Earlier every year, just like Christmas, teams begin to use this sparse period of the year to begin building their brands for next year by ‘revealing’ their usually ever so slightly changed team kits for the coming year. With no ‘super teams’ forming this year, it’s pretty much the same old cast apart from Trek Factory Racing (whom everyone will call Trek…) so don’t expect too much in terms of flamboyant new dress.As usual then, here’s the ‘new season collection’…
Also apologies to Reddit, whom appears to have found this and is currently tearing apart my comments on the jerseys., especially for claiming to like Ag2R’s brown. Meh. It’s fashion, everyone’s opinion is different, sorry chaps. Enjoy!
This could have been so much worse. This actually isn’t all that bad, despite the crazy yellow. The blue of SaxoBank somehow works pretty well, and emphasizing the Tinkoff logo over the SaxoBank one, rather than trying to balance them as in previous years, works all the better. In a year of all black, this will definitely stand out, although how happy ASO will be with the potential colour clash will be interesting to see.
Giant Shimano (formerly Argos Shimano)
So it turns out that 1t4i had a bit of a problem, and essentially, when Argos went, the new sponsor they’d lined up also disappeared. This left Giant to step into the title sponsor slot, meaning there are now 4 World Tour teams sponsored by bike manufacturers in Giant, BMC, Cannondale and Trek. Evidently they havent had long to come up with a kit, as with the shorts at least, it looks like they’ve just copied and pasted the kit they (Giant) made for what was ‘Blanco’ at the time. The jersey reminds of Newcastle United, and is at least white in parts – there does seem to be copious amounts of mainly black teams in the peloton this year. Would have looked better with white shorts – the two pieces look disconnected somehow.
Not a bad effort by IAM, who make their Swiss identity known with the addition of half the flag to the mix, plus the one red and one white band stemming from the central band make it look very smart. For helping fans…
Trek Racing Factory
Turns out the below was probably correct. Trek appear to have gone for the ‘pinstriped suit’ look, except that that doesn’t really work on a bicycle. Only the back can save this (it doesn’t, it’s the same), as black and white is a bit 2009.
Radioshack took forever to launch their kit last year, training in the Nissan branded kit well into January 2013. It looks like a similar story next year, with a team presentation scheduled for January 17th. However, judging by the MTB ‘Trek Racing Factory’ kit, it’s going to be yet another black kit, perhaps highlighted with red. Whatever it is, it’s probably going to be quite corporate and ‘clean’ design wise.
Neri Sottoli – Yellow Fluo
Europcar are back in the WorldTour, but their jersey is essentially the same – the only difference is the WorldTour logo and a decrease in the amount of black on the flanks, replaced with some lighter green instead.
Orica finally update their kit after keeping the same design for two years, and with a move to Craft, who’d previously been making Radioshack and Leopard’s kit. The green and gold motiff has been reduced to just green, although the same dark blue returns, with the logos getting smaller, possibly because the no one has yet taken up the offer of replacing the generic ‘GreenEdge’ brand with a secondary sponsor as they originally hoped. The Green band goes all the way around the jersey, so there’s no asymmetric back as appears increasingly popular this year. Still, it’s not black, which makes a change.
Ah Garmin, the team turning over a new leaf as they remove the old, dead and doping history heavy men such as Vandevelde, Klier, (Alex) Rasmussen and Zabriske, leaving just Millar, Hesjedal, Dekker and Danielson as the ex-naughty boys in the team that preaches anti-doping when it’s convenient for them. Yes, I still hate Garmin and their hypocrisy, but for once their kit has actually turned out to be a bit interesting. On the front, its pretty much a la 2013 – the previously black Garmin panel is now white, as are the sides, but it’s the back that seems to be more interesting. Obviously off centre vertical stripes are in, as we saw with Lotto-s new kit, and the big red band should help them be more easily visible in a field of increasingly black jerseys. Cervelo are probably a bit peeved about being relegated almost off the side mind. The WWF collaboration is a bit sneaky as well. The announcement of the jersey focused on this, but the logo is hidden on the flank on the back. They could have at least put it on the front!
Cyclesport magazine has long maligned the brown shorts, but now they have to whine about brown shoulders as well. Personally, I thought the brown looked good, and that this is actually an improvment. It’s certainly noticeable, which is more then you can say for all the teams going increasingly dark in their palettes. One of the best of the year so far.
Katusha was so much more interesting when they had the Moscow skyline on their jersey, and this is just a bit bland, but at least it’s white and red rather than black like everyone else. The Russian flag, previously below the neck line, migrates to, er, the waist, where no one will see it. The ‘IO’ of the Russian spelling of Katusha is now apparently the main logo for the team.
Well, it turns out the below prediction was half right. Sky have changed their kit – a bit. Gone are the riders names on the sides, after 4 years helping us identify all the minions in black, relegated to the arm where HTC used to have it. Quite where any national champions bands will go is unknown, as the name is sort of where that was last time – it’s hard to see Sky doing a Garmin and removing them entirely. Like when Adidas made their kit, they’ve suddenly gone logo crazy. Whilst last year it was just Rapha, Pinarello and Sky, with 21st Century Fox being discreetly added on the back on the shorts in time for the Tour, the 21st century Fox logo now dominates the flanks, as well as being given a place on the chest along side Jaguar. Similar enough to the old kit not to annoy the fans who’ve just broke the Rapha piggybank for christmas, but different enough to make some of them shell out for a new one. Still not as good as the first kit they had.
Sky would appear to be using the same kit as in 2013, if an image from Ben Swift’s instagram page is anything to go by. Rapha did offer a sale on kit at the end of the year, but presumably thought it was better to keep their somewhat pricey kit on the market a bit longer so not to annoy everyone who’ll have invested in it this year. Still, we’ll see in the new year.
Movistar have made the switch from Nalini to Endura, who have lots of marketing babble about ‘cold black’ fabrics to supposedly make riders cool when wearing heat absorbing colours. They also seem to want to make their kits quite shiny. Not much has changed from last year, bar some added lime green piping on the shorts, cuffs and colour as well as more logos above the main sponsor. Movistar are now on Canyon, so they get pride of place as well. They could probably do with a rethink next year – they’ve essentially had the same kit since 2010 now, slowly taking all the white out.
Now, Belkin say they have a new kit, but it seems they’re having us on – despite lots of ‘sneak previews’, it doesnt look any different, so unless I’ve been very unobservant (likely) its pretty much as it was last year, albeit with new bike sponsor Bianchi taking the place of Giant, who move across to 1t4i. More interestingly, they are putting out word that they have a panel available for advertising that can be bought for a period of time – to cite their example, if an Australian sponsor wants exposure at the Tour down Under, then can pay to be on the jersey, and then say at the Tour of California a US sponsor could take over. It’s not exactly in the rules, but apparently they have some kind of accreditation to do it from the UCI.
Wow, somehow Lampre have actually managed to make their kit work – albeit by changing away from light to dark blue. The Pink will be still be prominent, and the snot green cuffs dont clash as badly as they did with the light blue last time. But the real concern with Lampre was if they were going to make new signing and World Champion Rui Costa ride with Pink shorts or something absurd. Well…
The team which ruin the ‘U after Q’ rule of the English language have made the move to Castelli from Vermarc,and with it they’ve become a mean, moody, stylish team, reversing their yellow and black colours so that the darker colour is dominant. Let’s hope they don’t do as much racing in Africa. The asymetric yellow stripe is very classy though, and hopefully this is a jersey we’ll be seeing more of in 2014.
Vini Fantini-Nippo-Di Rosa
Otherwise known as ‘Yellow Fluro’ and having endured an iffy 2013 thanks to messrs Di Luca and co, Vini have wisely decided for a bit of an overhaul in the colour scheme so not to remind everyone of the past, whilst still keeping the famous fluorescence that has made them iconic. It’s a bit messy, but hey, who cares?
‘Retro’ springs to mind – Lotto have kept their shorts from last year oddly enough, what with the oversized ‘Lotto’ logo etc and then have a new red jersey which seems to give no indication of what their sponsor actually do, unlike years before where they’ve managed to actually include some graphics. Still, it’s nice to see some original team kits rather than the usual corporate updates – it’s certainly striking, although the logic of leaving the back blank might be questioned at some point,although it should make them easier to spot. I should point out that the Belgian flag coloured strip on the left arm is no indicative of a national champion a la Sky – instead it’s a homage to the teams Belgian heritage, continued with a not quite visable long white stripe on the right hand side of the back of the jersey.
Omega Pharma Quick Step
Hmm. The last two years have seen OPQS (as they like to be known in these days of social media) to excise the blue they were so well known for from their kit forthis essentially black effort. Last year, it was black shorts and cubes on the shoulders, which looked quite nice, but now it’s all a bit mean and blase. Everyone wears black these days, and it gets a bit dull. It could really do with a lick of colour, meaning only men like Boonen with the rainbow tubing or OPQS’s multitude of national champions will get good jerseys. The slightly pointless ‘twitter handle’ feature returns as well. Still,it’s supposedly slimming, plus Cavendish still gets to wear his national championship jersey until July, where, with any luck, he’ll immediately switch it for yellow.
Following their change from their white kit for the centenary Tour in July, the subtle blue effort by FDJ has gained acceptance after the original horror of losing the only team in the pelton cool enough to go for an all white image. There’s not much change as a result – there’s a red square added to the back, apparently to make them easier to spot in aerial shots (presumably for the Director sportifs) and the addition of the ‘Bleuet de France’ logo on the chest commemorates the impending anniversary of the first World War.
BMC apparently couldn’t be bothered to make a new kit, perhaps blaming it for the fact they continue to punch under their considerable budget and talent and that changing it every year hasn’t done much, although arguably they should have gone for a complete overhaul as this will be the 4th year they’ve kept the same red and black blocky pattern. Even football teams don’t keep shirts that long. They may be using red or black shorts as shown by Phil Gilbert above, but otherwise, it’s the same. No rainbow jersey this year though…
All Astana have really done here is slap the ‘Air Astana’ logo on where it used to be the ‘Expo 2017’ one, which they’d started doing at the end of last year anyway. Aside from that, its the same swooping logo and cyan, although the logo is now Navy blue rather than white. Which is a shame, because their continental team has the best name in cycling…