Hot or not? The kits of the 2020 WorldTour, ranked
With the dawn of a new year, we are here to ask the big questions: are any of the new pro kits good? And more importantly, are any really bad?
After exhaustive analysis, here are the kits of the 2020 men's WorldTour, ranked from best to worst.
Each new season is pregnant with possibility – a story with pages unwritten, a blank canvas ready to be painted, an Adobe Illustrator file called ‘2020 Jersey Template.ai’ waiting to be filled out by a cycling team’s graphic designer.
So, as we plunge into the 2020 season, will we have any future fashion icons in the peloton? Are any of the new kits good? More importantly, are any really bad? After an exhaustive analysis, we present here the kits of the 2020 men’s WorldTour, ranked from best to worst.
1st place: Trek-Segafredo
Since their inception, Trek-Segafredo has consistently had some of the cleanest, most stylish kits in the sport, even as the colours have changed – from predominantly red to white, with fluorescent yellow for training.
The 2020 kit is arguably their best yet, and the classiest of the peloton. The white base carries over from 2019, but is now paired with deep navy blue sleeves and knicks. Would wear.
2nd place: Lotto-Soudal
Lotto-Soudal’s kit lost its way last year, meaning that remarkable feats like Caleb Ewan’s three-stage romp around France or Tim Wellens’ stomping victory at Trofeo de Tramuntana (#neverforget) were sullied by the mid-level messes they were wearing.
The situation has improved significantly for 2020, with black replacing white as the dominant colour and that spotty nonsense at the bottom removed.
The only minor mark against the new kit is the addition of Yuzzu as a sponsor; from the logo alone, they look like Belgium’s Most Fun and Flirty Insurance Company, but the yellow does distract a little from what is otherwise a stellar offering.
3rd place: EF Education First
The 2019 EF kit, with its psychedelic swirls of purple and pink, was highly distinctive and for my money was the best team kit in recent memory. Following it, then, was always going to be a tough ask.
Sadly, the 2020 kit isn’t quite as good. The swirls are overlaid with blocks and grids of colour, which kinda feels like an attempt to introduce structure into something organic that wants to be free, man.
The spirit of the old kit is there, but it’s more regimented now. It’s a visual metaphor for a team struggling to reclaim its weirdness in a post-Taylor Phinney world.
The ‘also good’ ones
Bahrain-McLaren’s kit undergoes a major shake-up from the 2019 Bahrain-Merida strip. There’s been a mixed reaction to the orange accented kit – not helped by the fact that it was a dead ringer for Spanish women’s team VIB-Natural Greatness, who announced they’d be changing their 2020 kit and apologised for having “mistakenly mimicked” Bahrain’s-McLaren’s look… even though Bahrain unveiled its kit after VIB did. Cool.
That baffling snafu aside, I actually quite like it. More orange kits in the world are better than fewer orange kits. The matching bike looks great. The design is accented with a blue band on the sleeves plugging Richard Mille – not just some bloke, I’ve learned, but also a maker of ugly watches.
If you’re Vincenzo Nibali, Rohan Dennis or, say, anyone with an eye on human rights, there are a few red flags about this team, but gosh, don’t they pop this year.
Movistar aren’t one of the most charismatic teams in the sport, but for the last few years they’ve made up for it by being one of the best-dressed. Their light blue to navy fade was quite handsome, and refreshingly light on logos (other than the enormous Movistar M across the chest, but at that scale it’s basically just a wiggly design feature). Their inter-team squabbling may have raised eyebrows at times, but at least they looked good doing so.
This year, they celebrate a new decade with a reduction in potential GC leaders, and a more abstract spotty fade to black. It’s fine, I guess?
Sunweb are another team who haven’t changed their kit significantly this year, keeping the same colour-scheme and sponsors. The Cervelo logo on the shoulders is new, replacing the Sunweb logos of last season.
The biggest shift, however, is in the way that Sunweb have bucked the trend of fades into black to transition into the bibs, which they helped introduce last year. This year the base colour of the jersey is entirely bright red. One of the better ones.
BORA-hansgrohe’s kit is very similar to last year, with just a slight tweak to the chevrons and a minor revision of the hansgrohe logo to mix it up. It’s an unconventional colour scheme but one of the better looking kits in the peloton. As a happy bonus, it also matches quite nicely with the jersey that Peter Sagan will be wearing for every July into the foreseeable future.
Since late 2014, Jumbo-Visma have been a bumble-bee like presence in the peloton. Their kit has changed moderately over that time as sponsors have come and gone, from the lottery balls across the chest of the LottoNL-Jumbo days to the 2019 black-dotted fade on the stomach.
This year, the designer has opted for a cleaner design that gets rid of fussy design elements and features a solid yellow background, broken up by a thick black band running across the chest in which the logos sit. I dig it.
CCC has had a couple of big signings for 2020 – including Ilnur Zakarin and Matteo Trentin – but not much has changed kit-wise for the new season. CCC retains one of the most visible and distinctive kits in the peloton, with an orange to black fade.
The only real differences this year are some minor changes of logo – last year the CCC-owned shoe-shop Reno was in second spot on the kit, and this year the CCC-owned shoe-brand Sprandi has replaced them (incidentally, if you want a pair of slightly worse-looking Converse or Vans knockoffs, you now know where to go). Giant’s componentry brand Cadex also replaces its parent company on the chest.
Whether you consider this a good kit is entirely dependent on your feelings about the colour orange. I like it, even if I find the team itself rather dull.
The ‘not also good’ ones
Business pretty much as usual for UAE-Team Emirates this year, as well, with the only change of note being a sponsor-swap from billionaire property holdings group EMAAR to Whoosh, who do not appear to exist on the internet, whatever they are.
The taller Whoosh logo makes for a challenging placement of flags for the team’s national champions, who wear the pride of their nation right across their pre-season tummies.
UAE-Team Emirates made the bold call to switch to white knicks for the Tour de France last year, with a red band across the backside. That wasn’t a great look, especially in the wet, so I’m happy to report that common sense in the form of black knicks has returned – albeit still with that weird red patch.
Astana Pro Team
Astana’s 2020 kit is also largely unchanged from last year, with the team’s cheerful sky blue and yellow colour scheme based on the Kazakh national flag. That’s fair enough, seeing as the team is bankrolled by a conglomerate of state-owned sponsors, and named after the former name of the country’s capital city, which rebranded as Nur-Sultan in 2019. Who knew?!
The only change of note to the kit is the addition of the logo of the sponsor Premier Tech, a company that apparently builds machines that pack peat, but whose secret business achievement is corporate gobbledygook (I mean, seriously, check this out and tell me it’s not satire).
Peat-packing aside, Astana has the interesting distinction of having one of the better kits at first glance, and one of the more upsetting when you really give it a look, thanks to the weirdly squished traffic jam of logos at the top with all the branding sitting at or above nipple height.
For more than a decade, AG2R La Mondiale has uncomplainingly repped the jaunty cyan and chocolate palate of their sponsors, a French insurance company. At times in that span, the kit has been an explosion of logos. At others, it’s been relatively subdued. In 2019, the team was probably the best it has ever looked, with classic blocks of colour giving it a heritage look. Wisely, the team has decided not to mess with a good thing in 2020, rolling over the same kit again.
Then again, the team has had poo-brown knicks ever since 2009, so feel free to disregard anything nice that I just said.
There’s no team that wins as much as Deceuninck-QuickStep, and they were in particularly dominant form in 2019. Whether it was spending 14 days in yellow at the Tour, winning monuments at Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix, picking up national championships from the Netherlands to Argentina, or scoring stage wins everywhere from Guangxi to Madrid, the team was a rambunctious royal blue presence.
This year, they’ve changed up their kit a fair bit, with white taking over as the dominant colour on the jersey. The blue segment at the base of the jersey raises into stylised ears as a nod to the team’s Boyz Squad ‘Wolfpack’ persona, but it also looks like Castorama overalls. Neither is great.
For now, let’s just cautiously chalk it up as a grower, because we’ll be seeing a lot of it…
NTT Pro Cycling
One of the plucky underdogs of the sport, the team formerly known as Dimension Data have had a change in title sponsor to NTT, which has in turn resulted in a pretty dramatic change in kit. This year they’ll be wearing a blue to black fade, with large NTT logos on the front and back and the little cartoon hands of the team’s charity partner Qhubeka across the jersey pockets.
To me, it lacks a little cohesion, not least because NTT’s Giro helmets are a close match in colour, but subtly different enough that it looks like someone maybe made a typo writing down a Pantone code.
Breaking news: World’s Most French-Looking Team retains title for 23rd consecutive year; changes absolutely nothing.
Israel Start-Up Nation
Israel’s first WorldTour team enters the 2020 season with big ambitions and a bigger number of logos on its kit.
Somewhat improbably, it doesn’t look like the mess it could have easily ended up being, with the white and blue colours nodding to the Israeli flag and the splashes of colour in the main logo and on the bibs hinting at the team’s diversity (I don’t know if that’s actually the design inspiration, but it sounds like something marketing would say, so let’s run with it).
Side notes: nestled down the bottom of the cluster of logos on the jersey is Vini-Fantini, who know a bit about being a logo among many logos. This is the most breathing space they’ve had in years so I imagine they’re stoked.
Cofidis, Solutions Credits
2020 is a big year for Cofidis. Having danced around the pro-continental division for years, they’re stepping up to WorldTour level, and have taken this as their big moment to keep exactly the same colour scheme as they’ve had since 1997.*
I jest. They now have red sleeves and have gotten rid of the odd black fade into red they had on the bottom of the bib knicks, replacing it with a solid black band.
As a team, there’s not a lot to get excited about with Cofidis but they’re seldom actively offensive either. In this respect, their 2020 kit is very much on-brand.
(*probably. I couldn’t be bothered checking)
Mitchelton-Scott are the sole hold-out in not yet releasing any information about their 2020 kit.
To me that either means it will stay the same or be better, because it couldn’t possibly be much worse.
When the Ineos kit was unveiled mid-2019, it prompted a breathless flurry of internet memes comparing the kit to everything from blood bags to Emperor Palpatine.
We’ll take the high road here, however, and limit our commentary simply to its colour palate (which is unquestionably the most sinister in the sport) and its main logo (which is a typographical horror show).
We say: Ineos are now making marginal gains in their marketing communications, somehow finding the intersection of ‘lazy’ and ‘disingenuous’ by passing off the same kit as a “thank you to our fans”.
ProTeams of note
You may be wondering about a few of your favourite ProTeams. Never fear:
Arkea-Samsic: This French ProTeam has made some big moves on the transfer market, picking up Nairo Quintana and enfant terrible Nacer Bouhanni. Warren Barguil’s national champ kit looks great but I can’t say I’m a fan of the standard kit, which is like a Ineos after a hot wash cycle.
Alpecin-Fenix: Alpecin’s investment in cycling in 2015-16 was clearly successful, because all I see when I look at Mathieu van der Poel’s new kit is Marcel Kittel.
Caja-Rural RGA: A nice green gradient fade again (not that you’ll see much of it).
B&B Hotels – Vital Concept p/b KTM: With a gorgeous patterned teal jersey, these guys would be toward the top of the list if they were a WorldTour team. Alas, they’ll just have to languish here in the weeds, not unlike Pierre Rolland’s recent results.
Burgos – BH: Last year these guys had a wild purple kit, accented by a single red sleeve and glove on opposing sides. I regret to inform that it’s toned down a little this year.