Rapha has launched a special edition Tom Simpson jersey to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his 1965 Road Cycling World Championship victory


Tom Simpson is unquestionably one of the most successful British cyclists of all time. Sadly, to many he is best known for that fateful day on Mount Ventoux in 1967.

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Simpson was a highly decorated racer—his palmarès included, but was not limited to, being the first British rider to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France; victories at Paris- Nice, the Tour of Flanders, Milan-San Remo, Giro di Lombardia, Bordeaux- Paris; along with four top ten finishes at Paris-Roubaix.

Tom Simpson Peugeot.jpg

Tom Simpson racing for Peugeot (Photo taken from the Cycling Weekly archive)

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Rapha has decided to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his success at the 1965 Road Cycling World Championship in San Sebastian, Spain. That same year he became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Some of the proceeds from the sale of this collection will be donated to the Simpson family for their work to maintain the Tom Simpson memorial on Mont Ventoux.

Rapha Tom Simpson Pro Team Aero Jersey

Rapha Tom Simpson jersey

The  jersey is based on the Rapha Pro Team Aero Jersey. With a blue, white and red colour scheme matching that of the GB team kit of the 1960s the jersey is cut for an aggressive riding position. Rapha claims that the use of  high-stretch fabric provides excellent comfort and performance.

Simpson jersey

The jersey uses high-stretch fabric (Photo: Rapha)

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Newspaper headlines of the day relating to Simpson’s World Championship win and his victory at the Giro di Lombardia – Simpsonissimo and Tom Le Plus Fort – are printed on the chest and the rear pocket respectively. Other subtle details include reference to the  World Champion’s stripes and Simpson’s team sponsor along with a quote on the inner collar said to pay homage to Simpson- “A glorious mix of courage and cunning.”

Simpson jersey worn

The horizontal blue bands are similar to the World Champion’s bands (Photo: Rapha)

Rapha Tom Simpson Cap

Rapha Tom Simpson cap 2

The classic looking cycling cap compliments the above jersey. It is said to be highly water-resistant, wind proof and breathable. The lightweight hat could cap of your tribute to Tom Simpson.

The Jersey shall cost £130 and the Cap £25. For further information contact Rapha.

  • Chris Sidwells

    Rapha haven’t publicised the amount, so I won’t announce it, but I think it should be known that the company has made a very generous donation to the fund maintains various memorials to Tom.

  • Reg Oakley

    Facile commercialism of a fantastic rider who encouraged many of my generation to take to two wheels. Toms doping was an attempt to level the playing field, doping was rife in the 60s amongst pros and amateurs, lets not get sanctimoneous about it.

  • John Senior

    In a world before data, heart rate monitors, nutritional advisors, more than two bottles of fluids when riding, hot vinegar baths as post race recovery and stages and races of ridiculous length where you only made any money if you won races we are talking about another world ..comparing an apple with an orange if you like. Factor in Simpson as a ground breaking athlete breaking into a system where a rider from anywhere but mainland Europe was an oddity, who learned languages and lived in Belgium to fit in and you should..unless you have zero understanding of the history of cycling (which didn’t start when Brad won the Tour and you bought your first carbon fibre bike) have a sense that it is possibly to admire Simpson, Coppi and others for their abilities and skills as well as wishing they’d lived in a different time when race organisers, sponsors and managers were concerned about the welfare of their riders.
    Comparisons to Lance are also ridiculous – Simpson didn’t deny what he did, never threatened anyone with a law suit and nothing he took was anything like as effective as EPO or a blood transfusion. You should also have in mind that because strict drug testing and meaningful sanctions were not seen as being in anyones interests they hardly existed.
    Finally – you can admire and respect the good in someone while regretting/questioning/ holding them accountable for things that weren’t. There was a lot to celebrate in Tom Simpsons life – but the way he died isn’t one of them.

  • Chris Williams

    What a laugh – the guy was a drug taker etc – Make one for Lance Armstrong

  • Adam Beevers

    Whilst on drugs? Where do I get my retro Lance top?

  • Andy Moseley

    It’s not celebrating his life, it’s celebrating a victory he had 50 years ago.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    Of course people are frail and complicated, and life is complicated, but if we don’t condemn the cheats we encourage new athletes to think the risk is worth taking. That even if your caught you’ll still be honoured if you got enough good results while you were cheating. For the sake of the future we should refrain from being mealy-mouthed even while we quietly empathise.

  • Willem van Woluwe

    Nice juxtaposition of this advertorial for a jersey costing £130 with the championship winning bike costing £1000… The Comic is doing a good job of catering for its old and new readerships, but I know which article I prefer!

  • ummm…

    To be honest when I saw the headline I thought the SAME thing. Granted this is an apparel company and not the UCI. So I suppose an Italian company has a right to do a Pantani line. A Canadian company can do a Ben Johnson track and field line etc. Sure, who cares. No thoughtful person really believes pro sport is clean. It is just unsportmanlike and undignified to be so two faced about the standards that we set for our sporting heroes. Plus, the man KILLED himself from PED usage. He was famous for “killing” himself to get a win, and finally did kill himself carelessly.

    So explain your thought better. How is our thinking black and white?

  • John

    Glad your world is so black and white.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    A bit rich celebrating somebody’s life when they were renown for taking anything that would improve performance to such an extent they killed themself.