The first man in black
While never worn by a rider as masterful as Fausto Coppi, the black jersey - denoting the slowest rider in the race - is an integral part of Italian cycling heritage and as such Rapha presents this luxury merino wool jersey. Designed to be worn both on and off the bike, the jersey is made in Italy at a factory specialising in high-end knitwear. Its design and motifs reference Giuseppe Ticozzelli the professional footballer and keen cyclist who decided to ride Italy’s three-week tour in 1926 at the age of 32. It was an unconvincing debut, unsurprisingly, and Ticozzelli - who raced in black - is the supposed inspiration for the black jersey that would thereafter be worn by the last man in the race. The jersey is fully-fashioned for a shaped fit that is very comfortable both on and off the bike, while a distinctive rose-silver plated zip and puller echo those used in jerseys of Coppi’s era. Over time, they will develop a lovely patina too. The black fabric ‘leader’s plate’ on the chest has also been sourced to replicate those sewn onto leader’s jerseys of the time, as have many other features included in this luxury piece.