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We cyclists are accustomed to expensive bicycles and fancy gear, but is our sport headed for true luxury status?
Tutto Bici reported Sunday that the multinational LVMH Group, owner of an assortment of high fashion luxury brands and alcohol companies like Louis Vuitton, Hennessy, and Tag Heuer, will soon add sporting goods to its portfolio with the pending purchase of Pinarello bikes.
With headquarters in Paris, the LVMH conglomerate was reportedly attracted to Pinarello thanks to its strong relationship with Team Sky and Tour de France winner Chris Froome. Does Froome move the needle with the fashionista class? It’s hard to say, but for whatever reason, he’s the man that LVMH wants. Here’s the thing: LVMH owns a number of fancy upscale companies, such as Sephora, Bvlgari watches, and even Givenchy perfume.
Will this luxury power player bring its fancy items into our sport? If so, here are some scenarios we’d love to see play out:
1. Rapha who? Team Sky will part ways with the London-based clothing company at the end of 2016. This winter, riders will don wool twill kits made by Christian Dior. Froome contemplates ditching his Oakleys for Dior’s luxurious specs.
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2. Kanye West designs Louis Vuitton cycling shoes for all the riders. After years subjecting themselves to super-minimalist shoes, like Adam Hansen’s carbon togs, riders realize that plush high-tops are way comfy for 200km days, revolutionizing cycling shoe design.
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3. De Beers Diamond Jewelry and Chaumet Jewelers oversee the Tour de France’s prize committee. Instead of the maillot jaune, Froome dons a diamond-studded tiara.
4. Introducing the most expensive musettes ever, presented by Fendi. Sport nutrition companies wring their hands as they are forced to develop small, compact bars and gels that fit into cute little handbags. Greg Van Avermaet’s bag is resplendent in gold. Spectators brawl over the bedazzled bags whenever a rider tosses one to the curb.
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5. Garmins are out. Riders ditch their Garmins, Polars, and other race computers for the stylish Tag Heuer Aquararacer model. Sure, the stainless steel timepiece weighs as much as five Garmin computers, but riders are simply amazed by the watch’s stylish blue unidirectional rotating bezel (we have no idea what that is)! Well, wait a minute. BMC already has this covered.
6. Mandatory Dom Pérignon Champagne showers at podium presentations. This leads to less spraying and more actual chugging of champagne, so the Tour de France hires paid “catchers” to scoop up the stage winners after they eventually tumble off of the podium. Podium presenters are reminded that Froome prefers his bubbly with notes of almond, stone fruit and cocoa, while Contador’s Champagne requires an assertive bouquet of guava and honeysuckle, with hints of iodine.
— Chris Froome Fans (@froome_fanpage) August 31, 2016