Grandi Campioni Collection - Stephen Roche takes cycling's Triple Crown

The Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and the UCI road world championships: this treble of victories was achieved in a single season by Eddy Merckx in 1974 and unmatched by any rider for the next 13 years. No one was expecting that on Sunday, September 6th, 1987 in Villach, Austria, the world would witness a rider from Dundrum County, Dublin, do the same.

Stephen Roche’s job that day, along with Martin Earley and Paul Kimmage, was to ride for Sean Kelly. It was without doubt the strongest Irish team ever assembled for a worlds. The four team mates waited at the start in the rain – which incidentally did little to worry them – with the aim of putting Kelly onto the top step of the podium with the rainbow stripes around his chest, they had 23 laps of 12 km in which to achieve that.

The start of the last lap saw Roche Kick, accelerating hard, with Kelly clinging to his wheel. Only 12 riders remained in the leading group until, with 2 km to go, dutch rider Teun Van Vliet made a move. Roche jumped on his wheel followed by three other riders, leaving Kelly and Moreno argentin, the reigning UCI world champion, in the chasing group.

While infuriating Argentin Kelly’s refusal to chase down his fellow countryman was an act as magnanimous as it was shrewd: he understood that a win for whoever was wearing a green jersey would be a win for the entire nation.

Danish rider Rolf Sorenson attacked in the final kilometre, relentlessly pulling on the front of roche’s group before exploing going into the final straight. Roche jumped and crossed the line victorious, arms raised in celebration, for only the second time in history a rider had won cycling’s “triple crown”. 

Designed with comfort and style in mind. Inspired by Stephen Roche’s victory in the 1987 world championships. Jersey includes a specially designed rainbow stripes zip. Printed label stitched onto the back pocket explains how Roche won the race after attacking hard on the last lap and sprinting for victory from a select group in the closing 300 metres.

The triple crown motif on the Villach ’87 jersey is a reference to the term ‘triple-crown’, which in cycling, and also other sports, signifies the combined victory of three highly significant races – in this case the Giro, Tour and World Championships all won in the same year by Stephen Roche.

Bib shorts with a rainbow stripes design on the braces in honour of the 1987 world championships. Designed with maximum comfort in mind, it includes a silicone grip to ensure a tight fit while you ride. Ideally matched with the Villach jersey for a stylish look.