Last Monday evening, a few of the girls from the design studio attended the Rapha Tour De France evening. The race was playing on the screens and the room was busy with cycling fanatics sipping wine and nibbling on crackers and cheese.
Bikes rode by the visitors blotted out the windows, and everyone congregated between the food and drink stand and the vintage bikes. Walking down to the basement, the room was scattered with vintage bicycles shadowed by vintage cycling jerseys that were hung from above. The event was packed with real cycling enthusiasts, who all wanted to get a good look at the components such as vintage watering tins, vintage stop watches attached to the handle bars, and spare inner tubes tied under saddles.
A few legends from the world of cycling were there chatting to the crowd, including Gino Goddard, Tony Hewson (who rode the Tour de France and, as an amateur, won the Tour of Britain in 1955) and Douglas Collins. Also in attendance were Brian Robinson (who was the first Briton to finish the Tour de France and the first to win a Tour stage) and Vin Denson (who rode the Tour de France, won a stage of the Giro d'Italia and won the Tour of Luxembourg in the 1960s. He was a teammate of Rik van Looy and of Jacques Anquetil and, in the Tour de France, of Tom Simpson. Along with Robert Millar and Mark Cavendish, he is the only other British rider to have won a stage of the Giro, and is still the only Englishman to do so before finishing 40th overall.) Impressive histories!
And we have found some photos of the gentleman in their glory days!
Gino asked if everyone remembered what happened to Tommy Simpson and Vin Denson talked solemnly through his memories of being on Tommy’s team. Vin was in that same fatal race with Tommy Simpson and stated ‘ I can’t remember what happened yesterday, but 50 years ago is as clear as ice’.
It was a great night and amazing memories filled the rooms. Everyone was inspired and humbled by the presence of old and new legends.
Email Tim: firstname.lastname@example.org