Some of cycling’s biggest stars will be donating the jerseys they are wearing in races this month to the raise funds for survivors of the earthquake in Japan, in an initiative oganised by the Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli rider, Takashi Miyazawa, the Japanese national champion.
Jerseys complete with race numbers from the Tirreno-Adriatico which finished on Tuesday, tomorrow’s Milan-San Remo and next week’s Volta a Catalunya will be auctioned through the Italian website All1Sport – here’s a link to the English version – with the auction finishing on Saturday 26 March.
Among the big names who have donated their jerseys are Cadel Evans, in his case the leader’s jersey from Tirreno Adriatico, while Thor Hushovd has provided his world champion’s jersey. Miyazaw himself is giving his Japanese national champion’s jersey, while team mate Giovanni Visconti is donating the Italian tricolore version.
Other stars whose team jerseys are in the auction include Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish, Damiano Cunego and Fabian Cancellara. Others presumably will be added after Milan-San Remo.
Bids will be updated at 9am each morning, and the current highest bid is for Evans’ Tirreno-Adriatico jersey, at €660 including VAT (the eventual winning bid, it should be noted, will be based on the ex-VAT price). The next most coveted jersey according to current bidding is that of the man tipped heavily to win the Giro d’Italia in May, Vincenzo Nibali.
Speaking of his initiative, Miyazawa said: "I'm happy and excited for this initiative, started by chance during a chat with the boys of the agency of Sport Management A&J; I have expressed them my personal sorrow for the difficult period that my Country is living.
“I am here in Italy, but my countrymen are spending a tragic period, and I can't be happy, not even thinking about my participation in San Remo, the first of my career. So I want to turn this event into something in support of my country. The solidarity of my colleagues touches me and I can only thank them for their strong feeling that they have shown me."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.