On 4 May the Giro d’Italia, the most brutal yet beautiful of Grand Tours, departed for the 101st time to challenge those who ride it in ever more arduous ways. Between the best riders in the world and the maglia rosa lie the vast hills and plains of Sicily, the unforgiving Monte Zoncolan and Colle delle Finestre, and the new challenges of Israel – the first time a Grand Tour has ever graced a country beyond Europe’s borders.

In celebration of this milestone edition of the Corsa Rosa, and of the enduring fortitude of peloton, fi’zi:k has designed a custom shoe fit to grace the winner in Rome – a limited edition of its high-performance Aria R3 racing shoe. The Aria 101, as this version is called, is emblazoned with a striking hand-painted design that evokes the spirit of this most enigmatic of tours.

The fi’zi:k team found the perfect expression of this historic occasion in the penmanship of Artful Kicks footwear artist Simon Fellows. Like fi’zi:k, road racing runs in his blood, and their collaboration has produced an exquisite piece of Italianate artistry.

“I have been creating bespoke cycling products for two years now with the ambition of being able to create a range for a worldwide company. Having hand-painted many pairs of fi’zi:k cycling shoes for customers around the world, it was an honour to have been approached directly by fi’zi:k to produce a unique design, on a pair of shoes and a saddle, to celebrate the 101st Giro d’Italia.

I gain a lot of inspiration from abstract and geometric shapes and combine these with bright colours and sharp lines. The pink accents along the design represent the major towns and cities along the route of the first edition of the Giro in 1909 and of course, we all know the colour of the winner’s jersey!

The whole experience of collaborating with fi’zi:k has been fantastic and I hope we can work on more projects in the future. To those who purchase the Aria 101, enjoy!” says Artful Kicks’ Simon Fellows.

“Of course the Giro d’Italia is a huge race for us every year, it’s the peak of the cycling calendar’s excitement in the country of our headquarters,” says fi’zi:k’s Brand Director Luca Bertoncello. “But this year’s 101st Edition is just that bit different, extending beyond Europe’s borders and it’s a unique and important moment for us to commemorate in the best way we know how, with a very special design. Tremendous thanks to Simon Fellows for his creativity.”

The release of this custom version of the Aria R3 is limited to just 101 pairs – one for every edition of the Giro d’Italia – available now only on fizik.com/aria101.