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…
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