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by Dave Rome
January 20, 2017
Photography by David Rome, Tim Bardsley-Smith
The clothing of professional cycling is a crucial part of the sport’s commercialisation. Without this canvas space, the rolling billboard that is the WorldTour just wouldn’t be the same.
Teams come and go and sponsors change, leading to new colours, new clothing and new accessories to see. And every season, some kits are simply better than others.
Here at the Santos Tour Down Under we’ve scoured the pits to find new and interesting items of clothing being worn by the riders of 2017’s first WorldTour event.
We hope you enjoy the gallery below.
LottoNL-Jumbo moves from Santini to Shimano’s new S-Phyre range. First seen with new high performance shoes, Shimano will be offering an entire range of the premium race clothing, which has been designed in collaboration with the Dutch team.
A closer look at the winged chamois design of the S-Phyre bibs. The chamois floats freely from the outer layer and is designed to pair perfectly with the saddle range from PRO. (Don’t worry, my hand is stuck inside a sample pair.)
Shimano’s S-Phyre RC-9 shoes are used by a number of riders from various Shimano-sponsored teams, including FDJ, Sky, Orica-Scott, BMC and LottoNL-Jumbo.
Bahrain-Merida is another team wearing Sportful clothing in 2017. Touches of gold colouring remind all that the team is backed by Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Japan’s Yukiya Arashiro pictured.
New team Bahrain-Merida are wearing matching gold Rudy Project helmets and sunglasses for 2017. Yep, the team’s shoes match too…
To match the Italian head gear, the team has custom Sidi’s Shot shoes.
Trek-Segafredo moves from Trek’s own Bontrager clothing to Sportful kit. It’s a change that means new signing Alberto Contador will feel right at home. Shoes and helmets still provided by Bontrager.
Bontrager seems to have very subtly improved its XXX shoe. A plastic coating on the tongue now sits as protection to the Boa wires.
A couple of Trek-Segafredo riders are using a version of the Bontrager XXX LE shoes in a colour we haven’t seen before.
Lotto-Soudal is wearing Vermac clothing. According to Adam Hansen in a recent Facebook Live interview, the kit is so similar to last year’s that a team member accidently wore the old jersey at the Tour Down Under’s opening criterium.
Lotto-Soudal riders wear matching shoes from Gaerne. Except for Adam Hansen, he has his own Hanseeno shoes.
Adam Hansen’s latest Hanseeno creation. These are the stealthiest we’ve seen from the Australian so far. Hansen claims they weigh 85g each. Apparently 77g is achievable, but then they just don’t last all that long.
A sneak inside the footwear of Adam Hansen. Note the retention wire that runs through the carbon upper.
Katusha wears Katusha. The now Swiss-registered team is in its second year pushing into the premium cycle clothing market. We’re told they have a team of ten full-time staff devoted to the clothing. They’re wearing baby blue coloured Giro Synthe helmets.
Similar in design from the previous year’s Giant-Alpecin team, Sunwebs continue with gear from Etxeondo.
Team-Sunweb had these ice vests in use on the opening stage. We’ve seen similar from the Etxeondo-sponsored team before.
Orica-Scott is no longer dressed by Craft, instead the Australian team finds itself in gear from Giordana.
Orica-Scott returns to Scott eyewear for 2017. A focused Caleb Ewan looks on.
The Bont Vaypor S shoes of Caleb Ewan.
Sky has moved from its partnership with Rapha and now has its team racing Castelli clothing.
Sky’s Ian Stanndard is wearing some trick Oakley Jawbreakers.
Replacing B’Twin for 2017, FDJ has signed with Italian brand Alé for the next two seasons. The kit design remains much the same though.
FDJ are wearing BBB helmets for 2017.
FDJ’s Arnaud Courteille wears Bontrager’s special edition Shut Up Legs shoes. They’re looking well used now.
UAE Abu Dhabi is wearing kit from custom clothing manufacturer, Champion Systems. It’s one of the more basic designs in the WorldTour.
MET expands its sponsorship in the WorldTour, with UAE joining Dimension Data in the helmets. When temperatures reached 43ºC on the opening stage, both teams were riding in the Italian brand’s lightweight Rivale model.
The new NorthWave RR shoes are found on the feet of many riders. A single dial pulls the split upper together.
There’s only one reason to wear booties on a 43ºC stage — your shoes don’t match the team sponsor.
Swedish-brand POC steps up from supplying helmets and sunglasses and now supplies the whole kit to the team Cannondale-Drapac team.
Dimension Data continues with Oakley clothing for 2017. We’re told the eyewear brand is looking to offer a full range of cycling clothing.
Lachlan Morton, Dimension Data’s latest signing, wears Rapha Climber shoes (made by Giro). It’s the only pair of the leather shoes we found at the Tour Down Under, and the only piece of Rapha.
BMC moves from its long-term partnership with Pearl Izumi and brings Assos back to the WorldTour after a long hiatus. Assos has a new skinsuit which has already been ridden to an Australian Time Trial title with Rohan Dennis (not pictured).
Nice little touch on these Fizik R1 shoes. Note the red and black Boa wires.
BMC’s Richie Porte is wearing Giro’s new TechLace model.
Matching his leader’s jersey, Richie Porte is wearing an orange TAG Heuer Connected watch. This premium smartwatch is found on the wrists of the whole BMC team.
Quickstep Floors continues to wear Vermac in 2017. It’s now a lighter colour and with white instead of black sleeves.
The custom-made Rocket 7 shoes are a rare sight — we spotted a single pair in use at the Tour Down Under. This left foot and shoe belongs to Dries Devenyns.
Giordana is also sponsoring the refreshed Astana team, taking over from manufacturer MOA.
Limar provides helmets to Astana, with the Ultralight + model pictured.
The Ag2r-La Mondiale team will spend the next two seasons riding with kit from Italian brand, Giessegi, a brand also known as GSG.
Ag2r La Mondiale continue to wear ekoi helmets. The team were wearing the Cora Light model In the hot Australian sun.
Ag2r’s Julien Berard wears shoes from FLR. This F-XX model is the brand’s top end model and still costs about half of what most premium shoes go for.
Lotto-Soudal riders are using the Z1 MIPS. The MIPS version is heavier, but seems safety comes first in this team (as it should). And when notorious weight-weenie Adam Hansen (pictured) is wearing such a thing, you can bet others in the team are too.
Bora-Hansgrohe is wearing Specialized helmets and Craft kit for 2017.
No caption needed for who these custom Specialized 6 kicks belong to.
Peter Sagan is now wearing eyewear from 100%. It’s a brand that’s new to road cycling, but well established in mountain biking and motorcross. Sagan uses the Speed Craft Long Lens model, with a different colour spotted nearly every day.
The rest of the Bora-Hansgrohe team were wearing these team-issue Specialized 6 shoes.
Movistar swap from Catlike to Abus helmets for 2017. Abus are best known as a lock manufacturer, but they’ve been making helmets for the European market for a number of years now. The team sticks to Endura clothing. Much like with its bikes, it’s hard to discern this year’s from last.