Replica wool Belgian National Team jersey signed by Eddy Merckx

Replica wool Belgian National Team jersey signed by Eddy Merckx
Sales price £500.00


Replica wool Belgian National Team jersey signed by Eddy Merckx

Dossche Sport is one of the oldest bike shops in Ghent. It’s a long time team sponsor, and a place where British and Commonwealth cyclists who moved to the Belgian city hoping to emulate the likes of Tom Simpson, Barry Hoban, Alf Strom and Reg Arnold and become professional racers, made a beeline to buy equipment.

The shop sold replica pro team kit in the 1960s and ‘70s, when it was really hard to buy in the UK, so it was an important place to visit when British bike fans travelled to Belgium to watch the classics, the Ghent Six-day, or to experience racing in Belgium for themselves.

This jersey was one of Dossche Sport’s biggest sellers. It’s a Belgian national team jersey as worn by riders from that country in the world championships of the late 1970s. There is a story behind its design, which hasn’t changed since the late 1940s.

The original Belgian National Team jerseys, as worn in world championships and in the Tour de France from 1930 onwards, was predominantly black with a yellow above a red chest band. Yellow and red cuffs were added to later versions. The jersey stayed like that until 1940, with Belgians Romain Maes winning the Tour in 1935 and Sylvere Maes in 1936 and 1939, in it.

But in 1947, when the Tour de France resumed after the Second World War, one of Belgium’s top riders, Raymond Impanis thought the jersey design cost him the Tour, or so the story goes. The website quotes a Belgian journalist, Sven Spoormakers who says Raymond Impanis often said that although he finished sixth overall in the 1947 Tour, he couldn’t really challenge because the black Belgian jersey made him too hot.

Impanis complained to the Belgian Cycling Federation, and the design was changed to a kingfisher blue background with a black yellow and red chest band, collar and cuffs. The design still used by Belgian teams in the world championships today, although the shade of blue has change- it was dark blue when this jersey was made but is light blue now.

There is no definite answer as to why blue was chosen as the background, but many Belgian bike fans think it was because of the number of Belgian riders that were in the old Alcyon professional team over the years, including the first-ever Belgian Tour de France winner, Odille Defraye. Alcyon’s team jersey was kingfisher blue.

  alcyon team jerseys through history

The jersey is signed by Eddy Merckx, who won one amateur and three professional road world titles for Belgium.

£500.00 including UK post and packaging.

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