A limited edition jersey designed for Rapha by Sir Paul Smith to commemorate the London Grand Depart of the 2007 Tour de France is on sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of £10,000.
Retailing for £175 when it went on sale in the run-up to the Grand Depart a decade ago, the dark green Sportwool jersey has embroidered features including the Union Flag crossed with a French Tricoleur, as well as the route of Stage 1 of the race from London to Canterbury the day after the opening Prologue in the capital.
The seller, eBay user 19joe80, describes it as "the mother of all cycling jerseys" and "a piece of cycling history," and adds that the garment, size medium and complete with original tags, "has been stored in an airtight bag in the dark since it was purchased."
15 per cent of the proceeds of the sale will be donated to tPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - although given the Sportwool composite fabric the jersey is made out of contains natural Merino wool, some might see it as out of keeping with the charity's ethos, with its slogan stating "animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way."
The jersey still has a special place in the affections of the Nottingham-born designer, who as a teenager harboured dreams of becoming a professional cyclist, and last year posted a picture of it to Instagram.
In 2013, it also featured in a retrospective of his work at the Design Museum in London.
"I designed this jersey for @Rapha nearly a decade ago in 2007 when the first stage of the Tour de France was held in London. The first stage – or La Grand Départ – began in central London and ended in Canterbury. It was won by the Australian rider @RobbieMcEwen who crashed badly with less than 20km to go but still managed to fight back to win!" @Paul_Smith What's your favourite cycling jersey? Let us know below... #PaulSmith #cycling #letour #font
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.