NFT posters to celebrate women on the Tour de France

NFT posters to celebrate women on the Tour de France

LIFESTYLE SPORTS CYCLING

This year, the famous Tour de France will have its women’s race after a long time. ŠKODA, the traditional partner of the Tour, is producing a series of NFT posters to celebrate this groundbreaking event.

22. 7. 2022

For this year’s edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec ZWIFT will be celebrated by some unique artworks.  In addition to ŠKODA’s traditional support for the race, e.g. in the form of a fleet of cars, the Czech carmaker has also produced a series of eight NFT posters, each focusing on a stage of the women’s Tour de France. They were created by the artist Ilona Polanski.

NFT posters through the artist’s eyes:

Click HERE to find out about the NFT posters.

“I think they liked my work with the 2D surface and simple colours right from the start,” says Ilona Polanski, reflecting on why ŠKODA approached her for this assignment. But her passion for cycling may also have played a role. “Cycling is part of my life. My husband makes bicycles, and so I’ve designed bicycle frame graphics in the past. Even though I use my bike more as a means of transport, cycling is close to my heart,” the graphic designer says. Her relationship with ŠKODA is similarly positive: "I drive a ŠKODA, and basically our whole family has always had ŠKODA cars.”

Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift

Eight stages, over 1,000 kilometres, 4 flat stages, 2 uphill and 2 downright mountainous stages in the Vosges range, and more than 144 women riders on the route in 24 teams – this will be the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift cycling race, which will start a couple of hours before the end of the traditional Tour, from Sunday 24 July to Sunday 31 July 2022, in three French regions: Île-de-France, Grand Est and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The finish of the eighth and final stage will be on the summit of La Super Planche des Belles Filles at 1,140 metres above sea level. The riders will reach this iconic top after climbing 7 km at 8,7%. The final climb has a gradient of 20%.

Digital art

The set of NFT posters was created entirely digitally and the result will be available in digital form. “These days we hand in the vast majority of our work digitally, so I even do the first sketches on my tablet,” Ilona Polanski explains the technique, adding, "What was exceptional in this case was that I already worked with colour in the first sketches – normally I start with black and white outlines.”

The NFT poster series was created over the course of a month. “I basically worked on all the posters at once, because we needed to know from the beginning how the series would look as a whole,” she says, explaining that this was another unconventional aspect of the job.

NFT posters through the artist’s eyes:

Despite the entirely digital origin of the artworks, their uniqueness will be preserved by means of NFT technology, i.e. non-fungible tokens. The entire collection will be displayed on the weareridinghistory.io website and it will be possible to obtain the NFT posters every day on the WeLoveCycling Twitter profile. What’s more, everyone will receive their own NFT token, making them unique forever.

How can you get your hands on an NFT poster?

Getting your hands on NFT posters will be quite simple. Every day of the race (24 – 31 July 2022), a post celebrating each stage will appear on the WeLoveCycling Twitter account, featuring the given poster. Anyone wishing to get one of the thirty unique pieces will need to re-tweet the post and will have to be one of the thirty fastest users to do so. When a user succeeds, the administrators simply transfer the NFT to their NFT wallet, which must be compatible with the Solana platform.

Long-term support

“It’s the race women have been waiting for, and I’m very happy to be able to help celebrate it in this way,” the artist says. For ŠKODA, supporting the Tour de France Femmes avec ZWIFT is a natural move, and the NFT posters are designed to attract even more attention. “Women's cycling is a big thing in some countries, and ŠKODA importers in Sweden and the UK, for example, give it a lot of support and even have their own women’s cycling teams,” explains Jan Hejna, who is responsible for the WeLoveCycling platform. “A new chapter in the history of the Tour de France is beginning with a women’s race that helps foster equality and promotes diversity in our sport,” Hejna adds.

Ilona Polanski

Ilona Polanski has been involved in art since she was a child. “I went through various art clubs and folk art schools and then I graduated from the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Žižkov in Prague,” she says. Although this relationship with art is long-standing and passionate, it has changed over time. At secondary school Ilona Polanski studied the field of toys and puppets (“I wanted to work with objects,” she says), but later she switched to didactic illustration at the University of West Bohemia. After completing her studies, she began working as a freelance graphic designer, and in 2013 she formed an artistic duo called Tomski Polanski with her colleague Lukáš Tomek. Under this brand, they create graphics for popular Czech newspapers and magazines like Lidové noviny, Reporter, and the Czech version of Forbes magazine. The duo also run their own art shop in Prague’s Letná district.

Ilona Polanski