In the space of a month Bradley Wiggins' life was changed forever. In July 2012 he won the Tour de France, becoming the first British rider to do so. Ten days later he captured Olympic gold in the ITT on home soil, and in London, the city he grew up in no less.
These were heady days indeed. Wiggins was vaulted into a new stratosphere of fame and influence. As a result, cycling in Britain would never be quite the same again. The following years have seen continued British success at le tour and beyond. It’s no exaggeration to say the reverberations of his historic year are still being felt.
To mark the 10-year anniversary of these record-breaking exploits the man himself has commissioned Vires Velo, Factor UK's 'experience centre', and Nottingham-based artist Karl Kopinski to create a one-off bicycle. And it’s quite the machine.
Factor provides the canvas in the shape of its OSTRO VAM frameset, which is currently ridden by the Israel Premier Tech team at WorldTour level.
On top of the pearl white base coat Kopinski then hand-painted 33 individual butterflies using liquid acrylic paints, each representing the number of days Wiggins spent in 2021 in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, Paris-Nice, Dauphine and Tour de Romandie combined. Kopinski added a final gold butterfly to the bike’s stem, supplied by Factor’s sister brand Black Inc, to commemorate the gold medal he won at London 2012. withe the artwork complete, the frame was then sent to the paint shop for a protective coating.
If the unique frame and paint job weren’t eye-catching enough, Vires Velo has completed the build in its Norfolk HQ with plenty of additional ‘bling’. Black Inc’s Five Spoke wheels were at the request of Wiggins and are offset nicely with white Schwalbe x Spartacus Pro One tyres, while the gold medal theme is continued courtesy of a gold CeramicSpeed OSPW.
Naturally the groupset is Shimano, ridden by Wiggins throughout his momentous 2012 campaign. For the ‘butterfly’ bike it’s the Japanese brand’s top-tier Dura-Ace Di2 12-speed gruppo. Other components include a white Fizik saddle and matching white bar tape.
On August 1st Wiggins took the bike out for a little spin, retracing the route of the 2012 time trial course. The road side must have felt eerily quiet in comparison.
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