16 May 2012

King of the Mountains limited edition prints - now available to buy

As a preview to the LE TOUR show, the limited edition King of the Mountains prints have been released for sale. 

This series features nine iconic 'climbing moments' from the Tour de France, and is available in an edition of nine archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm. 
Buy from Snap Galleries HERE, before the show opens on 30th June. 

The first 'King of the Mountains' was René Pottier, in 1905. At that time this title was bestowed on the meilleur grimpeur (best climber). This continued until 1933, with the first recipient of the Grand Prix de la Montagne being Spaniard Vicente Trueba - a touriste-routier (independent rider without a professional contract). 

The highly recognisable maillot à pois rouges (polka dot jersey) first appeared in 1975 - the design courtesy of long-term Tour sponsor Chocolat Poulain (one of the oldest chocolate brands in France) with input from then Tour organiser Félix Lévitan. 

The first official mountain stage appeared in 1910, with the introduction of the Pyrénées, and Le Col du Tourmalet. Having conducted a recce for the proposed climb, Alphonse Steines, sports journalist and assistant to Tour organiser Henri Desgrange, cabled back "Tourmalet crossed. Stop. Very good road. Stop. Perfectly acceptable. Stop. Steinès." The first rider over the summit was Octave Lapize, who famously cried at the race organisers "Vous êtes des assassins! Oui, des assassins." The Alps arrived in 1911, with the Col de Galibier, about which Desgrange wrote "Oh Col Bayard, Oh Col Tourmalet… beside the Galibier you are nothing…"