(adam štěch) The Tour de France cyclists solemnly reached Paris on Sunday. Not Lance Armstrong, but his Spanish colleague Alberto Contador put on the final yellow outfit and was deemed the winner. However, the incredible American sportsman can revel in the victory over his own death and the adversity of his destiny. Armstrong rode the last stage of the race on a unique bicycle.
The American, who won the famous French race seven times in a row from 1999 to 2005 and became the most successful cyclist ever, also won the most important battle of his life – his struggle against cancer. It took him only a little more than one year to be cured from a serious stage of testicular cancer. Two years later, he won the most prestigious bicycle race in the world for the first time. His stamina seems incredible. He has also started the Livestrong foundation for the support of the fight against cancer - its latest project concerns the field of design. In collaboration with the Trek brand and six selected artists and designers, Armstrong has implemented a unique collection of six Stages bikes. Each invited artist created an original version of the Trek bike, specifically the Madone, Equinox TTX, and Speed Concept models. Thus, commonly made models changed into one-off original pieces in the hands of Damien Hirst, Marc Newson, Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, Yoshitomo Nara, and KAWS. These models will be auctioned off in New York on October 2 to financially support the Livestrong foundation.
Lance Armstrong himself rode the home stretch on the Trek Madone bike, graphically treated by British artist Damien Hirst, who studded the pink-and-white bike with a colorful mosaic with a motif of butterfly wings. The New York-based street-art artist KAWS equipped the same model with his typical symbol of a human skull. Who else could be put in charge of the Trek Speed Concept aerodynamic model than the aerodynamic designer Mark Newson, who provided the filling of the rear wheel with a distinctive op-art pattern. Shepard Fairey, who became famous thanks to his billboards for Barack Obama, created a miscellaneous decorative pattern all over the bike that symbolically links various cultures and mentalities.
The Stages collection connects the perfect design of the American Trek bikes with original visual art approaches of a very diverse range from contemporary artists. Thus, it becomes a designer fad that, nevertheless, represents not only a simple and empty luxury limited edition, but may be of help wherever it is necessary.
The author is a Dolce Vita editor.
Trek Stages by Kaws