The Blog from Oi Polloi presents: by Sam Waller •

Whether you’re struggling to fix a puncture at the side of a busy dual-carriageway, stuck behind a bus breathing in a lung-full of petrol fumes or getting smacked in the teeth by a car door in Rusholme, there’s nothing like the thrill of a bike-ride. But if you’re taking it a bit more seriously than just doing a few skids and giving your mates a backie to the shop, then you probably want the clothes for the job.

Having been the official outfitter of the Tour de France (or Le Grand Boucle, as it’s known in France) since 1951, Le Coq Sportif are no strangers to making top notch garm’s fit for the world’s best high-speed cycle-racers. This year the French brand have been named the outfitter for the tour once again, so they’ve only gone and made some super-sharp replica jerseys, making it easier than ever to pretend you’re king of the mountain, even if the only climbs your bike sees is when you pull it up the cellar stairs.

But it’s not just pelotons and blood doping for the sporty cocks at Le Coq Sportif — as well as the high-pressure world of le Tour, they are also a proud sponsor of a more casual affair known as L’Eroica. Taking place on the dusty lanes of Tuscany, L’Eroica, only allows the use of bikes made before 1987, and encourages its competitors to get in to the spirit of things and dress accordingly. To help out with the dress-up corner, Le Coq Sportif have dusted off the sheep-shears and made some surprisingly effective woollen jerseys and even some rather fetching little caps, and let’s face it, chances are you never ride fast enough to need a helmet anyway…

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