The chic cycle clothing brand is mainly sold online from but is also available from outlets where eighty quid for a pair of cycling mitts (made from African hair sheep skin with pads from army sniper gloves) is not seen as extravagant. Selfridges of Oxford Street, London, houses a Cyclesurgery store-within-a-store outlet and it's here that Rapha is beaming its Tour coverage and displaying its Kings of Pain exhibition.

Rapha screens Eurosport’s Tour de France coverage in Selfridges

Simon Mottram, Rapha’s founder and MD said:

“Road cycling is becoming big business here in the UK and represents a rapidly growing sector of the sports retail market.

“The Tour de France is a huge global event and, for a few weeks every year, propels the sport into the forefront of the public’s consciousness. That three-week period is a great opportunity for us to promote the Rapha brand."

Mottram has an impeccable brand consultancy background (Circus, Interbrand and Sapient) and a bevy of cycle-enthusiast business angels backing his company.

Rapha products "bring new standards of design to cycling clothing. They have been conceived by road riders, working with leading technical sportswear designers. Every detail has been developed with the rider in mind. Every material has been chosen because it is the best in the world at its job," said Mottram.

Mottram believes in what he calls "the triumph of the niche."

Last year, he told Marketing magazine: "We’ve all got so much stuff that when you buy anything, from olive oil to garden trowels, you’re looking for a better, more authentic specialist product. It says more about you, it’s more pleasing, it’s more of an experience. That’s what Rapha is all about."

The Rapha van – a 1950’s Citroen broom-wagon, think Belleville Rendezvous – will be at the Etape in France in a week’s time. It was part of last year’s Tour of Britain caravan.

Cyclesurgery is located on the first floor sports hall in Selfridges.

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