HOW IT ALL STARTED
Let’s go back to the very beginning in January 2019. A mechanic from a professional cycling team and holder of multiple Czech records on vintage bicycles got together with a friend to contemplate another extreme challenge. It had occurred to him that he could bring one of the SLAVIA bikes back to life. SLAVIA was the name of bicycles made by ŠKODA when the carmaker first came into being: two gentlemen, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, founded a bicycle-building company in 1895, then progressed to motorbikes and ultimately, the first car, and the rest is, well, history.
Vladimír, who has been driving ŠKODA cars for many years now, grew fond of a bicycle that saw the light of day in 1896 as the first SLAVIA racer. He decided that just reviving the bike wasn’t enough. “We said to ourselves that, seeing as ŠKODA sponsors the Tour de France, it would be great not only to build this legend, but also to ride a stage of the Tour on it. A straightforward and feasible plan – in theory. But, as is always the case, spanners were being thrown into the works from the off. Since (as far as anyone knows) no original specimen of the bike has survived, he decided to put the entire bicycle together from scratch, solely on the basis of period photographs, brochures, and other materials from the ŠKODA Museum archives.