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If you were lucky enough to have beared witness to a glimpse of the Tour de France past through the country this week, you will surely known that the country seems to be in the grip of cycle frenzy at the moment. Now one designer, who is totally known for his great passion for peddle power is none other than the great Sir Paul Smith.

By special invitation from the British Government, Paul Smith has designed three posters to mark the cultural importance of the Tour de France and its arrival in the UK. With the design taking inspiration from the three UK stages of the tour, the posters celebrate the momentous occasion. One reflects Saturday 5th July, the first day of theTour and when the athletes will cycle 190km from Leeds to Harrogate through the Yorkshire Dales. The second, in green, is Sunday 6th July when they’ll cut a dash over the Peak District from York to Sheffield. The third, bright blue poster accompanies the final stage in the Tour’s visit to the UK when the peloton will race 155km from Cambridge to London ending onThe Mall. After which theTour will continue in France.

Limited edition, signed versions of each of the three posters are available to win by those who post images of themselves with their bicycles using #takenwithmybike on Instagram andTwitter.Winners will be selected at random. Get involved!

No one could accuse Sir Paul of resting on his laurels as he has just teamed up with MRPORTER.COM to launch Paul Smith 531, an exclusive range of specialist cycling outerwear and accessories.

Bringing together Paul Smith’s passion for cycling and the latest developments in technical fabrications, the 11 piece collection features lightweight jackets, cycling essential accessories and an all-black racing bike designed for city cycling.

The Paul Smith 531 range is named after the famous Reynolds lightweight bike tubing used by Tour de France champions. The number refers to the ratio of manganese (5), molybdenum (3) and carbon (1) in the steel alloy. Built in collaboration with Mercian Cycles, a British bespoke bicycle retailer, the bike forms the centrepiece of Paul Smith 531 adding to the MR PORTER sports category.image

Take a look at Sir Paul Smith talk us through how he came up with the idea in a short film below.

Presentazione nuova maglia Giro d'Italia 2013 disegnata da Paul SmithI think its pretty damn fair to say the two most important races in the cycling calendar are the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, who both this year have something to shout about. Firstly, the Giro, which will be marking their 96th edition, which began in 1909, This year the events organisers, RCS Sport Cycling, have invited Sir Paul Smith, to design the leaders jerseys.

The four jerseys are, the Maglia Rosa is the jersey worn by the leader of the time general classification. The Red Jersey is worn by the leader of the points general classification. The Blue Jersey, is the symbol of the King of the Mountain classification leader and finally the White Jersey is worn by the best young rider in the general classification.

In addition to the British designer’s signature on the jerseys’ collar, the left sleeves will bear the iconic Paul Smith stripes as the hallmark of his work. The race started on 4th May with the Grand Departure in Naples. The riders will then face 21 stages  finishing up on May 26th in Brescia. Paul said recently of this collaboration;

“I started cycling at the age of 12 and raced until I was 18. A bad crash put me in hospital for several months, after which I discovered the world of creativity, design and fashion and started my career, which luckily has progressed to what it is today.

During that period I have always followed cycling and have been privileged to meet many key riders, building friendships with Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, David Millar and many more. I also have a huge collection of jerseys from the 70s right up to current times, often signed by the riders.

With all this in mind, it was an absolute honour and delight to be asked to design the four jerseys for the Giro and I hope that the simple approach that I’ve made is acceptable to you all; putting red piping with the pink, cleaning all of the jerseys up to keep them as simple as possible and adding a little drawing of a cyclist by myself onto the jerseys.” 

Then, we have the other European cycling powerhouse, The Tour de France, this year celebrating its centenary year and French Sports brand Le Coq Sportif have designed a unique jersey specifically for the 100th year of the tour. The 2013 yellow jersey or Maillot Jaune – is a symbol of this great, now international, bike race – brings innovation to the fore. The ever symbolic yellow of the jersey, even brighter this year, features a translucent « Moor’s Head » imprint on the main body of the jersey. This is a first, in recognition of the island – Corsica – which is to host the Grand Départ of the 100th Tour on 29th June.

Another special feature of this year’s race is the grand finish, which is to take place, for the first time, at night, inspiring le coq sportif to incorporate an array of reflective detail in the golden tunic.

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