Title slide: Tour De Death
Kelsey Pingrey, Jordan Shatzberg, Mikaela Zovluck
Slide 1: André Darrigade pummels Wouters
OFF WEBSITE: This one has to be the strangest and, in a way, most tragic Tour de France
death—the strangest because of who it involved, and the most tragic because of when it
happened. You see, Constant Wouters was the director of the Parc des Princes, a stadium in
western Paris that served as the finish line for the Tour de France from 1903 until the late 1960s.
Thus, it was on the last day of the 1958 Tour—July 19—that Wouters, who should have known
better, stepped too close to the track and collided with cyclist André Darrigade. Darrigade
suffered a fractured skull and some broken ribs, but he was able to take a lap of honor after the
race was over. Wouters, however, was more seriously injured, and he died 11 days later
Victim: Constant Wouters
Date of Accident: July 19, 1958
Location of Accident: Western Paris
FOR SLIDE: July 19, 1958 was the last day of the Tour de France where cyclists were
approaching the Parc des Princes, the stadium acting as a finish line. Constant Wouters, the
director of the stadium, was standing by the finish line awaiting the cyclists when he stood too
close and was hit head-on by André Darrigade. Darrigade’s skull suffered a severe fracture along
with a few broken ribs. Honorably, he took a lap around the track when the race was complete.
Wouters received life threatening injuries and died only 11 days later.
Slide 2: Tom Simpson Loses More than Just the Race
OFF WEBSITE: In 1967, British cyclist Tom Simpson made everyone realize just how
problematic doping was in the sport of cycling when he died while climbing Mont Venteaux
during the 13th stage of the Tour. An autopsy showed amphetamines and alcohol in his system,
and it was concluded that these, combined with searing heat, had caused a heart attack. The guy
was just 29 years old.
Victim: Tom Simpson
Date of Accident: July 13, 1967
Location of Accident: Mont Ventoux
FOR SLIDE: During the 13th stage of the Tour de France in 1967, 29 year old British cyclist
Tom Simpson began struggling within the first two kilometers of his climbing of Mont
Venteaux. He fell off of his bike twice, getting back up each time until the last. He was
announced dead at 5:40 p.m. Later, his autopsy showed performance enhancing drugs, alcohol,
and amphetamines in his system and with the combination of 54 degree Celsius heat, Simpson
suffered a heart attack.
Slide 3: Fabio CasartelliDoesn’t Wear a Helmet
OFF WEBSITE: This is the most recent case of a cyclist dying at the Tour de France. On July
18, 1995, during the 15th stage of the Tour, Olympic gold medalist Fabio Casartelli of Italy
crashed while descending the Col de Portetd’Aspet mountain pass at 55 mph and hit his head on
concrete blocks lining the road. Obviously he was wearing a helmet, but—wait, no, scratch that.
Casartelli was not wearing a helmet. So I guess we’ll never know if the helmet might have saved
him. (Doctors and medical examiners debated the issue for quite some time.)
Victim: Fabio Casartelli
Date of Accident: July 18, 1995
Location of Accident: Col de Portetd’Aspet
FOR SLIDE: Italy’s Olympic road race champion, Fabio Casartelli, takes the spot for the most
recent death in the Tour de France. On July 18, 1995 Casartelli was in his 15th stage when he lost
control of his bicycle causing him to descend down the Col de Portetd’Aspet mountain at 55
mph. With no helmet or protection on, he smashed his head on concrete rocks lining the roads
and laid in a puddle of blood before being rushed to the hospital. His heart stopped 3 times in the
helicopter before the 24 year olds life finally ended in the hospital upon arrival. His team
manager insisted that a helmet would have not saved Casartelli being that he hit the right side of
his head at such severe impact.