Just in time for both the 2015 edition of the Tour de France and the very last few shows of the Grateful Dead "Fare thee Well" Tour, comes our first EC x Giordana 2015 collaborative effort, the Circuit of the Deadmen Jersey. We enjoy sharing the history of cycling in our own way with our fans. When we came across the amazing story detailing the introduction of the high mountain peaks to the Tour de France, it immediately struck a chord with us. Anytime we can combine two of our favorite subject matters - music and cycling - into a single project, we know we're onto something that will resonate with our people.
The Circuit of the Deadmen - Henri Derange, the originator of the Tour de France, once said that the ideal tour would be one in which only one cyclist finished. In 1910, many felt that he had finally achieved that goal. The 1910 TDF consisted of 15 stages and covered 4,737 km, an average of over 300 km per stage! This was also the first tour to include climbs into the high mountains of the Pyrenees. The 10th stage was 326 km long and climbed several peaks that are considered legendary today including the Tourmalet and the Aubisque. Derange sent a scout in the spring to check the road over the Tourmalet.
The scout drove as far as he could until snow blocked his path and forced him to continue on foot. He became lost in the snow and needed to be rescued by local villagers. The next morning, the scout wired Derange saying the road was perfectly passable and shouldn’t present any problems for the riders. On the morning of July 21, stage 10 had arrived. The riders set out at 3:30 am in hopes of finishing before dark. On the climb of the Aubisque, still with over 150 km to ride, a journalist asked eventual winner Octave Lapize how he was doing, to which he replied, “Assassins!” Not only was the stage over 200 kms longer than modern TDF stages, but it included nearly 25,000 feet of climbing. The newspapers following the race took to calling the 1910 edition of the TDF the “Circuit of the Deadmen”. The 1910 edition of the TDF stands out as one of the most brutal races ever.
The EC x Giordana Circuit of the Deadmen Vero Jersey is available now at the EC Online Store.