THIS PAGE IS UPDATED AS NEW KITS ARE LEAKED/ANNOUNCED
Last year, I made a series of wishes for 2017 cycling kits. They were…
- For the love of god, can BMC PLEASE change their kit to something else. It’s very nice as it is, granted. But a refresh would help them in more ways then one.
- No more daft “training” kits. If you’re going to make a zany zebra striped kit, lets see the riders wearing it all year.
- Less corporate kits. Let the designers have some fun! Cycling is full of enough sanctimonious “fans” whining about everything to let a few ruin kits as well because they have some “Rules” they’d like to pronounce on everyone.
- More white kits. They’re just better. More Euro. More gorgeous. Just do it.
- Sky to come up with something other than black kit. Why not white and blue? We will still all know who you are guys.
- Quick Step to return to some of their classic 2005-07 jerseys. This is mainly just a nostalgic thing to be honest…
Is there any hope of any of this actually happenning? Probably not, but hey, you gotta try, right? Without any further ado, let’s get on with what teams are unveiling for 2017.
Since 2010, Sky have had two kit manufacturers, Adidas and Rapha, both of whom had resounding successes selling what was essentially the exact same design of kit for a few years. Sure, Rapha had a go at “redesigning” the kit by adding the blue and white stripe to the 2016 jersey, but otherwise, the black and blue motif, along with the blue line on the back of the jersey, have been recurring. The only real change has been the subtle migration of rider names and flags from the flanks to the right hand sleeve. Hurrah for innovation!
But avast, the arrival of Italians Castelli means a new colour had to be entering the range – the famous rosso corsa makes up their Scorpion logo, and so there would at least be a splash of colour in the new get up. But would there be anything else? Would Castelli throw off the turgid black palate and come up with something vibrant and, well, Italian?
Er, no. Instead, they’ve managed the impressive feat of seemingly bleeding even more colour out of the jersey. Gone is Rapha’s little trademark band, but some bright spark decided that they wanted to go with a “data print” – perhaps not the wisest idea for a team regularly bemoaned for their perceived obsession and reliance on clinical statistics over attacking flair. Still, apparently each line represents a win by a member of their 2017 squad: blue being World Tour, white non world tour, with longer lines being stage races.
Apparently, one of the longer lines represents the “special place” Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 Tour win holds for Sky, although perhaps the Knight isn’t the wisest man to be referencing these days. Worryingly, Castelli have further relegated the rider names to the cuffs, and in a criminal move, only given Kwiatkowski one rainbow cuff, rather than the usual three.
Still, the blue line is on the back, it’s Sky, and it’s Castelli, so expect to see plenty on your local roads even if you’re already bored of seeing it on the pros by February.
Since becoming Movistar in 2011, this Spanish team have kept essentially the same design, even with a change of kit supplier to Endura from Nalini. However, they have managed to keep increasing the size of the “M”, which in 2017 is so HUGE they have decided it no longer needs “Movistar” beneath it.
Yes, otherwise its exactly the same, except that the white cuffs of 2016 are now green. Which is great, because, assuming Orica-BikeExchange don’t change their kit, they now are both nigh on identical from a distance. I mean it was already a nightmare…
…so this is hardly going to help.
Slipstream have gone through a number of “transistions” (see what I did there!?) in recent years, with Orange, blue, black and now green being key colours, although sadly, the argyle patterning has survived each iteration. Now going with the radioactive green of Cannondale, and having added the viper red of Drapac, they had the ingredients to come up with something even more distinctive to a kit already standing out amongst the dark blues and blacks.
Then, it transpired they had a catalyst – Castelli, their long time partners since the Cervelo Test Team merger, were off to Sky, meaning POC, the Swedish company who make those aesthetically marmite helmets and glasses, were coming into make the kit. Surely they’d be looking to show off and make up for lost time with their first team kit, right?
Well…on the left is Castelli’s ’16 kit, and on the right is POC’s new effort. This has to be pointed out because POC appear to have decided plagiarism is the way forward, basically putting all the logos in exactly the same place they were, adding a red collar, a weird black set of pockets, and declaring the job a good ‘un. If you were a new kit manufacturer on the block, would you have not at least tried something attention-grabbing?! Oh well. Must be a Swedish thing.
BMC have, after ditching the Assos made, gloriously Euro white jerseys, became a ProTour team and set on the same jersey, albeit with a couple of minor logo changes and panel movements nigh on imperceptible to anyone who wasn’t sad (ie, me). But, with financier Andy Rihs not committing as much money, the smart red and black design is getting a long overdue update.
The addition of Tag Heuer, purveyor of watches of incredible expense, as a sponsor means that BMC have had to their green and red colours. For some reason, they’ve decided this is best done on the sleeves, making it look like a half arsed job. Maybe it’ll change by the actual 2017 season start, but don’t hold your breath. At least Greg Van Avermaet and Samuel Sanchez will have some gold bands to break it up. DO SOMETHING INTERESTING BMC.
STOP PRESS – It has been rumoure that Assos, the Swiss brand famed for their slightly wackily named but gorgeous products, may be providing the team’s kit next year. If that is the case, expect a redesign – Assos previously designed BMC kit before they hit the big time, and if that was anything to go by, it’ll be Euro, white, and very expensive.
Turns out it was true, what many of us had heard – already using Tag Heuer and BMC, the team have added another Swiss brand in Assos to their roster to make their kit. In what is becoming a bit of a trend this year, a new kit manufacturer is still using the same design as the previous, although Assos have gone with all black shorts and created a Sky-esque red stripe on the back. The Tag Heuer logos do look a bit tacked on though…
Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet also gets snazzy gold bars to symbolise his triumph. Presumably this will be allowed, unlike Paolo Bettini and Alexandre Vinokourov’s attempts to use the Olympic RIngs.
Bar 2012 and 2013, where they went blue for some reason, FDJ have been reliable in going for predominately white kits. This year though, they are moving from Nalini to Italian manifacturer Ale, so surely they would be losing the nationalistic print they currently have for something more flamboyant?
Apparently not – bar changing the shorts to white, from blue, and moving some logos around, Ale have, a la Poc with Cannondale, basically designed the exact same kit as the previous manufacturer. Oh well, I guess innovation is dead…
Since becoming Astana from the ashes of Libert Seguros, Astana have pretty much kept to the same kit design for a decade. More recently, they’ve settled on a fairl standard theme, with a curved logo, baby blue, and much in the way of adverts for goings on back home in Kazakhstan (mainly the 2017 Expo) as well as raliways, air forces, and anything else their backers fancied pushing.
With Giordana now providing kit rather than Nalini, Astana have lost the blue shorts they’ve had since Lance Armstrong presumably insisted against them, and now actually have black in their jersey for the first time ever (not sure about the black socks mind…)
Alternating yellow bands on the short and sleeve cuffs is another odd feature – you might have thought the short one would be red in order to chime with new bike sponsor Argon 18’s colour schemes, but no. Still, a reasonable effort, albeit not the wholesale change we might have envisioned.
Dimension Data, the team formerly known as MTN-Qhubeka and officially known as Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, have had a grat variance in their kits in recent years, flowing from yellow to black to a Juventus/Newcastle United interpretation to an all white kit that magically changed stripe colour from black to green mid season. So, you could forgive them for being a little say this year, and not going quite so mad.
And so they have done so – the new kit is an evolution of the 2016 jersey, adding more black (…) and looking either like a rip off of Leopard-Trek (or should that be LEOPARD-TREK) and their original 2011 offering, or like a rip off of GreenEdge’s first kit. Cynicism aside, its a smart kit, albeit missing perhaps one more colour to give it a bit of pizazz, but it will no doubt be popular, mainly thanks to Mark Cavendish’s continued presence on the team.
Katusha have been going on about becoming more international as a team recently, and moving away from their Russian heritage (the team even grew out of the first iteration of the Tinkoff team, but let’s pretend that never happenned.) Having previously used the Moscow skyline as a motif, the team has struggled to pin down any real identity, with designs and colours changing each year as they fluctuated between including the Russian flag then removing all trace. 2016 saw an attempt to build a “brand” built on a cyrillic “K”, and it was pretty smart. So what do they have in store now they’ve poached Alpecin as a sponsor?
Well, they’ve made things awkward, because whilst everyone was going to shorten their name to Katusha, they’ve gone and made it look like the team is actually called Alpecin, with the only mention of Katusha being those “K”s on the sleeves and on the chest where the full team name is. So…I guess we’re going to call them Alpecin then?
Still, they red is quite nice,even if those helmets hide the lovely hair they’ll have under there as a result of all that caffeinated shampoo. They’ll be recognisable at least, even if we’re not quite sure who to recognise them as.
Orica changed their kit half way through 2016, brining in Bike Exchange as a sponsor and essentially making the kit all blue with a green stripe (hence why its not represented on this graphic) For 2017, Scott has stepped up to become a title sponsor, meaning that they join Trek, Merida and Cannondale in the current peloton (Giant are now Sunweb) as bike manufacturers sponsoring a team with naming rights.
Orica have gone with a darker blue and fluro stripe, which will hopefully differentiate them from Movistar a bit more. Giordana haven’t done much with the design, and it keep up the 2010s trend of being very dark, which is a bit of a shame for a team that has generally been fairly bright with its greens and whites.
After years at the whim of whatever product parent sponsor Etixx wanted to flog before they jumped ship to Quick Step, Lotto have settled into a pattern of kits defined by a smart red look with a “Belgian” identity, mostly shown by a flag coloured stripe on the back with “Live you dreams” written on it.
This year, that has disappeared from the back (see below), but the Belgian flag colours remain on the front and on the leg of the shots. To be honest, their own sponsor friendly graphic explains everything better than I can.
Once NetApp, Bora have stepped up to the WorldTour this year by virtue of their signing of world champion and World Tour winner Peter Sagan, as well as Rafa Majka, which gives their previously not particularly interesting team a serious boost. Specialised are on board as well, and Leopold Konig has returned from Sky to the team where he made his name with a Vuelta stage win and top ten performance.
More black eh, great. At least the speckled blue pattern is a bit different, and there are some white panels. To be fair, Sagan will be in the World Champions jersey anyway, so we probably won’t notice this much. He has ruined it though, as the stripes don’t go all the way around the jersey, and he’s got some god awful sunglasses.
Quick Step Floors
Having reverted back to the old Quick Step moniker (albeit adding “floors” as if to remind us of what they do, knowing full well we’re all going to call them Quick Step), Quick Step have shaken off their recent black phase and returned to a retro design, perhaps inspired by harking back to Tom Boonen’s glory days, before Tornado Tom retires after Paris Roubaix in April.
The smart blue kit is a delight against the backdrop of dark blue and black kits, although they really seem to have gone overboard on the Lidl logos. Still, heres to hoping its the jersey we see hit the line first in Roubaix come April.
Bahrain-Merida are of course a new team, and have managed to secure a WorldTour berth, despite some concern about their ethical criteria given alleged human rights abuses in the home nation. But then the ethical criteria are seemingly non existent, so the bigest controversy was over whether Joaquim Rodriguez was signed (magically coming out of retirment before returning without turning a pedal in anger) just to carry over his points. Still, the team of Vincenzo Nibali has a standout kit, with red and gold certainly standing out so long as Greg Van Avermaet doesn’t infiltrate their ranks. Whether they’ll be good enough to stand out in the results, we’ll have to see.
UAE Abu Dhabi
After eighteen years as a title sponsor, Lampre, everyone’s favourite sheet metal manufacturer, have left the stage, with the team initially going to be funded by a Chinese backer given that Merida had also jumped ship to the Bahrain team. But that fell through, hence why the team that was the only Italian one remaining in the top ranks is now named UAE Abu Dhabi.
On a low budget (hence the dodgy photoshoot), the team has at least got an Italian feel to it, with Abu Dhabi’s colours a reflection of the Italian flag, key riders such as Diego Ulissi retained, and with Colnago returning to the WorldTour for the first time since their Europcar days. With the skyline on the jersey, it’s a bit reminiscent of the original Katusha jerseys, albeit with less star power within them. Still, we will mourn the loss of pink from the peloton colour palette.
With Marcel Kittel long gone, Alpecin have decided they need to seek pastures new, and have jumped ship to Katusha – oddly, Giant didn’t want to continue the trend of bicycle sponsors headlining teams, and so in came Sunweb, the European holiday company.
The team are retaining their past “two stripe” branding however, reverting back to the 2014 Giant style. Meh. Presumably, this means that next year, they’ll reverse the black and white again. Great. More black.
For a team that used to wear bright orange, LottoNL are still quite visible with their yellow, which has interestingly been allowed to stand at the Tour, not that they’ve been that visible there.
But, sure as night follows day, every team eventually decides they have to be more black *sigh*. And so it comes to pass that the white shoulders of Lotto are now black. Joy is me.
Trek have moved from Bontrager to Sportful for their kit, and will reveal it on the 13th of January. Don’t expect much change…
And indeed, there isn’t much – you wouldn’t really know that Sportful had taken over from Bontrager. What was white is now red, and what was red is now white. The red matches the colour of their bikes, which is nice, but it looks a bit too blase, like the figured they better keep the pinstripes but couldn’t really think of a way of minimising them. Still, look out for 2018, where they copy and paste a new colour onto the top.
A first Grand Tour stage win since 2012 (by Lilian Calmejane at the Vuelta) was a return for Direct Energie’s sponsor Euros, and Bryan Coquard came close to besting Marcel Kittel before curiously saying he “belongs with the greats” as a result (…)
Clearly, the powers that be have decided not to change a winning formula, with the same essential design, albeit with a couple of new sponsors such as ADM. In “Belgium Markets” (read: Belgium) however, they’ll become Team Poweo. Right. Great.