Rivière’s last ride
Paul Smith’s book is not just about objects — it’s also full of the human element, and no story is more gut-wrenching than that of Roger Rivière.
Illustrated with an arresting picture of the French golden boy in the moments after his crash on the descent of Mont Aigual in the 1960 Tour, Smith recounts the aftermath of Rivière’s misjudgement on a corner: “They carried him back up to the road as gently as they could but when they got him to hospital they discovered he had broken his back in two places. Paralysed, Rivière never regained full movement of his limbs and lived the rest of his days in a wheelchair.
“The photographs of him lying crumpled on a hillside, face down on a bed of fallen leaves, are reminiscent of religious iconography.”