Tour de France round-up: Fi'zi:k and Brooks saddles, Tour beer and more

World's biggest cycling jersey and giant hillside bike created

With the first three stages starting in England, the whole island country has gotten into the spirit of the Tour de France, with a whole host of special products and novelties being created for the event.

BikeRadar has pulled together all the latest news in this TdF round-up.

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Tour de France King o' t Mountains beer and jersey launched

Larger cyclists' bikewear-maker Fat Lad At The Back has released a special King o' t Mountains beer. It has partnered up with Ilkley beer producer Wharfedale, and the two companies have rebranded the brewery's flagship Wharfedale Blonde Ale into the King o' t Mountains Blonde, which will be served at many pubs across the Yorshire Dales and Tour route for stages 1 and 2.

Meanwhile, Fat Lad At The Back has also released a special King o' t Mountains Limited Edition jersey and a Flippin' phrase book containing typical words and phrases that may be overheard around the race through Yorkshire, with translations into French, Spanish and Italian.

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World's biggest cycling jersey

Sky has produced the world's biggest cycling jersey as a message of support for Team Sky ahead of the Tour.

A giant 25m x 25m Team Sky jersey was created by Sky employees in Leeds and unfurled outside the Civic Hall in Leeds. The scaled replica of Chris Froome's shirt is as large as two tennis courts and took 85 people just to hold it.

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fi'zi:k unveil three new saddles for the Tour

fi'zi:k has shown off three new saddle designs that will be used by its sponsored teams at this year's Tour. Seven pro teams currently use its saddles, including Team Sky, and all are committed to using the latest designs over the next few weeks.

Two of the saddles (the Arione R3 and Antares R3) are constructed from fiberglass thermoplastic composites while the third saddle (the Aliante Gamma) is made from carbon-reinforced nylon. All three feature an eye-catching reflective element on a black Microtex cover.

The Arione R3 is for the most flexible riders and weighs 185g, and the Antares is for those with medium flexibility, weighing 195g – both cost €210. Meanwhile, the Aliante Gamma is 259g, €169 and is designed for less-flexible riders.

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Globalstar satellite phones to be used during the Tour

It's been announced that the Tour organisers have selected the Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone for their communications during the three stages to be held in the UK. Members of the organising team as well as support and emergency crew will all use Globalstar's flagship satellite phone to speak to each other.

The satellite phone system was apparently chosen because of its reliability across areas where mobile reception is limited or non-existent.

Gavan Murphy, director of marketing at Globalstar Europe, said: “The Tour de France has to run its operations like clockwork and reliable communications in any location is critical. This is one of the world’s greatest sporting events and we are delighted that our state-of-the-art satellite network and handsets are helping the organisers stay connected.”

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Giant hillside bike on show in Sheffield to promote science in sport

The University of Sheffield has created a giant hillside bicycle, likely to be seen when the tour passes through Sheffield at the end of stage 2 on Sunday.

The artwork has been created using eco-friendly paint in a field close to the Tour's route and is designed to highlight the health benefits of cycling as well as the Krebs cycle – the process by which mitochondria turn food and oxygen into energy.

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Brooks England celebrate the Tour with limited edition Ochre saddles

Bicycle saddle manufacturers Brooks England has produced a range of Ochre (yellow!) saddles to celebrate the tour.

The range of seats is on display in Brooks' new flagship store on Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London.

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