Blazin' Saddles

British star gets his hands on Maglia Rosa

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Bradley Wiggins might have preferred it if Lambretta had been commissioned to design the Maglia Rosa but it is Sir Paul Smith, Britain’s foremost fashion designer, who has designed the leaders’ jerseys for the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

Son of Nottingham and cycling nut Smith has designed the four jerseys, starting with the iconic Maglia Rosa - the pink jersey worn by the race leader.

Smith explains: "Having been a huge cycling enthusiast and follower of the major tours and classics for many years, it’s an absolute privilege to be asked to design the four jerseys for the Giro d’Italia."

In addition to Smith’s signature on the jerseys’ collar, the left sleeves will bear the iconic Paul Smith stripes as the hallmark of his work.

The inside of the collar of the Maglia Rosa also bears the signature of the late Fiorenzo Magni as a tribute to the legendary Italian who died last December.

Smith added: "I started cycling at the age of 12 and raced until I was 18. A bad crash put me in hospital for several months, after which I discovered the world of creativity, design and fashion and started my career, which luckily has progressed to what it is today.

"During that period I have always followed cycling and have been privileged to meet many key riders, building friendships with Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, David Millar and many more. I also have a huge collection of jerseys from the 70s right up to current times, often signed by the riders.

"I hope that the simple approach that I’ve made is acceptable to you all; putting red piping with the pink, cleaning all of the jerseys up to keep them as simple as possible and adding a little drawing of a cyclist by myself onto the jerseys."

The Giro d’Italia starts on May 4 with the Grand Departure in Naples where we hope to see Smith resplendent in one of his jerseys from the 70s – we’re hoping the collection includes one of these fetching Barry Hoban numbers from his Miko Mercier Hutchinson days.