Francisco Fabio Casatelli – b. 16.08.1970 – d. 18.07.1995
Died – Stage 15 1995 Tour de France
Casartelli’s death on the Col de Portet d’Aspet in 1995 was a defining moment for the question of rider safety within the professional sport. The Olympic road-race champion from 1992, who was riding for the Motorola team, fell descending at speed and hit one of the large concrete blocks that line the edge of the road . Shockingly graphic pictures of the blood from his fatal head injury was seen (and recently re-used in the film documentary Lance Armstrong “The Armstrong Lie”) prompting a rethink about the use of helmets. Motorola’s crossing of the finish line of the neutralised stage the following day and Armstrong’s emotional dedication of his victory at Limoges 3 days after the crash have etched the moment into the wider fabric of the race and the beautiful monument on the Portet d’Aspet is regularly stopped at by riders and officials during races nowadays.