Rapha Grand Tour cycling shoe [single], collage, acrylic, pen, on enamelled wooden plinth 2014.
Mark Cavendish Paul Smith signed shoe
Rare, original segments of cycling memorabilia have been sourced, and applied to the shoe. One flank features the line-up of the very first 'Grand Départ' - back on July 1st, 1903, outside the Café Reveil-Matin, Montgeron, France. Eventual inaugural Tour de France winner Maurice Garin can be seen poised at the far right. The accompanying photo caption was written by Élie Wermelinger, in accompaniment to an article ‘La naissance du Tour de France’ [Miroir des Sports]:
‘Machines bizarres, maillots ou complets vestons, casquettes de ville, longs collants noirs, sacoches de guidon : le départ d’un des premiers Tours fait sourire les coureurs actuels.’ [Strange machines, jerseys or full jackets, city caps, long black tights, handlebar satchels: smiling riders start one of the first Tours.]
The fated 1967 Tour is also honoured, with reference to its Stage 13 - Marseille to Carpentras. Here Tom Simpson left his life on the slopes of the Ventoux. Barry Hoban's consequent Stage 14 victory is also present. Merckx, Rivière, and Géminiani feature, among other subtle applications of familiar Rapha branding.
The Rapha Grand Tour shoe was launched in March 2012.
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All artwork and images © James Straffon 2017.