Tour de France

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In Le Tour de France, cyclists receive points for reaching a mountaintop first. The leader of the classification is named the “King of the Mountains”, and wears the  “maillot à pois rouges”, the polka dot jersey – a white jersey with red dots.

Polka dots are both serious and playful when identified with cycling. Denver’s Marczyk Fine Foods’ proximity to the mountains and their clean “M” logo inspired me to design a “polka dot” jersey for their 2014 jersey design. Image above is my inspiration board and the finished jersey is pictured below. Available at Marczyk Fine Foods.

For more 2-wheeled inspiration click here.

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As the 100th edition of Le Tour de France  rolls through the French countryside this month I’m paying close attention to what’s on the rider’s feet. (Product research, you know…) I thought I’d share with you a few of the men’s ultra-light cycling socks designed by Poppy Gall Design Studio for Darn Tough.

To see more of my portfolio click here. To connect with Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook click here.

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258716 - TOUR DE FRANCE

A picture is worth a thousand words.

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Vintage Cycling Toys

Vintage Cycling Toys

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130 year old legendary French sporting brand Le Coq Sportif has something to crow about at this year’s Tour de France. Once again they are providing the prestigious Yellow, Green, Polka Dot and White jerseys for the race. Le Coq made jerseys for Le Tour starting in 1951 until 1988 when Castelli moved onto the scene. Nike was involved from 1996 to 2010.

maillot jaune

1951 Tour de France winner Hugo Koblet’s wool “maillot jaune”. Note the pointed collar and button front placket, a style which disappeared a few years later. Jerseys made prior to the introduction of synthetic fabrics in the late 70′s had button front pockets like the ones shown here. The Le Coq label is visible at the neckline.

Le Coq

An evolution of Le Coq Sportif logo. Via: Cycling Art Blog

Eddy Mercx_1974Tour_ViaLeCoqSportif

1974 Tour champion Eddy Mercx in Le Coq’s yellow jersey. Via: Le Coq Sportif

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board game 1.5

Vintage Cycling Toys

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The 98th Tour de France begins today with a 180 km 1st stage in Passage du Gois, and ends on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on 24 July.

T-de_F Bday

This drawing by famous sports cartoonist, Pellos celebrates the fiftieth year of the Tour de France in 1963. The candles on the cake represent Tour wins and depict caricatures of the then contemporary champions, along with the great winners of the past. Race director Jacques Goddett peeks out from beneath the table while the imposing mountains of the Alps and Pyrénées smile widely in anticipation and memory of cycling’s greatest race.

Jacques Anquetil who won his fourth Tour in 1963 can be found in the far right candles, celebrating his three Tour victories at the time.

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These vintage cycling toys bring back memories of my first solo adventure. Just after college I toured around Europe, skiing and visiting museums and friends, my only luggage a backpack and a ski bag.

I made two memorable purchases that trip. One was a down duvet for my bed (they weren’t available in the U.S. back then), which I crammed into my ski bag, and a toy model of a Tour de France team vehicle. The latter became slightly problematic as I didn’t want to remove the lime green Renault from it’s box, for fear that the tiny bicycles and extra wheel sets clipped to the roof rack would snap off. I ended up awkwardly hand carrying that box around, including in my lap during the flight home. It was a perfect metal replica of the Renault-Elf-Gitane team car and had doors that opened. Team and sponsor logos were plastered on its body and hood. I had never seen a toy like it before and was ecstatic that it represented Bernard Hinault’s team, my cycling hero at the time. For the life of me I can’t remember what happened to it. I hope that eventually I’ll open a long forgotten box and find it again.  If I do, I’ll post a photo here!

board game

French board game celebrating Velodrome d’Hiver, the great indoor race track of Paris.

Peleton

Toy Tour de France peloton riders

Jeep

1950’s toy Jeep bicycle racing team service vehicle

motorcycle

Toy motorcycle

Pinball

Tour de France pinball game

racers

Vintage toy that operated on batteries to roll across the floor, alternating lead riders, and which featured cycling champions

broom

Toy broom wagon

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Photos: Cycling’s Golden Age

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