La Tour De France

La Tour De France

Collecting numbers

Much sought-after by collectors are the numbers worn by riders on their racing jerseys. 'In the Tour de France, each rider gets two new rider numbers a day, and they try to save them and use them for several days, so that they have some good ones to share with family as keepsakes.

Collectors will pay more than $150-£100 for a rider number and over $500-£300 if it was the race winner. If the number was signed by the rider it could sell for $1500-£l,000 or more.'
A challenge for any collector is to try and collect a complete set of numbers from one team. 'This is quite difficult to do,'  if one were to find a set of all nine rider numbers on the US Postal Service team  they would pay more than $1000-£700 for the entire set.'

La Tour De France

Racing heroes

Every sport has its David Beckhams and cycling is no exception. Some of the heroic deeds of Tour de France competitors have become legendary, firing the imagination with their intrinsic courage, stamina and determination. The first-ever winner, Maurice Garin, still holds the record for the biggest winning margin of two hours and 49 minutes.

La Tour De France
More recent icons include the Spaniard Miguel Indurain, who achieved five successive wins from 1991 — 1995 and the American Lance Armstrong, who matched Indurain's record with his fifth successive victory an exceptional achievement, as his first triumph in 1999 came after a courageous battle against testicular cancer.

Inevitably, any memorabilia featuring these sporting heroes is highly sought- after; Lance Armstrong, in particular, is very collectible. Armstrong's rider numbers are popular, and could set you back  $150-£100 or more.

By contrast, a Priority Mail Envelope, issued by the US Postal Services in 2000 to celebrate Armstrong's second Tour win, could cost as little as $3£2 -$8-£5, depending on its condition. Other Armstrong memorabilia available includes mouse mats, coke bottles, posters and pin sets, all of which can be picked up for $30-£20 or less.      

La Tour De France

Coach's Fact File

Spaniard Miguel Indurain and American Lance Armstrong now jointly hold the record for five successive Tour victories.

The first bicycle was designed in Germany in 1818 by Baron Karl von Drais. It had no pedals, so he had to push himself along with his feet.

This early model was known as a velocipede, from the Latin for speed and walking.
Pedals were added in 1839, the brainchild of Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan.

The famous Penny Farthing had its origins in France in the 19th century, when Ernest Michaux put pedals on the front wheel. Over the next few years, the size of the front wheel increased

La Tour De France
to allow for greater speed and the size of the back wheel gradually decreased. These models were notoriously unsafe and their popularity declined as cycle technology advanced.

The advent of the motorcar in the early 1900s almost sounded the death knell for the humble bicycle, but increasing concern about the environment has resulted in a renaissance over the last century.

Collectibles Coach

La Tour De France

Further Blog Reading

part 1          Tour De France History

part 2           La Tour De France

part 3           The Tour De France

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