Lance Armstrong will race a custom-painted Trek Madone designed by Damien Hirst in this year’s final Tour de France stage, Trek Bicycle announced today. The Damien Hirst bike, the sixth Trek bike in the Lance Armstrong and Nike collaborative STAGES art tour, is decorated with real butterflies and features prominent, bright pink logos instead of traditional LIVESTRONG yellow.
“Lance is an inspiration to many people on many levels,” noted Damien Hirst, an artist known for his use of real animal remains in his work. “Bono first approached me about the bike and described Lance to me as ‘the greatest sportsman the world has ever known after Ali!’ It was a great opportunity to work with someone I admire and create the bike—something I've never done before. The technical problems were immense, as I wanted to use real butterflies and not just pictures of butterflies, because I wanted it to shimmer when the light catches it like only real butterflies do, and we were trying not to add any extra weight to the bike. Doing something crazy like this is ultimately about transportation and not simply transport, and what Lance does when he rides it is the same thing.”
A customized version of Trek’s all-new 6-series Madone, the Damien Hirst bike is the latest bike unveiled as part of STAGES—a unique celebration of human potential inspired by Lance Armstrong and dedicated to the fight against cancer. Expected to fetch as much as $1 million in auction, the Damien Hirst bike joins the previously unveiled Trek STAGES art bikes designed by Brian Donnelley (aka KAWS), Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, Marc Newson, and Yoshitomo Nara.
“There is no bigger name on the contemporary art scene than Damien Hirst,” noted Trek’s Creative Director, Eric Lynn. “Partnering with Damien and so many other amazing artists to help them realize their artistic vision has been an incredible experience for Trek’s creative team. We’re thrilled to supply the ‘canvases’ for their creative genius. STAGES represents a truly unprecedented collaboration between the sports world and the art world, all in an effort to bring attention to Lance’s Global Cancer Campaign. Trek couldn’t be happier to play a part in this effort.”
After traveling to various galleries around the world, the bikes of STAGES will be auctioned off on October 2nd in NYC, with proceeds going directly to The Lance Armstrong Foundation to help fund outreach, awareness, research, and advocacy.