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The Race to the Sun 1967
Looking ahead to March and the start of the season, Paris-Nice is a race that represents the transition from the off-season to the beginning of spring and the new racing calendar (and is also a tough test to see who has put the miles in during winter).
~1967, Paris-Nice and the Belgians were unhappy. The impertinent upstart Tom Simpson had joined a break, stealing 15 minutes from Eddie Merckx - their hero and the Englishman's team leader. Both men wore PEUGEOT-BP checks, but team colours had not diminished their rivalry.
An annual migration from the chill Parisian north to the warmer climes of the Côte d'Azur, 'The Race to the Sun' was the first important date in the calendar - the riders secretly dreaded it. Feeling flabby, with virtually no miles in their legs (other than from the ski-slopes), the nervousness was palpable.
Simpson took the race, after handing Merckx the stage. Days later, Simpson helped Merckx to victory in Milan-San Remo. The bond did not have time to flourish, and five months later Tom Simpson would attempt to climb Mt. Ventoux.
The above graphic and story features in Inside Stories, a booklet documenting 40 story labels featured within Rapha products.
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