TdF champions dying young
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Unlabeled
    Reputation: Reynolds531's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    3,720

    TdF champions dying young

    1st TdF win, name, country, age at death
    1949 Fausto Coppi, Italy 40
    1951 Hugo Koblet, Switzerland 39
    1953 Louison Bobet, France 58
    1957 Jacques Anquetil, France 53
    1960 Gastone Nencini, Italy 49
    1973 Luis Ocana, Spain 48
    1998 Marco Pantani, Italy 34

    When I was younger I thought that I'd prefer glorious accomplishment over a longer life. Now that my age is the average age of these men when they died, the tragedy hits me. I'd rather see my kids grow up than win the TdF. Maybe I just realize that being a dad and a husband is more glorious than being a TdF champ.

  2. #2
    aka Zonic Man
    Reputation: Jed Peters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    593
    I think over there, being a Champion is the MOST important thing....the glory and honor over long life and family.

    There's a running joke that you take a bowl of pills into a room of cyclists and tell them that if they take a pill, they will lose 20 years off their life but win a Grand Tour. You leave the room, and when you come back, the bowl is empty.

    That kind of physical exaustion and exertion that the body has to go through to be a pro cyclist can't be good for the body. It just can't. I've seen pictures of riders post-Tour. It's scary!

  3. #3

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    19

    That's freaky stuff...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed Peters
    I think over there, being a Champion is the MOST important thing....the glory and honor over long life and family.

    There's a running joke that you take a bowl of pills into a room of cyclists and tell them that if they take a pill, they will lose 20 years off their life but win a Grand Tour. You leave the room, and when you come back, the bowl is empty.

    That kind of physical exaustion and exertion that the body has to go through to be a pro cyclist can't be good for the body. It just can't. I've seen pictures of riders post-Tour. It's scary!

    Yeah, that kind of punishment, the body can only withstand so much before it gives. Especially the climbers. Those mountains are incredibly steep, riding up them, let alone racing, has really got to be hard on the body.

    I think you hit it when you said that over in Europe, it is about the honor and glory over life. But I think that they are doing it FOR their family name as well, so that is remembered with honor.

    Its scary to see so many riders dying, but on the other hand, its really no different than any other "extreme" sport. True, road biking isn't seen as extreme, but you watch the Tour and you realize how tough it really is.

    Its sad to see riders dying, but I think that its inevitable when you see so many people trying to push themselves beyond what we think is possible.

    Just my $0.02.

    KRider

  4. #4

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,360

    True of many intensely trained athletes

    Takes a lot of pounding to succeed at that level; it's got to take a toll. You see the same thing in football players--a surprising number are dead or crippled in their 50s and 60s. Baseball players and golfers live forever, though there's a whole new crop of steroid users in baseball who could change that.
    Pro basketball hasn't really been around long enough to get a fix on what will happen to them, but they've got a lot of the same stresses as cyclists, and you don't have to look very hard to see guys who look like they're taking full advantage of the chemicals.

  5. #5
    Who's your daddy?
    Reputation: george_da_trog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by Jed Peters
    I think over there, being a Champion is the MOST important thing....the glory and honor over long life and family.
    I think you'd find many over here that feel the same way. I don't know if it's better or worse but it's here.

    I took a break and just polled my class of 20 9th graders. Five said they'd give up 20 years of life for superstardom.

    george
    Central Valley California
    www.trogspace.com

  6. #6

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    47
    I think with this sample size you have to look at what caused the deaths. I'm not saying Pantani died of any specific cause, but lets just say I won't be surprised if the toxicology reports return something.

    The ones I know from the above list:
    Coppi=malaria/murdered
    Anquetil=cancer
    Ocana=suicide

    that's half of them right there, and all causes that could get anyone. I'm not so sure cycling decreases lifespan, although, that's not exactly the original point.

  7. #7
    Gruntled
    Reputation: Jim Nazium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    3,737
    Yikes. So who is the oldest living TDF winner? Anyone know how his health is?

  8. #8

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    132
    Quote Originally Posted by Continental
    I thought that I'd prefer glorious accomplishment over a longer life. Now that my age is the average age of these men when they died, the tragedy hits me. I'd rather see my kids grow up than win the TdF. Maybe I just realize that being a dad and a husband is more glorious than being a TdF champ.
    Not that I disagree with you look from the other point of view: we all gonna die sooner or later, but you're not given to win, and for some winning is who they are. Death is granted, the rest is a personal choice.
    Always Look At the Bright Side of Life Monty Python, Life of Brian

  9. #9
    Done
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    4,507

    Koblet was a suicide too...

    Some, though, live to a ripe old age. Gino Bartali lived into his '80s. There was a gathering of 21 of the (then) 22 living Tour winners at the race presentation this year. With the death of Pantani, the surviving winners are:

    Ferdi Kübler (1950)
    Roger Walkowiak (1956)
    Charly Gaul (1958)
    Federico Bahamontes (1959)
    Felice Gimondi (1965)
    Lucien Aimar (1966)
    Roger Pingeon (1967)
    Jan Janssen (1968)
    Eddy Merckx (1969-1972, 1974)
    Bernard Thévenet of France (1975, 1977)
    Lucien Van Impe (1976)
    Bernard Hinault (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985)
    Joop Zoetemelk (1980)
    Laurent Fignon (1983, 1984)
    Greg Lemond (1986, 1989, 1990)
    Stephen Roche (1987)
    Pedro Delgado (1988)
    Miguel Indurain (1991-1995)
    Bjarne Riis (1996)
    Jan Ullrich (1997)
    Lance Armstrong (1999-2003)

    Among the Tour winners for the last 40 years, only Anquetil ('64)(cancer), Ocana ('73)(suicide), and Pantani ('98) have passed away.


    http://www.cyclingnews.com/photos/20...pres03/?id=CH8
    It's Been Fun...See You Down The Road.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,876

    Naw

    Thanks Gregory, your post says it all.
    I really doubt that the physical exhaustion of the Tour de France shortens life. Now if you go over the side of one of those big mountains that's another matter.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    766
    Yah there is probably nothing those guys did that adds up to as much cumulative damage as eating McDonald's, sitting on your butt, and being 50lbs overweight.

    Or smoking for that matter!

    Ben

  12. #12
    hi, I'm Larry
    Reputation: bimini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,254

    It's better to burn out than it is to rust.

    Racing attracts a certain type. This is true in cycling also. Just being out there racing can be more important than life. It attracts a lot of wound up super A types that just don't know how to relax, nor want to relax. They go at full speed their entire lives and sometimes it catches up to them. I'm sure if you asked any of them if they had a chose of a long life or a glorious cycling career, they would chose cycling. If they were not cycling they would be in some other field all wound up and probably still have a short life.

    Just for us average joes, cycling can be a dangerous sport. I've seen my life flash more than once while on my bike, but I keep on doing it. Don 't know why other than I enjoy it. As long as I don't focus on the risks I have a lot of fun doing it.

    No matter how you look at life, it is short, may as well live it to it's fullest. A lot better than rotting on a couch in front of the tube.

  13. #13
    Arrogant roadie.....
    Reputation: Dave_Stohler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,232
    Eddie Merckx has to be at least 50 lbs overweight today-and he still rides!
    We are the 801
    We are the central shaft

Similar Threads

  1. Mmmm-Breakfast of Champions
    By snapdragen in forum Racing, Training, Nutrition, Triathlons
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-14-2004, 09:13 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.