A Warning from the Euro Gods – The Early Promise of Gilbert’s White Shorts

We haven’t been blessed with World Champions with a good fashion sense for a while. Not really since the Boonen-Bettini-Ballan quadruple have we seen some great jerseys, bikes and accessories, for in the last couple of years, we’ve had the misfortune of this:

Which is horrendously disrespectful to the rainbow jersey…I mean, stuffing it with bottles?! Like a domestique?! What is this madness?!

We’ve also had the horrors of this offering from Cervelo’s painting department, who managed to set their manufacturer on a long downward spiral in terms of aesthetics and over use of scientific jargon (and this is from someone who rides one) by somehow managing to get the rainbow bands on Thor Hushovd’s Cervelo in the wrong order:


Cervelo did eventually correct this abomination, but the damage was done, as it was for Hushovd – the Euro Gods punished him for the insolence of wearing black shorts until he saw the light and changed to this glorious ensemble:

He was graciously rewarded with two stage wins at and a week in the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, which is clearly a sign that white shorts are the way forward. The problem is that the last three World Champions havent, well, been particularly interesting. Evans is quiet unless someone attacks his dog, Hushovd is the mighty Thor but only in other peoples minds, and Cavendish is, well, Cavendish. Whilst we waited for Gilbert’s offering, we yearned for the nostalgic offerings of previous world champions, such as in these highly Euro images:

Cipollini. Need we say more.
Oh those hilarious Quick-Step jokers.
Bettini- So classy, he can have his race number printed on his jersey for the entire Giro.
Somehow I can’t see Cavendish doing this.
Zdnek Stybar – cyclocross champion, and still better then Cavendish.
Boonen even takes his stripes on fashion shoots, he’s just that awesome.


The early signs for Gilbert were good. He teased us all with a picture of his new shoes, which, produced by DMT, where an upgrade from his previous Belgian striped versions:

Good effort Phil, good effort.


He then released a picture of his jersey:

…and there was much approval. The bands made him look thin, not fat! All the logos were well proportioned! The bands went all the way around his jersey and sleeves! And was that a hint of the fabled WHITE SHORTS in the bottom of the image?!

Oh yes it was! And this was exactly the Euro antics we had missed for so long, rather then nonsense such as this:

That’s riding very low….

Almost like the guy on top is veerrrry heavy…

Still, the past was now forgotten, and with an all white ensemble, and the only blemish on Gilbert’s setting being a black BMC with rainbows rather then white, it looked right for the Euro God’s to smile on him and award him a third Tour of Lombardy title, and to break the run of people winning twice in a row in sequence (Given as the lat 7 years it’s gone: 2005: Bettini, 2006: Bettini, 2007: Cunego, 2008: Cunego, 2009: Gilbert, 2010: Gilbert, 2011: Zaugg, who was thus expected to win once more…) Surely the new epitome of Eurocity would shine brightly in Lombardia?

You’d have thought so, but then Gilbert turned up in this monstrosity:

What is this madness? Where are those glorious shoes?! Why does he not have glorious white gloves? The handlebar tape is even black, and worst of all? What happenned to those shorts?! He can’t even complain about it being wet and being worried about them getting transparent – remember, this is the man Cavendish claimed had attacks equivalent to *ahem* ‘dropping his shorts and unveiling an 18 incher’, and it’s clearly not raining in this picture. Lord Mario and the Euro brethren were clearly incensed however, and unleashed an apocalyptic rainstorm to punish the faltering Gilbert by making him crash on a descent, staining the rainbow jersey with blood and reminding Gilbert that only white would be tolerated.

Joaquim Rodriquez was rewarded for being generally brilliant by being granted epic glory in the rain, and Gilbert will now have to win the Worlds again for a chance to win the Worlds-Lombardy double.

The moral of all this flippancy? WEAR WHITE SHORTS PHIL.


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