WO­VEN INTO THE FAB­RIC OF CYCLING

CY­CLISTS LEAN HEAV­ILY ON THE AES­THETIC. CUE THIS NEW BOOK CHRON­I­CLING THE HER­ITAGE OF JER­SEYS WORN BY THE PROS…

Urban Cyclist - - Agenda -

Road-rac­ing his­to­ri­ans amongst our Ur­ban col­lec­tive will be lured into the lat­est tome from pro­lific cycling au­thor Chris Sid­wells. Sid­wells’ di­verse pal­mares in­cludes books on fit­ness, bike re­pair and a bi­o­graph­i­cal ac­count of his un­cle Tom, who died as­cend­ing Mont Ven­toux at the 1967 Tour.

His lat­est ef­fort, Cycling Jer­seys, is ac­tu­ally slightly mis­lead­ing as, pri­mar­ily, the jer­seys act as a segue into an in­ter­est­ing story of the pe­riod. That said, there’s enough ap­par­el­re­lated anec­dotes to keep the staunch­est roadie sat­is­fied. Take the yel­low jersey that first ap­peared in the 1919 edi­tion of the Tour. Legend has it that yel­low was cho­sen to match the pa­per colour used by race or­gan­iser L’Auto’s news­pa­per. As it tran­spires, ac­cord­ing to Sid­wells it de­rived from the edi­tor Henri Des­grange tak­ing so long to choose the jersey colour that it was the only one avail­able in suf­fi­cient quan­tity from the sup­plier of the time.

The 224-page pub­li­ca­tion is or­gan­ised chrono­log­i­cally, so be­gins with the first sim­ple gar­ments that early cy­clists wore in the 1900s, to the tech­nol­ogy-laden, high-wick­ing jer­seys riders and Tour de France win­ners wear to­day.

The only is­sue with Cycling Jer­seys is the aes­thetic. For a book based around the visual al­lure of jer­seys, some of the im­ages used are a touch unin­spir­ing while the gen­eral feel and look lacks the in­ter­est and style of the cover.

Cycling Jer­seys is avail­able from Thames & Hud­son priced £18.99. www.thame­sand­hud­son.com

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