The new team kits are here for the 2022 road season, so don't adjust your screens just yet to figure out which riders are lined out for those hotly-contested sprints. Most of the big teams are still identifiable with mainstay colours of yellow or red or blue, but there has been an influx of swirled patterns and saturated pigment mixtures to create a bit of visual chaos.
The staff at Cyclingnews have been getting sidetracked by looking at the pageantry of patterns and colour palettes on offer this season, and once again we've cast our judgemental eyes over all the men's WorldTour and Women's WorldTour teams' attire.
The scores have been aggregated to produce a 'definitive' - yet subjective - ranking. There are a total of 32 teams across both WorldTours but, with some sharing kits between their men's and women's squads, there are a grand total of 28 to be sorted in order of quality.
Our ranking runs in reverse order, from rock-bottom number 28 right down to the 'best in show'. As ever, it's a game of opinions, so let us know your best and worst kits in the comments below.
The Belgian team start their second WorldTour season with a defence of their last-place ranking for team kits from 2021. They've repeated their look of ‘sponsor soup’ on the front of the jersey, giving a shout-out to all their corporate brands in horizontal fonts and logos. Gone are some blue and lime green accents that did stand out in the peloton, now replaced with some pale yellow and more white. Overall, it is very basic. (JBT)
27. Team DSM
What Team DSM's kit had going for it in 2021 was clear identification from above – their iconic pair of vertical stripes. That and their colourful logo worked well enough for the German team, so there are few changes aside from more logos on the upper chest. But a black kit in a summer sport is just murder, no matter the quality of the fabric, and from up close it's a bit cluttered. From the front, the dark kit will be confused with Movistar. (LW)
I'm sorry but this is a real shocker. Something about the medium blue is just very unappealing. The kit brings to mind something from the late 90s and it instantly looks dated as a result. Black shorts and white sponsor logos might have helped but I didn't even have to think about putting this at the bottom of my ranking. DSM's kit is dull once again and Intermarché's is a plain sponsor billboard but I'm surprised that they've ranked below this, to be honest. (DO)
25. Liv Racing-Xstra
There are no significant changes to the Liv Racing jersey as the team stick to their black-and-purple floral design in 2022. The minor new design aspect includes the black pedal-like shape cascading over the left shoulder opposite the large flower positioned on the right, adding a bit more dimension. The team have also made space for new co-sponsor Xstra. The kit will at least stand out among the sea of pink in the peloton this year. (KF)
Bahrain Victorious have been searching for an identity since joining the WorldTour in 2017, going from simple to old-fashioned to way-too-bold and back to a simpler red design last year. The blue arm bands were the one saving grace that helped distinguish them from Arkéa-Samsic and Cofidis in head-on images. Their design is similar again, but with a ramping up of the graphical elements. They still have a way to go to land on a truly iconic design. (LW)
The only positive thing that can be said about this kit is that it's better than the men's. (PF)
It's still January and Roland Cogeas Edelweiss have already gone through several jersey re-dos, and while we aren't sure if this version has the final stamp of approval, we do know that the team will keep their signature red colour with a treatment of magenta into a navy blue fade for Women's WorldTour debut in 2022. Perhaps a lost opportunity not to have put an edelweiss, the white mountain flower, on the jersey somewhere. (KF)
The Belgian team have had some classy kits over the years – 2018 and 2019 the latest – but this one doesn't stand out much. The pink trim is a nice and bright addition but otherwise it's quite an unremarkable offering. The ugly logos of Safety Jogger Shoes and Napoleon Sports & Games aren't pretty and clash with the design, but that's not on the kit designer. It's a bland offering in stark contrast to how the team race. (DO)
We had to wait so long for these jerseys that we almost forgot about them. There's evidence of putting actual effort into the design there, with the argyle returning and some kind of distorted look going on, and that automatically puts it above the 'plain jersey, just add sponsors' approach of some. It's different and it will stand out but will the faint-looking sponsor logos do so on TV? (DO)
19. AG2R Citroën
The French WorldTeam plummets this year from a top-three position in 2021, mainly due to a lack of inspiration in its remodeled jerseys. The team keep the brown shorts they have worn since their redesign for 2011, and branding for sponsors AG2R La Mondiale and Citroën on the jerseys remain in diagonal position across the front of the jersey. They scored a few points for just being consistent, but came up empty on creativity. (JBT)
It's more of the same for UAE Team Emirates, who return with a virtually identical kit as they had last year. The concept – a white jersey with a red band, a UAE flag, and black and red sleeves – is straightforward enough, but the fade effect on the sleeves makes the kit rather fussier than it needs to be. (BR)
17. Astana Qazaqstan
No change for the Kazakh team, despite an off-season of change. Premier Tech are gone, Alexandr Vinokourov is back in the driving seat, but there’s no new jersey to mark the occasion. Instead, the Premier Tech logo has been replaced by the name of the country they represent which is now back in control of the team. More of the light blue and more of those diamonds – it’s classy enough, but a fade towards the shorts will cost you at this level. (PF)
16. Lotto Soudal
A familiar feel and a very safe offering from the Belgian team, who themselves are far from safe from WorldTour relegation. They've dialled things back from the last two years, where the black panel at the top of the jersey seemed to lend an edge to the look. Now the jersey is almost all red which, while stylish enough, feels very. forgettable. Mid-table in our ranking, which you sense they'd take. (PF)
Since their inception in 1997 as La Française des Jeux, Marc Madiot’s team have always been bedecked in one of the most elegant kits in the peloton, and the most recent iteration, which coincided with Groupama’s arrival as title sponsor four years ago, is no exception. There are no changes for 2022, with the familiar bleu-blanc-rouge colour scheme understated but distinctive. (BR)
14. UAE Team ADQ
The new kids on the block, UAE Team ADQ, burst on the scene with a unique team jersey. While they also jumped on the colour bandwagon with a cross-body fade of blue, purple, orange and yellow, it is different enough from the other Women’s WorldTour teams' apparel to be distinct. The accents of white on one sleeve and lower right portion of the jersey give this a nice pop. Too bad there is no crescendo on the shorts. (JBT)
13. Ineos Grenadiers
Thankfully, Ineos have taken the hood ornament off their chest and adopted a lighter 2022 kit that references the jerseys of the last two seasons – maintaining a sort of continuity. They've given the kit a fresh look, with red sleeves and their subtle faded triangles setting off the dark blue torso. The combination will work well from above and from the front, while they've also given Omar Fraile a great-looking Spanish champion's jersey. (LW)
White and blue isn't the most eye-catching colour combination around, but this design is a big upgrade on past jerseys. I think that the geometric pattern is a stand-out, and you can also spot something similar going on in two other top jerseys – Euskaltel-Euskadi and Bora-Hansgrohe. Easily their best effort since the team were founded in 2015. (DO)
11. SD Worx
There was a parade of splashy patterns introduced to women’s kits this season, and SD Worx are part of that crowded scene, with a kaleidoscope of pink, red and purple. Interesting that the one yellow sleeve may be the most distinguishable feature to make it easy to identify riders in the peloton. They slipped a few notches in the redesign of the unique purple and red kits from 2021. (JBT)
One of the highest-ranked kits last season for its midnight galaxy-inspired creation, Canyon-SRAM have been the trend-setters of abstract jersey designs that are moving to the fore in 2022. The switch from uber-cool Rapha to in-house Canyon clothing sponsor caused unnecessary apprehension, but their all-new 'chaos of the elements' design is one of the best pink jerseys in the peloton, with cascading pastel shades of crimson, pink and blue and stand-out mint green diamonds on the sleeves. The only question is which team did it better – Canyon-SRAM or their newly-launched development team Canyon-SRAM Generation? (KF)
The men’s Trek-Segafrdo kit design is so simple and effective, it is almost iconic. A white jersey is a rarity in the near psychedelic modern peloton and so the title sponsor logos of Trek and Segafredo stand out without any competing colour noise. Meanwhile a limited number of minor sponsors keeps the jersey clean and tidy. The black shorts complete the retro-style look. The team have swapped fluorescent yellow for high-vis pink for their training kit but the simplicity and style remain the same. (SF)
The American team have changed title sponsor and their colours for 2022, following the trend for bright, fluorescent colours. They pull it off with a balanced fade from orange on the shoulders to purple at the waist and black shorts that have only a touch of the same colours. The addition of the ‘Boltman’ icon reminds me of Flash Gordon or some other superhero but also brings to mind a sense of speed and power. (SF)
Jumbo-Visma’s yellow and black colours appeared harsh when they first appeared in the peloton and earned the team the nickname of the ‘killer wasps’. Touches of red and green for new sponsors have softened the look and almost turned it into the infamous Jelly Belly jersey. However. it still stands out in the peloton and is not overbearing thanks to the black shorts and the class of the likes of Tom Dumoulin, Marianne Vos and Primož Roglič. (SF)
From zero to hero. Cofidis' kit was awful last year – it's been awful for a good few years – and suddenly they present us with this. Gone is that insipid shade of red and that soulless sea of white. In its place: red and white, but not as you know it. A few shades here, a few swishes and patterns there, and suddenly the red sings dynamism and the white screams elegance. Most importantly of all, gone are those awful all-red shorts, replaced by a simple black that serves the jersey far better. Big marks for the vertical sponsor and a few more for the full-length red zip. Some of my colleagues weren't quite so enthusiastic, which is why it's not higher on our ranking, but in my eyes this is a masterpiece. (PF)
Trek-Segafredo had arguably the best kit in professional cycling last season, and while this year’s effort is not as idiosyncratic, it remains firmly among the more stylish in the peloton. The design, a white jersey with a light blue band, is simple, but neatly executed. At least half the teams in the men's and women's WorldTours should take note. (BR)
The French Women's WorldTeam have a history of clean, sharp-looking kits and this year is no exception. Moving from a mostly white jersey to a solid navy torso with white text and red faded accents preserves the iconic FDJ identity while giving the kit a bit of flair. With seemingly most women's teams opting for some variation of a bright orange, pink, or purple design, the FDJ team will stand out with their red, white and blue in its classic simplicity. (LW)
It's a clutter-free design and it's more or less the same kit that the men's second-division team have worn since 2018, but the bright block colours and simplicity really work – especially with the team's black shorts. That colour combination will stand out during races, which is a rarity in the peloton where numerous teams follow similar trends every year. Similar to the likes of Jumbo-Visma, Trek-Segafredo and Lotto Soudal, it looks classic and modern at the same time. (DO)
The Spanish squad have annually been moving away from a colour too similar to Astana to a darker blue, and this season they went for an even bolder choice. The colour makes the light-blue logo and horizontal lines pop much better than the white on blue and will be easy to spot from the helicopter shots. The repeat of the Movistar logo on the sleeves helps make their riders stand out in the head-on images. Kudos for keeping Jelena Erić's Serbian and Abner Gonzalez's Puerto Rican champion's jerseys simple. (LW)
While Bora-Hansgrohe have switched up their roster by showing Peter Sagan the door and signing Sam Bennett, Sergio Higuita and Aleksandr Vlasov, they have also upped their look for 2022. New is a predominantly green, black and red kit that has clearly been designed with style. The German team ha e switched from Sportful to Le Col and the new design recalls the Mondrian-inspired La Vie Claire jersey with a red box low down combining with the black and different green shades. Added to black shorts and green helmets, it's a classy look. (SF)
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Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.
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