Friday, 3rd May 2013
The Giro d’Italia or the Tour of Italy is one of the greatest cycling races in the world; along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España it forms part of the Triple Crown of Cycling.
Created in 1909, the race was originally designed to boost circulation of the Italian sports newspaper ‘La Gazetto dello Sport’ – to this day the winner wears a pink jersey (Maglia Rosa) to represent the colour of the founding newspaper.
Easy to romanticise by onlookers, the gruelling 21 stage race unravels across a backdrop of glorious Italian landscapes, taking in many of the momentous Dolomite mountain climbs and those of neighbouring countries. Spanning approximately 3500 kilometres, the intensity of the race is enhanced by its unfortunate end date. Riders completing the Giro are expected just one month later to begin the punishing Le Tour de France – this overwhelming prospect often results in a decision to target winning one race and forgoing the other. Riders that complete both races successfully are given extra kudos. Riders that win both races within their careers become heroes. And those that champion both races in the same season, they become legends.
Although the start, the route and the finish point vary from year to year the race is always made up of the same components – Sprint Stages, Mountain Stages and Time Trials. The different stages play out in different ways, with riders excelling in one particular area; it is unusual for a rider to excel in every type of stage and this is why strategy becomes imperative to success.
This year 23 teams made up of 207 international riders will enter the race. Before and during the race each team will work together and decide who has the best chance of winning, the team must then dedicate themselves to helping their leader win.
There are various jerseys to be won throughout the race, the most coveted being the Maglia Rosa - which goes to the stage winner. Following on from the stage winners jersey is the Maglia Rosso Passione, whose name arguably loses some of its charm when translated into English - the red passion knit - this goes to the rider with the highest points overall; points are awarded to riders according to their ranking in each stage. Then there is Maglia Azzura, which goes to the best climber classification and the Maglia Bianca for bright young things (the best young rider).
The overall winner of the race is the competitor with the lowest cumulative time to complete all stages. Coverage of the event usually focuses around a few firm favourites and the battles between arch-rivals can make compelling viewing. Perhaps one of the most famous Giros of all was in 1949, when Italian national heroes Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali pitted against each other for three long weeks across post-war Italy. Coppi took the title then followed it up with a Le Tour win, earning him the nickname the Il Campionissimo – the champion of champions. Strong contenders for this years giro title include 2012 Tour de France winner, Olympic cycling champion and Fred Perry collaborator Bradley Wiggins.
See the latest Fred Perry and Bradley Wiggins Collection here.
Tuesday, 30th Apr 2013
The George Cox Monkey Boot - click here to view
This week, we're pleased to introduce the George Cox Monkey Boot as part of our ongoing Friends of Fred project. Handmade at the company's Northamptonshire factory, these 14-hole lace ups have been crafted in high shine leather that develops its own individual character over time, improving with age.
Originally designed as a standard issue army boot, the Monkey Boot has been adopted by various subcultures throughout the decades, originally picked up by the late 60s mods before becoming a firm favourite with both men and women on the skinhead scene.
The boot's unique shape hugs the ankle and tapers to the toe, making it ideal teamed with straight leg denim and a classic gingham shirt or Harrington jacket. The George Cox style features a leather lining, dual branding on the inner sock and an additional pair of yellow laces to add a pop of colour if preferred. Available in maroon or black colour options, in UK sizes 6-11.
Wednesday, 24th Apr 2013
Photographer Ari Versluis and profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek will visit the Hyperlink Festival at London's Tate Modern this weekend, hosting two workshops alongside an open casting call to be a part of the duo's latest piece of work. Working as 'The Exactitudes' since 1994, Ari and Ellie have long been inspired by the dress codes adopted by various social groups, adopting an almost scientific approach to their archiving of street fashions.
The creative partners are one of the contributors to our 60 Year Anniversary Gallery, creating a unique customisation of our iconic Fred Perry shirt with multiple embroidered Laurel Wreaths on the chest. Join the duo at the Tate Modern this Saturday, to learn about their techniques and see a live portrait session with members of the public.
The Exactitudes photography workshops will take place this Sunday 28th April at the Clore Studio, Tate Modern, London. Find out more about the three day Hyperlink Festival here.