyone else”. If you want to know about drugs in cycling you can go all the way back to the 1880s – it is an old age problem. Rather than dissing Tom I think we should be concentrating our efforts in making sure our sport is clean now. Yes, Tom sadly died through a combination of self-administered amphetamines and dehydration (perhaps caused through alcohol) and the lessons are there for all of us. Paradoxically that was one of his contributions to our sport.

  • Bob

    Its probably sacrilege to dis Tom but one of the most amusing parts of ‘put me back on my bike’ are the description of the copious amounts of drugs riders took, and if its to be believed, Tom took more than anyone else, in fact at one stage its mentioned he spent the equivalent of a working mans wage in a year on them. – different times and different values, and his is a sad story in the end, but I hope those paying tribute give a warts and all account.