Without doubt, the Tour de France is the biggest race in the world watched by milions of cycling fans across the globe. With such a big race, it would be easy to put the predicable sets of pro team jerseys worn by the famous winners, but I thought I'd make it more personal by selecting a specific edition of the race.
The 1997 was not the first edition of the race I saw in person, that was the 1994 edition when it came to Brighton and Portsmouth. It was however the first time I saw the race in France and more importantly it was the first time I saw the riders take on the Alps.
Along with my brother Barney, we packed our bikes up and got on a Graham Baxter coach at London and made the long journey down to Saint-Etienne in time for the twelevth stage - the individual time trial.
By this time, Jan Ullrich had already taken the field apart in Andorra making himself pretty unpopular with team leader Bjarne Riis but uber-popular with the German fans many of whom we met en-route!
This was the mid-1990's, so Chris Boardman was the only real hope of any kind of result, but Boardman only finished 23rd on the day a whooping 6 minutes 45 seconds down on Ullrich.
The first thing that you noticed was just how small and lean these riders where in the mountains. I was pretty fit myself at the time (around 74kg) I felt positively obesse, but I did enjoy riding such iconic climbs like l'Alpe d'Huez and Courchevel all on steel bike, with 52/39 and 12/25 - those were the days!
On this page, I'm going to try me very assemble all of the team jerseys that were represented on the start line in Rouen that year. Wish me luck!
Website: Tour de France - 1997 Edition