A new season means new jerseys in the peloton, with most major professional teams and even the organisers of the Vuelta a España redesigning their jerseys for 2010. Some of them have been well received while others have been the source of major debate.
The Vuelta unveiled the new leader’s jersey on Tuesday in Madrid. The race leader’s jersey has been a gold hue since the mid-1990s, but for 2010 the organisers have changed the colour scheme to red and asked fashion designer Custo Dalmau to create a special design for what will be the 75th anniversary of the race.
Dalmau came up with a bright red jersey decorated with black cheetah skin sections. “This animal and cyclists have things in common: speed, their position in the race and both are born to go fast,” he said on Tuesday.
Vuelta race director Javier Guillen said he’s happy that the jersey breaks with traditional race leaders jerseys, that he feels are rooted in the past.
Teams turn out tweaks for 2010
Team jersey designs are verified by the International Cycling Union (UCI) to ensure that liveries aren't too similar and can be easily recognized by officials.
The creation of several new teams has introduced some brand new colours into the bunch. Lance Armstrong’s RadioShack team has a red and grey scheme, Team Sky has gone for a simple but very effective black look, while Hincapie Sportswear has designed a red and black jersey for BMC.
Lance Armstrong manages to pull off the RadioShack look, but it has drawn comparisons with the Castorama kit from the 1980s, which was similar to the uniform worn by employees of the French DIY store chain.
Team Sky’s racing kit is made by Adidas, who has returned to cycling after they abandoned the sport in the wake of the T-Mobile doping scandals. Ironically, the design reminds many people of the magenta and white T-Mobile kit.
The brightest kit in the bunch is definitely the new Astana jersey. The combination of bright Kazakhstan blue, white and yellow will make it easy for Lance Armstrong to spot Alberto Contador in the Tour de France peloton.
Some teams have made only minor changes to their kit. The Cervélo Test Team have stayed with a simple black solution but have cleverly filled the back of the jersey with the Cervélo 'é’, making the team easy to spot on television. HTC-Columbia has switched their sponsors but has stayed with their ‘anatomical’ yellow, white and black, while Quick Step has gone for a retro look.
Gianni Savio’s Androni-Diquigiovanni team wins the award for squeezing the most sponsors on a jersey. It has 11 sponsors on the front and six on each arm. His riders really are a sandwich board on two wheels.
The Footon-Servetto jersey kit was derided when the team held their presentation earlier this month. The huge footprint explains what the sponsor produces but the colours is more beige than the hoped for gold effect. However, the new jersey got the team a lot of extra publicity and clearly hasn't held it's riders back; Rafael Valls scored the team’s first win in the new kit on stage two of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina.
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