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Milltag's limited run Tommy jersey is a celebration of the achievements of British cycling legend Tom Simpson with all profits going to the family of Wouter Weylandt, who was tragically killed when he crashed during Stage 3 of this year's Giro.
For many years, Tom Simpson ranked as Britain's most successful cyclist of all time. His palmares features victories in many major races such as the 1961 Tour of Flanders, the '61 Milan San-Remo, and most famously of all, the '65 World Championships. He became the first Briton to don the yellow jersey in the 1962 Tour, en route to a career best 6th place overall. The story of his tragic death on the hallowed slopes of the Mont Ventoux is the stuff of legends, immortalized by his final words 'put me back on my bike' (which he may or may not have said).
Stylistically, the jersey takes its cues from the two teams Simpson rode for as a professional - the red and black of Rapha Geminiani, and the checker of the iconic Peugeot team kit. The back of the jersey is emblazoned with the number 49, the last race number that he would ever put on. As a world champion, the jersey features the rainbow stripes on the sleeves, with some extra detailing present on the collar. Two small depictions of the yellow and world champs jersey are placed on the jersey sides, including the year in which they were obtained - a nice touch I thought.
Personally, I think that Milltag have really hit a home run with this design. It manages to capture the crowning achievements of 'Tommy's' racing career whilst remaining stylish in a retro sort of way. I'm a big fan of the original Peugeot team kit and the checkers across the chest work just as well on this jersey.
The jersey itself is made using Coolplus fabric which is pleasingly soft to the touch and efficient at wicking away moisture. Whilst it isn't the airiest jersey out there, the fabric does a good job keeping you dry and cool. And when it gets really hot you'll be grateful for the inclusion of a full length zip. The cut is asymmetric, with the rear longer than the front, although not aggressively so. There was no unsightly bunching up front when crouched down in an aero position, but equally, it doesn't expose your stomach when standing up straight. A silicon strip round the bottom hem also helps to prevent the jersey riding up when on the bike.
In terms of sizing, the jersey runs according to "euro" style rather than the slightly larger "US" style. I found the medium fit my lanky 6'3 frame perfectly, with no tight areas around the neck, and no flapping fabric around the waist. In use its presence was virtually unnoticeable, which I guess is the highest praise you could give a jersey.
Three rear pockets are included in addition to a zipped valuables pocket. Milltag have really nailed the pocket placement here as reaching in and out of them is effortless, even with my poor shoulder/arm flexibility. The outer pockets are slightly angled, further aiding access. If I have one criticism, it's that the pockets are a bit on the shallow side and could have been made deeper.
A great looking jersey commemorating one of the greats of British cycling, executed using a technical, wicking fabric, and a slew of well thought out features. At £70 it isn't cheap but it is good quality, and it just feels "right" plus of course all profits go to a worthy cause too, I might have felt more inclined to quibble at the price if that hadn't been the case.
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Make and model: Milltag Tommy jersey
Size tested: M
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Milltag describe the thinking behind the jersey design as follows:
"This jersey is a celebration of Tom's life and career, combining elements from his racing achievements: the red and black of Rapha Geminiani. The checkerboard of Peugeot. The World Champion's rainbow bands. The yellow jersey. The monument that stands on the Mont Ventoux in tribute to a fallen idol.
On the back of the jersey is race number from the tragic 1967 Tour de France, where Simpson lost his life: Le Dossard Quarante-Neuf.
Tommy, we salute you."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
-Full length zip
-Full silicon gummed bottom hem
-Angled outer pockets
-Low rear hem
All stitching is neatly done and looks like it should hold up on the long run
The jersey feel is soft and airy with any moisture generated being effectively wicked away from the body. Asymmetric cut ensures a great on-the-bike fit whilst the pockets are well placed.
The coolplus fabric is thicker than that used on some true summer jerseys and is reassuringly solid. All stitching is neat and tidy with no loose ends to catch on things
Once on, the jersey was unnoticeable - need I say more?
Not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but quality comes at a cost. All profits go to the family of Wouter Weylandt too.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 20 Height: 190cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 2 My best bike is: Canyon Ultimate CF7
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, sportives, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.