LANDERNEAU, France (Reuters) - Mathieu van der Poel's Alpecin-Fenix team will wear a jersey designed in honour of the late Raymond Poulidor, the Dutchman's grandfather who finished eight times on the podium in the Tour de France, on the first stage of cycling's biggest race on Saturday.
For the team's presentation on Thursday, Alpecin-Fenix designed a special jersey inspired by the yellow and purple colours of Poulidor's Mercier team shirt.
International Cycling Union (UCI) rules state that teams are not allowed to wear special jerseys, but they made an exception given the huge popularity of Poulidor in France.
"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is pleased to announce that it has exceptionally granted permission to UCI ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix to wear a special jersey in honour of Raymond Poulidor on today’s opening stage of the Tour de France," the UCI said in a statement on Saturday.
Van der Poel, 26, is making his Tour debut and is favourite to win the first stage between Brest and Landerneau, giving him the right to wear the coveted yellow jersey for the overall leader - a feat Poulidor, who died in 2019, never achieved despite participating in the race 14 times.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Hugh Lawson)