This weekend, there’ll be a distinctly Yorkshire accent to the Grand Départ of le Grande Boucle as 2014’s Tour de France begins in Leeds and heads off towards Harrogate.
It all seems very different. And there’s no doubt that the crowds will be bigger post-Wiggins and Froome.
But actually the Tour – and cycling in general – has been inspiring some of our best creative minds for years.
To enthusiasts in the 50s, Tour superstars like Bartali and Coppi were as synonymous with Italian style as Lambrettas, la dolce vita and coffee shops.
So there couldn’t be a better way to kick-start the morning than with feisty espresso taken from one of this set of porcelain cups featuring the polka dot of the ‘King of the Mountains’, the green ‘Points’ and the white ‘Best Young Rider ‘ classification colours alongside the Maillot Jaune.
At the same time, read how Brits have reported on the world’s toughest race and dip into the tragedy of William Fothergill’s ‘Put me back on my bike’ or the whimsy of Tim Moore’s ‘French Revolutions’. And surely there’s no smarter place to park any cycling volume than between these ‘Bicycle bookends’? Buy them here.
The general classification’s Yellow Jersey is iconic. And the racing teams have also shown that they can produce stunning graphic statements to match the Juventus stripes or Ferrari reds of any other sports.
For example, La Vie Claire team of the 80s shone out amongst the pelaton in their Mondrian-inspired jerseys of blocky primary colours. They’re back as bold as ever in this handmade linen print. £19.29 – buy it here.
If you’re going to cover the 21 stages and 3664 km of 2014 Tour, you’re going to be burning your way through 6000 calories a day, so make meal preparation perfect on this solid Walnut Chopping Board £34.97. Buy it here.
And finally, at the end of the tour you should look smart – something these wooden bicycle cufflinks will do.