The great Spanish climber, Julio Jiménez, 87, tragically died on Wednesday morning in Avila after suffering injuries in a traffic accident last Tuesday. Two other octogenarians were also injured in the accident when the vehicle in which they were traveling collided with a wall.
Jiménez, known as "The Watchmaker of Avila", took five victories in the Tour de France between 1959 and 1969, and was runner up in the 1967 Tour. Add four stage victories in the Giro d'ltalia and three stage wins in the Vuelta a Espana. Jiménez won the mountain jersey three times in both the Tour and the Vuelta.
"Many generations are walking the path that people like you have blazed. Honor and gratitude to Julio Jiménez, who is part of the history of Spanish cycling."
-Movistar Cycling Team
"A great friend and a cycling great, Julito Jiménez 'the watchmaker from Avila, has passed away. Much loved by everyone for his simplicity. He showed me his cycling and introduced me to his colleagues at various gatherings of former historic cyclists in France. RIP in friend!"
-Eduardo Chozas. Tour de France: 4 stages, Giro d'ltalia: 3 stages.
"Julio was the real source of inspiration for cycling all across the region of Avila in the 1960s. I come from Segovia, but Julio was so successful that when I started out racing, people used to assume automatically I was from Avila. And Victor Sastre -father of 2008 Tour winner Carlos and who created one of the region's most successful cycling clubs in the village El Barraco, where racers like José Maria Jimenez would cut their teeth - turned pro thanks to Julio, too.
But it's also worth pointing out again how charming and special Julio was as a person. Everybody who met him said that. And that's what made him most memorable of all"
-Pedro Delgado. 1988 Tour de France champion.