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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.
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- @JeanzTweet You’re welcome Jens.
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- @Johnlovesbikes they are in transit and should be here later this week. Thanks for checking in, sorry for the delay.
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- Congratulations to the weekend's Alpe d'Quiz winners Joanne Rushton, @tubbytrotter, @jeanztweet. Today's prize draw → http://t.co/3n8XlqiNYq