A new season means #newkitday for professional and amateur athletes around the globe. While some teams are sporting a brand new design this 2017 season, other have made only subtle changes. Here are the new season’s standout kits.
The Rainbow Jersey
The rainbow jersey was first introduced in 1927, at the first professional UCI Road World Championships in Adenau, Germany. The simple and distinctive design –five colourful bars across the chest on a predominantly white jersey– has remained pretty much the same ever since.
The five colours –blue, red, black, yellow and green– correspond with the colours of the five Olympic rings and represent the five inhabited continents of the world.
The world champion must (and can only) wear the jersey when competing in the discipline in which they earned the world champion title. All former world champions are entitled to wearing rainbow bands on the collar and cuffs of their jersey and shorts for the remainder of their career.
On the road, the rainbow jersey stays within the Boels-Dolmans team, transferring from Lizzie Deignan to young Danish sprinter, Amalie Dideriksen. American Amber Neben (Team VéloConcept Women) will be sporting the rainbow skinsuit in the individual time trial.
While the European Championships have been held since 1995, last season was the first time that the elite categories were added. Previously, the blue with gold stars jersey was limited only to junior and U23 European champions, but this year we’ll also see the distinctive jersey on Olympic and European road race champion Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) and time trialist Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb). Kasia Niewiadoma is the reigning U23 road race champion but will be sporting the colours of her national Polish road race title on her new WM3 Pro Cycling team kit instead. And Russia’s Anastasiia Iakovenko is the U23 time trial champion.
Now let’s have a look at some new or refreshed team kits.
After decades of financially supporting multiple cycling teams, Rabobank ultimately pulled the plug in 2016, leaving Marianne Vos et al to find a new sponsor. They did so in WM3 Energy, with whom they inked a five-year-contract. Vos premiered the new kit (and Ridley bikes) on January first, and promptly showed it off on the podium.
WM3 focusing on global green energy, the kits have a black base and feature a green map of the world. Accessories are matched in similar colours except for the flashy yellow Shimano shoes. The bikes feature a green and black design, chosen by fans.
The WM3 roster features two reigning national road race champions. Anouska Koster will be sporting the Dutch tri-colour champion jersey and Kasia Niewiadoma, as the Polish national champion, will be wearing a red-and-white kit. A multitime world champion, rainbow piping is added to Marianne Vos’ kit while the Israeli flag can be found on the cuffs of Rotem Gafinovitz’ jersey.
For the first time in the history of the team, both the men’s and women’s teams share the same title sponsors, name and look. A stylish dark blue base colour with white and bright yellow highlights, paired with green helmets and bikes. Although it’s still easily recognisable as the Orica team, it’s the most dramatic change to the outfit that the team has seen in its seven-year-existence.
For 2017, women’s cycling’s most dominating team of the previous season, Boels-Dolmans, has changed apparel sponsors from Bioracer to Santini SMS. But the orange of both title sponsors Boels Rental and Dolmans Landscaping Team remains the defining colour of the kit, with only subtle changes.
As pictured, four riders will not be donning the orange kit as they have earned national, world and European titles. World road champion Amalie Dideriksen will be in the rainbow jersey, European road champ Anna van der Breggen is sporting the blue and gold starred jersey, Luxembourg road and time trial champion Christine Majerus will be in her national tri-colours, and American road champ Megan Guarnier is once again sporting the American stars and stripes. For Deignan, rainbow piping has been added to her kit to remind people of her past reign as world champion.
Among the most striking of kits this season is the updated Alé Cipollini kit. Now that they have a more international squad, we got a teaser of the kit in the Australian Summer of Racing with Chloe Hosking, Janneke Ensing and Carlee Taylor showing off the new neon colours.
While still bright, orange has been added to the traditionally fluo yellow outfit, resulting in a change of the official team hashtag into #yellowfluorange.
Two of the new international riders on the 2017 roster, Chloe Hosking and Janneke Ensing, immediately proved their worth for the team in the first race of the year, delivering Alé Cipollini a victory and two jerseys at the 2017 Santos women’s Tour Down Under.
Formely Liv-Plantur (and Team Giant-Alpecin for the men’s side), Sunweb has stepped up as the title sponsor for both the men’s and women’s program, as well as the development teams.
Blach and white with just a splash of red, the current kit design is reminiscent of the 2014 kit, when the team was called Giant-Shimano, and has already been featured quite prominently in cyclocross, with new recruit Lucinda Brand taking silver at the Dutch cross nationals and a podium spot in the World Cup race of Hoogerheide.
Former Rabo-Liv rider, Roxane Knetemann, is at the helm of the new Futuroscope team, which has also added a new title sponsor: Française-des-Jeux. The women’s team now matches that of the men’s and with the blue, white and red colours, the French team looks very… French.
— Thea Thorsen (@TheaThorsen) 22 January 2017
The Scandinavian squad of Team Hitec, the team has decided to let go of the base design which they wore for years and years. The white is gone and the kit is now entirely black and blue – a trend apparent with lots of teams.
Yes, Cylance Pro Cycling has also opted for more black in their 2017 kits. The green of bike supplier Cannondale is still there, but much less recognisable than last year. The yellow helmets have been replaced by helmets in the colour of the team outfit (which we like) and instead of yellow Mavic shoes the riders now wear white-and-black Sidi’s.
It has been blue and white for a number of years in the United Healthcare teams, but in 2017 the team switches to blue for the entire kit. The different shades of blue in the shirt give a nice sort of depth to the colour. Only ten riders on the roster this season, the smallest the team has been in four years.
Yet another team that has opted for a dark blue outfit in 2017, limiting the characteristic light blue and fluo green to just a few details on the kit and in the socks.
We think this outfit looks really good, but we do feel for the commentators a bit, with Tibco, United Healthcare, Lensworld-Kuota, Orica-Scott and Team Hitec now all sporting mainly dark blue coloured outfits.
The Parkhotel continental men’s team merges with Team Jo Piels in 2017 and with a new co-sponsor for the off-road section of the team, Parkhotel Cycling Team now consists of three teams with three different outfits. Taking black to start with, the women’s team, called Parkhotel-Destil in 2017, has some bright green details to remind us of the former colour of the team outfit.
The men’s team Parkhotel-Piels will sport blue and the off-road team Parkhotel-ZZPR.nl has some red details. Of the women’s road team, European beach race champion Pauliena Rooijakkers and junior world ITT champion Karlijn Swinkels also ride for the off-road team.
The trend across teams seems to be to go darker this year. Lensworld-Kuota, formerly Lensworld-Zannata, has been going from white outfits with blue details to a blue kit with white details, to a predominantly blue and black outfit this year. It reminds us of the 2016 Etixx-QuickStep outfit and is quite stylish.
— Doris Schweizer (@DorisSchweizer) 23 January 2017
Formerly known as Team BMS Birn, the team was taken on by former professional rider Bjarne Riis and now features a women’s and men’s team under the name Team VéloConcept. The team did become much more international, with big international signings Carmen Small, current US ITT champion, and world ITT champion Amber Neben, along with six other non-Danish riders on the 2017 roster, like Swiss national road champion Doris Schweizer and Sara Mustonen from Sweden. Five Danish riders remain within the team and the team entered the UCI ranking at 11th place, which means they will be part of the Women’s WorldTour races in 2017.
Why change a good thing?
With the same sponsors and partners, not all teams decided to update their kits, and maybe that’s a good thing.
One of the most striking kits in the peloton, the 2017 Rally (formerly know as Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits) kit features only the subtlest of changes. Keen observers will notice that a Rally chevron pattern now graces the back pockets of the Borah-made kit, but other than that, the popping colour scheme remains practically unchanged.
Only slightly different to the 2016 kit, the placement of the blue and mint green accents have changed just a little bit. With two new Australian recruits on the 2017 roster, the American based team started out their 2017 season in Australia, where former Australian national champ Peta Mullens delivered them a fourth place finish twice. Their next race will be the Chicago Stage Race at the end of February.
No changes in the Wiggle-High5 outfit for 2017. Their title sponsors remain the same, and so the team has opted to keep the recognisable black-and-orange kit almost identical to 2016. Perhaps the most noticeable is the team’s new helmet sponsor, Kask, instead of Lazer.
The small Belgian team took on world cyclocross champion Thalita de Jong this year, which means Monique van de Ree has gotten a strong teammate in cyclocross. Although the team is smaller in 2017 than it was last year, the addition of De Jong, Sofie de Vuyst, Flavia Oliveira and Saartje Vandenbroecke means they won’t be missing out on any quality. With their kit a distinct green colour, it’s a smart move to keep it (practically) the same this year.
The retro kit Lotto-Soudal introduced in 2015 still works, is what the team must have thought. The men’s, women’s and development teams all wear the red and black outfit once again in 2017, with lots of emphasis on the colours of the Belgian flag. 21-year-old Lotte Kopecky will have to carry the team this year, together with Elise Delzenne and Jessie Daams. Will they be able to get the jersey of the Belgian road champ to the team again this year, after Jolien D’Hoore left in 2015?
Just missing out on a Women’s WorldTour-label for the team, which team owner Bob Varney was very much hoping for, Drops Cycling will continue to focus on the development of young British cyclists. Three foreign riders were attracted for a bit of experience within the team and to fulfil the role of team captain in specific races: Belgian ITT champion Ann-Sophie Duyck, Susanna Zorzi and Martina Ritter. Finishing second in the team classification of the 2017 Santos women’s Tour Down Under, they’re off to a good start.
We were secretly looking forward to a new design of the Canyon-SRAM team kit. We are big fans of the colourful Rapha-designed 2016 outfit, and were very curious to see what they would come up with this year. But since they’ve decided to stick with the same design for 2017, we’ll just have to make do with another year of this striking kit.
— SPVL-Etixx-GuillD’or (@teamSPVLA) 27 January 2017
The distinctive colour of the yellow Sport Vlaanderen-logo features prominently on the 2017 kit of Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guille d’Or. Other than that, the tan-ish gold colour that comes from title sponsor Guille d’Or remains. The team has been known to switch colours quite drastically throughout the years, having had purple, black-and-orange and blue-and-white kits in the past. But this year, the outfit resembles the 2016 team quite a bit.
Which are your favourites? Tell us in the comments below.