WE'RE IN THE TOUR
Continuing our Annual wrap up for 2018 we thought we'd look back to that time we raced in Paris Roubaix and the Tour de France.
Our CHPT3 C3 range of cycling apparel finds its design inspiration from racing. The first incarnation of this range being based on three stories from three days of racing at the Vuelta Espana, Giro d'Italia, and the queen of them all, Paris Roubaix.
As is normally the case Roubaix has captured the imagination most, what began as a design for a jersey spread to a full collection including a bike by Factor and a saddle by Brooks.
The design itself rather surprisingly focuses on the finish line in the Roubaix Velodrome rather the cobbles the race is most famous for. Ironically the final 200m of Paris Roubaix are probably the smoothest of any road race a pro will do, you just have to go through hell to get there.
And, once you're there, you cross the line twice, which is something David Millar forgot to do on his first finish of Paris Roubaix. Infamously he pulled off into the track centre only to be told 10mins later he had one more lap to do, the ONEMORELAP story was born. This is the reason we focused on the finish, for the vast majority of those who compete in Roubaix finishing is a victory in itself, something that all of us need to be reminded of occasionally.
Here at CHPT3 we didn't expect to have our creations ridden in the two biggest races in cycling, and although we are currently distant from the racing world it reminded us of where we come from - the level of pride and excitement we felt watching the AG2R team race our bikes was something none of us could have imagined. Here's a photographic recap of that day in July.
The Factor CHPT3 bikes lined up outside the AG2R team bus awaiting the roll out. Photo: Alex Jacobs
Romain Bardet on his way to the start, escorted by team staff, media, and fans. Photo: Alex Jacobs
Romain Bardet waves from the sign on podium - a moment of theatre where the riders are presented to the fans. Photo: Jered Gruber
Tony Gallopin on an early sector of cobbles in a classic Tour de France scene. Photo: Jered Gruber
Romain Bardet beginning his day of chasing, a series of punctures turning the stage into a hellish pursuit for survival. Photo: Jered Gruber
The team rode phenomenally, solving problem after problem, and somehow managing to get their leader, Bardet, back in the mix time after time. Photo: Jered Gruber
Oliver Naesen bulldozes Rafal Majka. Oliver came off better than Rafal, the bike was fine. Photo: ANP Press Buro
Tony Gallopin in full fight. Photo: Jered Gruber
Deep into the finale of the race Bardet found himself more and more isolated as his team mates exhausted themselves to rescue his race, somehow, in the very final metres, Oliver Naesen made the final bridge for Bardet to what was left of the GC peloton. Photo: Jered Gruber
Mixed emotions for Romain Bardet: his race was saved, but he and his team had made the deepest of efforts to sort it while the other contenders had managed to survive unscathed. Photo: Jered Gruber
Being the Great French Hope comes with duties beyond the start and finish line. Photo: Alex Jacobs
To be a great stage racer you have to always be thinking ahead, and although we may hear the GC contenders repeatedly say "day by day" in interviews they're actually always anticipating tomorrow. Photo: Alex Jacobs
The now ubiquitous post-race warm down; often a moment where team mates find out for the first time how their leader finished. Photo: Alex Jacobs
Day done for the Factor CHPT3 bikes. A little dirtier and race worn than they were a few hours before, and each with a different story to tell. Photo: Alex Jacobs
Meanwhile, David Millar and Adam Blythe were in the velodrome for television duties and made the most of the dead time, soaking up the atmosphere and playing on their Bromptons. Octave Lapize (the former Roubaix winner who's name is on the plaque of one of the shower cubicles we chose) was the first Tour rider to pass the Tourmalet, where he famously shouted at the officials, 'Vous êtes des assassins! Oui, des assassins!' And that was our first time at the Tour de France.