For many of us, collecting football stickers as a child (or in the case of the author of this article ‘as an adult’) was a yearly obsession.
Searching and swapping for that elusive shiny sticker, only to be regularly disappointed when former Bradford City striker Dean Windass popped his head out of the packet… again.
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However, there was always something missing for pure cycling fans as sticker companies never thought of (and probably correctly so from a business decision) giving us our own book.
But the time has now come, as Italian sticker company Panini has announced it is launching a Tour de France sticker book for the 2019 edition of the race. Following on from their Giro d’Italia sticker book in 2018.
All in all there are 352 stickers to collect, including 32 ‘specials’ – we are assuming these are shiny stickers, if not there will be a riot in the Cycling Weekly office.
The book will feature all 22 teams selected for the race, many of the host towns and cities, maps of the stage profiles and climbs as well as highlights from previous editions of the Tour de France.
In addition to paying tribute to the 100th anniversary of the yellow jersey, this year’s race also pays tribute to Eddy Merckx.
With the 106th edition setting off from Brussels in his honour – but perhaps the biggest accolade of all is that ‘The Cannibal’ himself has two pages of the album dedicated to him.
However just like the awkwardness of yesteryear – when a player would move from one team to another mid-season, making their sticker immediately outdated – it seems as though Panini’s printing deadline has forced its hand on the impending name change of Team Sky to Team Ineos.
The book is set to be launched on May 4, giving you plenty of time to spread the word and get together a group of friends and club mates for regular swapping sessions before the Grand Boucle starts in July.
Because no-one wants to be left with a Nacer Bouhanni sticker in swap seven times…
Unfortunately since our story was published, Panini have revealed that they don’t plan on releasing the sticker book in the UK.
We have contacted Panini to try and convince them that the love for cycling stickers is out there – so all hope may not be lost just yet…