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Tour de France

The line between insanity and genius is said to be a fine one, and in early 20th century France, anyone envisaging a near-2,500-km-long cycle race across the country would have been widely viewed as unhinged. But that didn’t stop Géo Lefèvre, a journalist with L’Auto magazine at the time, from proceeding with his inspired plan. His editor, Henri Desgrange, was bold enough to believe in the idea and to throw his backing behind the Tour de France. And so it was that, on 1 July 1903, sixty pioneers set out on their bicycles from Montgeron. After six mammoth stages (Nantes - Paris, 471 km!), only 21 “routiers”, led by Maurice Garin, arrived at the end of this first epic.

Having provoked a mixture of astonishment and admiration, le Tour soon won over the sporting public and the roadside crowds swelled. The French people took to their hearts this unusual event which placed their towns, their countryside and, since 1910, even their mountains, in the spotlight.

Over a hundred years after its inception, le Tour continues to gain strength and is the pinnacle of cycling year.

Morvelo were asked to design 3 t-shirts to celebrate the 2011 route. When thinking of initial concepts and sketching designs we kept on coming back to what we feel defines the Tour de France - the mountains. So many stories past and present reflect on the heroics and bravery of the men who have battled with each other up these giants. They are the great amphitheatrers of the cycling world, with crowds camping out for days on end to cheer their heroes to the summits. Galibier, Tourmalet, Alpe D'Huez, we can't for what battles will unravel on your slopes in 2011.

Available to buy through our online store soon

Visit the Tour de France website