James Straffon’s collection is really very special, and seeing as I always get asked "What’s your favourite piece?", I thought I would tell you.
For me it has to be Le Baiser – The Kiss, which measures 30 x 60cm and features Louison Bobet & Annie Cordy, Fausto Coppi & Line Renaud, Jacques & Janine Anquetil, Hugo Koblet and Christian Raymond. There’s a lovely quote from an article in Miroir Sprint, 1955, which puts it well:
"After the effort the reward lies in these kisses. A few iron wires divide the road from their families. A fragile barrier to those who have triumphed over so many pitfalls beneath their wheels during the long ride leading to this pink cement track where – often from far away – their families came to greet them. Scarcely has the last lap been completed, the last effort in a desperate sprint, the great reward of the applauding public welcoming the men with multi-coloured bouquets, they come, one after the other, receiving a reward more intimate and warm: the kiss offered them by the old mother, the smiling toddler, the woman moved."
You can read more about it here.