Super-sprinter Marcel Kittel decided to retire from professional cycling last season, but, despite having hung up his helmet, you can still buy one of them from eBay – and we've found this signed version of the yellow Uvex Race 5 aero helmet that it would appear was made for him for stage 2 of the 2013 Tour de France after the German won the opening stage.
Disillusioned with the sport, 32-year-old Kittel chose to retire from the sport in August 2019, and now, with a happy family life as the father of a young son and studying economics at university, he recently said that he's "where I want to be in life".
That's not to say he isn't proud of his achievements as a professional cyclist for nine years, with victories having included 14 Tour stage wins and four stage wins at the Giro d'Italia.
On the first stage of the 2013 Tour de France, Kittel beat Alexander Kristoff and Danny van Poppel in the bunch sprint in Bastia on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica – wearing a white, Argos-Shimano team version of this aero Uvex Race 5 helmet.
The eBay seller of this signed yellow edition writes that they don't think that production versions of this helmet ever existed, but that clip-on aero covers for the Race 5 did, which we believe to be correct. This, however, is a full aero helmet; there's no cover to unclip.
Helmet manufacturers often send representatives to the Grand Tours with coloured versions of their helmets used by the pro teams they supply in case any of the riders take one of the classification jerseys, and can then match a helmet to it.
It would appear that that's what's happened in this case, but that this helmet for sale has gone unused. Looking back at pictures from the race, Kittel wore the white aero Uvex Race 5 helmet for the opening stage and then wore a yellow non-aero – i.e. fully ventilated – Race 5 for the much hillier stage 2 from Bastia to Ajaccio, which was won by RadioShack's Jan Bakelants – who also took over the leader's yellow jersey from Kittel.
The UK-based seller is offering the helmet for sale for a very reasonable £164.99 (US$200) – which will be all the more attractive to Kittel fans – with international postage being offered for £19.99 (US$24).
We're constantly on the lookout for unique and rare cycling relics on eBay. If you have any suggestions or leads, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'eBay Finds' in the subject line
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