MIRFIELD’S cycling stars have been immortalised in a new town centre coffee shop.
The Italian-themed Fausto’s venture was officially launched last night (Thurs) with an event attended by some of the town’s cycling heroes.
The brainchild of bike shop boss Dave Sowerby, the new coffee bar, on Princess Street, is named after legendary Italian cycling champion Fausto Coppi and celebrates Mirfield’s cycling heritage as well as serving up gourmet coffee, pastries and a signature home-made ‘Coppi cake’ among other treats.
Dave runs Sowerby Bros Cycles and has converted the former Susan Mary fashion shop opposite to create Fausto’s, which is run by his wife Jayne.
Mirfield’s rich and storied cycling heritage is celebrated on a ‘wall of fame’ charting the history of riders who have gone on to regional, national and international success.
Featured, of course, is Brian Robinson, the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France. He competed against 1949 and 1952 winner Coppi, who remains a sporting icon in Italy.
Brian, 84, still lives in Mirfield, but there’s also his brother Des, who competed in the 1952 Olympics; the late Albert Hitchen, twice British professional road race champion in the 1960s; women’s champion Lisa Brambani, who rode at the 1988 Olympics, and present-day pro rider Jake Womersley, who is Brian’s grandson.
Dave had planned to ask Albert Hitchen to cut the ribbon at the opening, but he sadly passed away suddenly last week.
“It is so sad. Albert features prominently at the cafe as a cycling legend,” he added.
Among the memorabilia on the walls is a photo of Coppi climbing his way to victory in the 1952 Tour and a shirt signed by world time trial champion Tony Martin, who Dave rode with in Switzerland last year.
Father-of-three Dave said: “Cycling and coffee are part of the culture in Europe. In Italy cyclists will pop in for an espresso before setting off on a ride.
“This is a different concept to anything else locally but cycling coffee shops are popular in London and there are some in Ilkley, Harrogate and Manchester. They are mostly contained inside cycling stores, whereas this is a stand-alone venture and doesn’t just appeal to cyclists. The people of Mirfield have really taken to it already.”