13 juin 2018

When Louison became Bobet

SPECIAL EDITION

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On this July 19th, the 21 bends of the legendary ascent of the Alpe d'Huez will be the Tour de France apotheosis of a day in the Alps marked also by the crossings of the Madeleine Pass and the Croix de Fer. This is where, 70 years ago almost to the day, on these same winding roads of the Oisans, a young French champion began to write his own history.

In the heart of the Savoie region, on the perilous slopes of the Croix de Fer Pass, Louison Bobet, just 23 years old, he would fight an epic battle against the Italian, Bartali, who was himself impressed by the formidable competition he was faced with.

«I dreaded Bobet. I’d have mistrusted him sooner if I’d known him. Now I think he has such great class, so many fine qualities. He rides, he sprints, he climbs and he has a great heart. He may have lost his jersey, but I swear to you he defended it till the last. What a fighter! I can see him now, grimacing, teeth clenched, but he never left me. In a word, he amazed me, and at the peak of the Croix de Fer, when we were getting ready to compete for the bonus sprint, I couldn’t help telling him how much I admired him. With a little more experience, he’s going to be a very great champion. He’ll win the Tour, I’m sure of that.»

Gino Bartali for L’Équipe - 17/07/1948

The young Breton found he had the makings of a champion...and then won the Tour de France, coming first three times in succession in 1953, 1954 and 1955.

The collector’s edition jersey ALPE D’HUEZ – L’APOGÉE DE L’OISANS blue-white-red pays homage to this young racer, who a few years later became the most popular cyclist in France, then in the world. A strong symbol to commemorate the historic episode that played out on those roads seventy years ago, and which sealed the fate of the French champion.

Produced in Double Jersey™ Merino wool, this jersey is 100% dedicated to sport cycling. The technically advanced and innovative fabric makes for exceptional performance: a unique bi-component fabric, its structure effortlessly combines the characteristics of an inner merino wool layer, soft to the touch with the innate qualities of wool, and an outer polyester layer with silky visual appearance and hard-wearing fibres.

Merino wool ensures insulation and breathability and is antibacterial, preventing perspiration odour, key factors dear to the brand that make it a pleasure to wear, adding to the pleasure of riding. The embroidery «Croix de Fer 48 - Alpe d’Huez 2018» on the rear of the jersey adds a distinctive aesthetic, a mark of sporting legend and sportsmanship. 

The ALPE D’HUEZ - L’APOGÉE DE L’OISANS jersey, like the other jerseys in the Essentials collection, uses an exclusive and innovative knit, Double Jersey™ Merino wool, that comes from one of only two companies in Europe authorised by Woolmark® to manufacture it. A fabric that makes the garments unique - and you’ll know it when you wear them.

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What they say:

«A French brand, and a homage to Louison, beautiful design, we needed nothing more to be delighted. The jerseys are magnificent, a blend of merino wool and polyester. Not only sportive but also very comfortable. And beautiful… who said cycle wear had to be unfashionable? We adore them.»

F. Yates for L’Acheteur Cycliste

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Photo: Ronan Mérot

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