I need to issue a formal complaint to the pro cycling kit manufacturers of the world.
I understand that you have a difficult job, and are constrained by the demands of advertising, unforgiving shiny material, and a customer base consisting of skeletal men on a diet of kale smoothies and quinoa.
You undoubtedly have to produce designs that will keep lots of different people happy – some of whom will know what they’re talking about and some of whom are probably idiots.
But still – is it just me, or are this year’s crop of kits reaching new levels of ugly?
I’ve left it until March to pass comment, giving these abominations a chance to bed in or fade into the background, but it’s not happening.
There’s Belgian mega-team Quick-Step in blue, with their white sleeves, yellow adverts, and excessive amounts of writing. Bahrain-Merida have just stolen the Team Wiggins template, mixed and matched their fonts, and replaced the mod target with a weird gold thingy. AG2R persist with the brown shorts; I mean, we’d miss them if they weren’t there, but still…
Castelli have well and truly fiddled with that.
Of course they have to stick their adverts on, but is it not the case that less is more?
That the more fiddly and fussy, the less impact the advertising has?
Again, think of Rapha, and the quiet ‘Twentieth Century Fox’ written across the Team Sky arses. Even Movistar, with the big, memorable, funky green logo, is bearable – despite the fact that unless you live in a Hispanic country Movistar are about as much use to you as a jug of sangria in the north of England.
But thanks to that jersey, if I ever do move to Spain they’ll be my telecommunications company of choice. I’d just have to mentally side step the thought that I’d be paying Alejandro Valverde’s wages.
The red of Katusha looks reasonably good out on the road, but their kit is spoilt by the fact that when riding hard, heads down, the K on their helmet falls into line with the K’s on their shoulders and becomes a recruiting advert for the KKK.
As if that weren’t bad enough, their shorts are also red.
Tony Martin…the legend…der Panzerwagen…forced to ride in red shorts.
It’s an insult.
They might as well dress him in a tutu and force him to glissade and pirouette for his monthly pay-check. He has the look of a man at the centre of a hostage crisis.
Do we know if he’s got a safe word?
But finally – and it’s always a question of taste with these things – the less said about Cannondale Drapac the better. Keep the argyle, or drop the argyle, but make your mind up. Don’t just blend it in with the lime green as an afterthought, like a cheap nod to the happy days of Garmin.
And what the hell is a ‘Drapac’ anyway?
David Millar – stylish ex-pro cyclist extraordinaire and founder member of the team – will be spinning in his corporate ambassadorial Maserati.
(Images: via http://www.UCI.ch)