EF Pro Cycling unveiled new team kits this week for their participation in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, and the edgy creations designed by Rapha and Palace Skateboards have been met with some disdain by the UCI.
On Saturday, members of the US-based WorldTour team were penalised for wearing "non-compliant clothing during podium obligations". Each of the eight riders on the EF Pro roster for the Giro, as well as directeur sportif Fabrizio Guidi, were fined 500 Swiss francs.
Team members unveiled the creations at the teams presentation on Friday, held at the ruins of the Temple of Segesa on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Castellammare on the island of Sicily. EF Pro Cycling are typically easy to recognise in the peloton for their signature pink colours, but for the Giro this year, the kits being worn feature multiple brands, bright colors and "witty" artwork, described "a team kit quite unlike any other seen in the peloton so far".
Liberties were taken with helmets, eyewear, bicycles and team vehicles as well. In Saturday’s stage 1 time trial, American Lawson Craddock breezed to seventh place in the 15.1km time trial wearing an aero helmet painted as the iconic Palace duck mascot, the helmet extension representing the bird’s bill.
The fines relate solely to the teams presentation on Friday, and team boss Jonathan Vaughters revealed on social media that the reason was that the team didn't register the new kits with the UCI in time, although he claimed this was in fact done.
"Oh ..... you guys are always looking out for the best interest of the sport, aren’t ya? Thanks for the $4000 of fines for wearing our crazy ducks. Hope David Lappartient enjoys his dinner - on us!" said Vaughters, who confirmed the issue has now been resolved.
UCI regulations for professional cycling restrict clothing styles and designs for races. Jerseys shall be sufficiently distinct from world champions', UCI cup and classification leaders' and national jerseys to avoid confusion. Teams are permitted to change their colours once per season.
EF Pro Cycling said on their web site that this is a "limited-edition collection to be worn by our crew at EF Pro Cycling at this year’s Giro d’Italia". It seems that any and all publicity during the Grand Tour event will be welcome, no matter the price, as off-bike apparel and gear are also being sold to consumers.
Stage 1 of the Giro ✔️ 🇮🇹 Shout out to @lawsoncraddock on finishing in the top ten today — and for rocking the TT 🦆 helmet while doing so. pic.twitter.com/jZ7GAXIASQOctober 3, 2020
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