It seems the majority of legendary French cyclists were victorious upon a Gitane, and the odd Belgian and American as well. Jacques Anquetil, Lucien van Impe, Bernard Hinault, Laurent Fignon all wore the yellow jersey in Paris aboard a Gitane, and Greg LeMond won his world championship on his famous blue Gitane. During the bicycle boom of the 70s, when the French manufacturer was exporting thousands of bicycles into America, it’s likely the dreams and adventures of many young Americans were carried along by one as well.
Gitane in French means ‘gypsy woman’, and if anyone out there can shed light on why Mr. Bruneliere, the entrepreneurial mechanic who founded Gitane, decided upon this title for his frames, I would like to hear about it. Whatever the reason, the ‘Gypsy Woman’ grew from being a side project in Mr. Bruneliere’s workshop to a sleek and dominating aspect of French industry.
Evidence of Gitane’s track heritage, this immaculate frame is a 1950 vintage. The modern Campagnolo Record drive train only adds to the sleek vanilla lines, which, even 60 years later, seem to magically combine speed and elegance.