Former cyclist Julio Jiménez, ‘The Watchmaker’ of Ávila, dies | Sports | The USA Print

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Julio Jiménez, with the Kas team and in 1965.
Julio Jiménez, with the Kas team and in 1965.EFE

Ávila and cycling are in mourning after the death of Julio Jiménez (1934-2022), a former cyclist who shone in the 1960s, renowned climber and great entertainer of the grand tours, nicknamed Watchmaker de Ávila because before turning to professionalism and at the beginning of his career he competed while learning the trade of watchmaking. The man from Avila has not been able to recover from the serious injuries he suffered last Tuesday when he collided with the car in front of a wall for unknown reasons at the exit of a car wash. In the vehicle there were also a woman and another man aged 80 and 87, respectively.

Jiménez, considered one of the best climbers in history, came second in the 1967 Tour de France, only behind Frenchman Roger Pingeon. But on the French asphalt and mountains he chained recitals on the bicycle, as he won five stages – a period in which Federico Martín Bahamontes and Raymond Pulidor shone among others -, in addition to being crowned the King of the Mountain in the editions of 1965, 1966 and 1967. Laureles, which he also won consecutively in the Vuelta (from 1963 to 1965). An enviable record because he accumulated 23 stage victories during his career, among which are: five in the Tour, four in the Giro and three in the Vuelta a España. 12 successes that place him in ninth position in the Spanish ranking after Delio Rodríguez (38), Miguel Poblet (26), Indurain (16), Ocaña (15), Valverde, Purito Rodríguez, José Manuel Fuente and Perurena (14).

Despite being on the bicycle since he was a child, Jiménez did not turn professional until he was 25 years old (1959). He went through the Belgian team Faema and then signed for the famous Spanish Kas under Langarica. Later he would join the Ford team and from 1968 he became an important domestique of the Spanish team to retire from the professional world in 1969.

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