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It was the Olympic Games which originally conceived of the colour scheme in the 19th century, the five colours representing the continents of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania, the white background symbolising peace. However, the UCI was allegedly born out of a dispute within the International Cycling Association, over whether Great Britain could field a team combining England, Wales, France, Scotland and Ireland. The five-man breakaway contingent of Belgium, France, Italy, USA and Switzerland formed in 1900 to create the governing body we know and love today. Fortunately for Mark Cavendish, and many other men and women of the Empire, Britain were allowed into the organisation in 1903. And so, 46 years since Nottinghamshire’s Tom Simpson sprinted into the rainbow jersey, the maverick from Mann, Mark Cavendish, becomes 2011 World Road Race Champion. God Save the Queen.
For fans of cycling paraphernalia, from bicycle frames to socks, the five-colour hoops can be found everywhere, coveted not just by the world’s best racers but collectors and curators. Just be aware, wearing a World Champ jersey is quite tricky to get away with.
- Win today's Alpe D'Quiz prize: a Men's or Women's Classic Softshell. ‘A thing of beauty,’ according to The Times. → http://t.co/3n8XlqiNYq
- @tribryan Hi Bryan, that’s a discontinued Irish Country Jersey which is no longer in production, sorry to disappoint.
- @vickiewoodsford @richardhier @daithetooth Thanks Vickie, glad we were able to help too.
- @ServiceCourse @richardhier @daithetooth You’re all too kind, thank you.
- @richardhier Thanks Richard, have a good weekend. Will pass on your thanks to Peter.
- Stylish, creative, sharp? We all know a sartorial city rider that can be tricky to buy for. See our guide for hints → http://t.co/dul9phwMoX
- Who's excited for snowy racing #inbend this weekend? We brought tshirts and coffee for the weekend.… http://t.co/aYYPjQEXTG
- @playa_mansa Sorry, somehow missed this. Our backpack is great for general use. Most of us here use it both on and off the bike.
- @TheRaceRadio A man experienced in sheep aerodynamics, perhaps. → http://t.co/4ysrDy5bie
- The most recent Rapha Gentlemen’s Race took place in Adelaide with 18 teams lining up for the rolling 160km route. → http://t.co/ZQ3Dzz0NEX