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100 Days to La Centième
Today, 21st of March 2013, marks 100 days until the start of the 100th edition of the Tour de France, the world's greatest sporting event. It serves as the apex of the racing season, the grandest stage and one of the toughest tests any professional can endure. For every bike rider, racer and fan it's not to be missed and conjures up thousands of images, stories, heroes, villains, memories and more. Naturally, Rapha are celebrating this landmark, including a capsule collection of special edition products called La Centième.
For these La Centième products, Rapha commissioned a commemorative pattern design represented by a total of 202 individual tiles featuring winners, the departments of France, and national flags.
The designer of this pattern, Ultan Coyle, gave us a quick insight into its painstaking creation:
The idea was to celebrate France as well as the race. There are 96 departments in France so I started composing a set of flags based on each department's shield. I then looked at the winners from every year the Tour was held and tried to find some story to hang a graphic off. Nicknames were useful for this but not all riders had nicknames, so I looked at their history or background. I then put both of these together. It would have been nice to look further than the winners but time was of the essence and history usually seems only to remember the winner. Mr. Armstrong is still there of course. But anyway, the design was produced before the scandal. Also, it was produced before Wiggins won the Tour so he is not represented.
The La Centième products will be available in June.
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