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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.
- RT @rapharacing: A Rapha travel set is up for grabs in Alpe D'Quiz today, featuring a luxurious Rapha Skincare bundle and Wash Bag. → http:…
- Somewhat late to the party, but be sure to check out the film to the recent Gentlemen's Race in… http://t.co/RMZUDuxWRc
- A Rapha travel set is up for grabs in Alpe D'Quiz today, featuring a luxurious Rapha Skincare bundle and Wash Bag. → http://t.co/3n8XlqiNYq
- Cool to see our friends @chriskingbuzz representing in the mix of the elite men's race. #mycielo Parbo! http://t.co/L8g8gNofyR
- The masked man on the cyclocross course today was @jeremypowers. It was that cold. http://t.co/KztIjCYu4O
- Calm and confident on the snow - Katerina Nash is off to an early lead. http://t.co/8TynNP7Nho
- Mr. McDonald's tire choice for today's snowy conditions. Can you guess his PSI? http://t.co/2iHgOw6sUw
- They reopened the ice covered fly-over here in Bend. http://t.co/6xOs5BSd0W
- River City Bicycles racer Ryan (Dream) Weaver 2_wicked_awesome powered his way to a chilly 2nd in the… http://t.co/HDDjDnS99w
- Meanwhile over in Bend, Oregon it is a bright, crisp day for cyclocross racing. http://t.co/6lcDQK5UNX