Friday, October 3, 2014

Jean Mallejac

Jean Mallejac

Jean Mallejac (1929 - 2000) was a French Bicycle Road Racer who raced as a professional from 1949 through 1959. Before become a bicycle racer he worked in a munitions factory.

He is best know for his performance in the 1953 Tour de France. That year at the tour he won the 5th stage and wore the yellow jersey of the race leader for 5 days. He finished in 2nd place overall in the general classification. 

The 12th stage of the 1955 Tour de France was from Marseille to Avignon and crossed the climb of Mont Ventoux. Mont Ventoux is a barren mountain and the highest in this region of France. The wind blows at over 56 miles an hour at the top for over 240 days of the year. Jean Mallejac was ten kilometers from the summit when he began to zig-zag from one side of the road to the other. He collapsed to the ground with one foot still strapped into the pedal of his bicycle. His free leg was still pedaling in the air. Unconscious on the side of the road, his jaws were forced open to force some fluids into him. After being given oxygen and an injection of  solucamphor, he regained consciousness and was hauled to the hospital by ambulance. He claimed he was given drugs against his will and threaten to file charges of attempted murder.  Mallejac recovered and rode the Tour de France 4 more times.

Jean Mallejac retired from professional bicycle racing in 1959 and ran a driving school in Landerneau. 

Jean Mallejac during the 1953 Tour de France
Jean Mallejac - 1954
Jean Mallejac on Mount Ventoux 1955

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