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A new season means the opportunity to introduce a new team kit. While some teams have done just that, other teams decided to keep their look the same or similar to last season. We had a closer look at the designs that make up the women’s pro peloton this year. Here are the ones that really stand out this season. We present you the 2016 team kits that we really love.
New or refreshed kits:
The eagle eyed viewer may have already spotted the new Boels-Dolmans kit when Nikki Harris donned the kit at the British cyclocross championships in early January, her first race as part of the Dutch squad. This year’s version is as popping and cheerful as last year except that it has a few less colours and more orange. The light blue details on the sleeves and legs have gone and with the exception of the purple back of the shorts, the kit is now completely orange. A nice, subtle update from last year’s kit. The kit designers were plenty busy with special editions of the kit with Lizzie Armitstead wearing the predominantly white rainbow kit this season and national champions Christine Majerus (of Luxembourg), Megan Guarnier (of the US) and Demi de Jong (U23 champion of the Netherlands) all sporting their country’s colours.
With a focus on the development of young British cyclists, none of the women that are part of this new UK-based team had any UCI points to their name at the start of the season, so when the new UCI rankings were released mid-January, Drops cycling closed the ranks at number 40. Nowhere to go but up for this team and we love their stylish, modestly coloured kit to go with their debut in the women’s pro peloton. The verticle stripes around the torso give this outfit the distinctive Trek look, the bike brand that fitted the ladies with their rides for this season.
Leave it up to Rapha to design one of the peloton’s most striking kits. While Canyon-SRAM is technically a new team entirely, its ‘forerunners’ Specialized-lululemon and Velocio-SRAM were known for their non-traditionally kit designs and we’re glad Canyon-Sram continues that trend. Colourful, modern yet classy this kit is on point!
Hagens-Berman/Supermint was born out of a fusion between the American UCI team BMW-Happy Tooth and the Italian based Conceria Zabri cycling team. In Hagens-Berman, team director Jono Coulter found a sponsor that has already been active in men’s cycling for quite a while now. At the moment, the company is title sponsor of Axel Merckx’ Axeon-Hagens Berman team and the jerseys of both teams look very similar, with the black, blue and light or mint blue stripes on the jersey. Unfortunately, there aren’t any team photos of the women’s outfit yet, so we have to make do with this design concept. But it looks very promising!
Updating a design whilst keeping the distinctive look of a team can be tricky, but Team TIBCO-SVB have managed to do just that with their outfit for 2016. They ditched the wild and stripey design which characterized their kit in 2014 and 2015, but kept the lime green details on the jersey and shorts. Now with dark and bright blue as base colours, the kit is still clearly recognisable as TIBCO-SVB, but in a fresh design. We say: well done!
It’s good to see the brown and black disappear almost completely from the Servetto Footon kit, the difficult combination of colours that defined the kit for so long. Although the brownish colour is supposed to be gold, the colour always comes across as brown or dark beige without a shiny fabric, so is best to be avoided. The colours do pop up on the new kit here and there, but with the addition of red on a predominantly white outfit, it becomes a very trendy look, we must say. In combination with the white and (shiny!) gold bikes, and pink drink bottles, the girls look have a very distinctive look.
Shimano Ladies Power
We probably won’t be seeing these outfits in any of the big European races, since this Argentinian team only races in North- and South-America. We’ll have to wait and see whether they’ll even ride a WorldTour race. They were present at the Tour de San Luis, their home race, and it was very easy to spot the riders in the peloton, due to their blue and pink outfits. The team has been around a few years now and the pink has been getting more pronounced on the outfit each year, now shining brightly on the kit. Although a little cliché for a women’s team, the pink and flowers actually fit the bronzed South-American girls very well. The skinsuit is especially nice, which has the bottom fully covered in blue and pink.
Rally Cycling is the American team that was known as Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies for the last three years. They replaced one shade of orange by another, although shade isn’t the right word for the brightness of the colour that covers the jerseys in 2016. With six American and four Canadian riders making up the women’s Rally Cycling team in 2016, the team continues its North-American focus. Orange isn’t necessarily one of my favourite colours for clothing, but I think this team outfit is really well done.
After one year operating as an American club team, Visit Dallas-DNA Pro Cycling has stepped up to become UCI this year, targeting both American WorldTour races the AMGEN Tour of California and the Philadelphia Cycling Classic. Although their focus is on North-American UCI races and the National Racing Calendar, they do already have the Euskal Emakumeen Bira on their calendar for April, so they will be showing the part black, part coloured outfit in Europe this season at least once.
With bright green as the predominant colour and Cannondale as bike supplier for the team, it makes the outfit resemble this year’s Cannondale Pro Cycling outfit quite a bit. We’re happy that the all black Castelli bibs that the team wore at the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under turn out not to be part of the official kit, and black & yellow helmets and shoes were added. We love the colour of this kit, although we would have liked to see a spicier design for this new team, with bubbly riders like Valentina Scandolara and Shelley Olds on board!
GS Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
It’s somewhat of a break that Italian team GS Top Girls Fassa Bortolo moves away from the full orange and purple outfit its riders wore up until now. For the first time in 20 years, a new colour is added to the colour block outfit, with white shoulders now being part of the jersey. A nice touch on this year’s kit is the addition of “Pierino”, printed where the hearts of the riders are, an ode to Chiara Pierobon, the 22-year-old Italian rider who died on her way to the Sparkassen Giro last year.
The new Belgian team of team manager Marc Bracke made its debut in the Tour Femenino de San Luis and was invited to the Ladies Tour of Qatar as well. It’s been a great way for Lares-Waowdeals to start the season and to show off the white and green kit. There’s a slight resemblance with the outfit of Kelme Costa Blanca, the professional men’s team from the nineties, but fortunately this one’s much hipper than that! There wasn’t much green in the peloton until both Cylance Pro Cycling and Lares-Waowdeals chose this colour for their team outfit, but it’s still a minority colour and that in itself makes the outfit interesting. Some people really like the design, others aren’t that enthusiastic about it. Personally, I belong to the first group!
Kits with little change but cool anyway:
Of course every team needs to update its team kit with the necessary change of sponsor logo’s, but the saying, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ seems to work for these teams.
While Rabo-Liv’s kits have changed very little, the kits may become a collector’s item soon as 2016 is the last year that we’ll see the familiar orange-and-white jerseys of the highly successful Rabo-Liv squad. After 20 years of sponsoring pro cycling, Rabobank has announced to step back from sponsoring upon completion of the 2016 season.
The Rabo-Liv squad this year is without the rainbow jersey on the road but there are still some noticeable national champion colours on the team with the red-white-and-blue striped kits for the Dutch and French national champions Lucinda Brand and Pauline Ferrand Prevot respectively. And Kasia Niewiadoma gets to sport the blue with gold stars European U23 jersey. Ferrand-Prevot will of course be sporting the rainbow stripes on the mountain bike and Thalita de Jong in cyclocross events.
Despite a change in co-title sponsorship, the Wiggle High5 kit looks very similar to its previous Wiggle-Honda renditions. The most noticeable change is the prominently placed High5 logo on the chest. The kit has already seen quite a bit of action in Australia’s summer of cycling and in Qatar with riders like Dani King, Nettie Edmondson and Chloe Hosking showing it off in the best way possible – on the podium, that is! The kits that really stand out among the predominantly black kits are the white Swedish national champion kit of Emma Johannson, the white-and-red Japanese national champion kit of Mayuko Hagiwara and the Belgian black-yellow-and-red stripes of Jolien d’Hoore’s kit.
As said, not much change with the Liv-Plantur squad, although they’ve added some colour to the overall look with their green helmets. The men’s team, Giant-Alpecin, is now wearing red Giant helmets, because of the red and blue details in their kit. The women’s team has chosen green out of the two colours green and purple that are on their kit. The colour combination and the black outfits are a great match, so no need for a change at all. With the new green helmets, it will be even easier to spot the girls in the peloton.
Not much change at Cervélo-Bigla and why should they? They had a stylish outfit in 2015 and it didn’t necessarily need any changing. Cervélo stepped up to become their main title sponsor though, so the colour of the brand, red, was added to the outfit. And we must say the result isn’t bad at all! Although it’s quite a conservative design, it somehow looks really fresh. The bikes are completely in tune as well, and the white and red Kask helmets fit the outfit perfectly. Plus, the red-and-white Canadian national champion kit of Joelle Numainville fits in well. The kit has yet to be seen in action but we should see it in the spring classics soon.
We have already seen this on the top step of the podium this year with Kirsten Wild sprinting to victory in the Qatari desert on day one of Ladies Tour of Qatar. The Team Hitec outfit has looked more or less the same since the start of the team in 2009. Title sponsor Hitec Products has been financially supporting the team since its inception and the blue that was on the outfit in the first year is still around. Black has become more prominent since then, but lots of women’s teams nowadays choose to use black in their team outfit. A little update in Hitec’s team kit this year means the colour blue has gotten more marine instead of the almost green colour it was last year, making the outfit look a lot like its 2011 design.
Which are your favourites? Tell us in the comments below.