Renault-Gitane, Original Vintage Cycling Team Hat


Original Vintage Team Cycling Cap

The Renault-Gitane team was created in 1978 after the Renault auto group purchased the Gitane bicycle manufacturer and became the main sponsor of the Gitane–Campagnolo cycling team that was directed by former French cycling champion Cyrille Guimard and featured the promising young cyclist Bernard Hinault.

During his time on the team, Bernard Hinault dominated the sport from 1978 to 1983 with four wins in the Tour de France, two in the Vuelta a España, and two in the Giro d’Italia. Hinault won several smaller stage and one-day races, including Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Paris–Roubaix, Giro di Lombardia, the Amstel Gold Race, and the 1980 World Cycling Championships.

Guimard signed several American riders, including future Tour de France winner Greg LeMond. LeMond made an immediate impression with his third-place finish behind Hinault in the 1981 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. Hinault left the team at the end of 1983 after Renault–Elf teammate Laurent Fignon took over as the designated team leader after winning the 1983 Tour de France.

Greg LeMond joined the team’s laurels by winning the 1983 World Championship. The following year, Fignon finished high in the Giro d’Italia and then went on to become the 1984 French National Champion and winner of the 1984 Tour de France. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

Size: One Size

This is a one-of-a-kind item; please look carefully at the photos to determine the condition.

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The History of the Cycling Cap

The cycling cap, or the ‘casquette’ in French, is a bit of an icon in the cycling world. The simple cloth cap graced the heads of all the greats, with the history of the cycling cap going back through the last century and beyond.

History of the Cycling Cap

The Early Days

The first documented cycling races started up in the late 1800s, exposing riders to the harsh elements. Some sort of headwear was immediately needed, so the rudimentary flat cap was the obvious choice as opposed to top hats and tails.

The Paris Roubaix start line, 1899

The flat cap was a step in the right direction, but tweed is not an ideal athletic material. This set the groundwork for the cycling cap. Riders wore plain white skull caps, which eventually turned brown and grey with dust and grime over the years. It was purely functional, keeping the sun out of the eyes, absorbing sweat, and keeping the rain and muck out.

The Hayday

By the 1950s, the cycling cap became the ultimate mark of a professional cyclist. The design was refined through the 60s, coming to resemble what we know it today. Sponsors began branding caps, and it became a way to spread your name in the cycling world.

Not only were they worn on the bike, but on podiums and on the heads of coaches and everyone else inspired by the cycling greats. Those who may not be able to afford a Campagnolo-equipped bike could afford a Campagnolo cap, so it became an entry into the cycling culture.

The Decline

With the introduction of helmets to cycling in the 70s and 80s, the cycling cap became less of a necessity. Although it was no longer the mark of a professional cyclist, it remained a part of the cycling kit. The helmet and the cycling cap were not necessarily mutually exclusive, and many cyclists chose to wear a cap under their helmets in cold and wet weather.


July 25, 2020 by Sarah Lauze – Excerpt from iLove Bicycling

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs