Among the rainbow of colours seen in the peloton at the Tour de France, are those of reigning national road or time trial champions. Besides the coveted leaders jerseys, newly crowned champions proudly display their national pride on the world’s stage.
Championships are often held in the weeks leading up to the grande depart, as each winner is awarded a jersey or full kit uniquely designed with their national colours, and in some cases, a new colour scheme for their bike to match.
“I’m really excited to be in the Tour de France in the first African team. It makes it even more special to be wearing the national jersey of South Africa,” Jacques Janse van Rensburg said, national road champion of South Africa, riding for MTN-Qhubeka.
“With the jersey you get a lot of extra attention, and I got a special bike with the South African colours on it as well. I think the jersey, the colours are really liked; the social media has been really great from Twitter and Facebook and all the messages form South Africa.
“The most that any South African rider can ask for is to be riding in the Tour de France wearing the national colours so I’m really excited about that.”
Find what other national champions say, from Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) to Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing) about donning their national jersey at the Tour.
Find out more in this video, and don't forget - subscribe to the Cyclingnews Youtube Channel so you don't miss a single video.