Four teams, one kit: The great 2022 beachy fade kerfuffle

How do four teams all have very similar 2022 kits?

by Michael Better

photography by Cor Vos

“Someone Google’d ‘graphic design trends 2021,” read a comment. “Secret sponsor, Instagram,” read another.

Social media is a savage place, and once we featured together four very similar-looking 2022 team jerseys, the comments came pouring in.

It’s a week before the New Year and teams all over are revealing their new looks for next year. This year, four of them from the women’s peloton look almost completely identical. The teams in question are UAE Team ADQ, Human Powered Health (formerly Rally), Team SD Worx, and Andy Schleck-CP NVST-ImmoLosch.

How did this happen?

There are some theories: That Instagram is a secret sponsor of multiple cycling teams (go take a look at the social media company’s logo); one graphic designer is sitting on their couch sipping a whiskey laughing at all of us.

Last but not least, the UCI, which has to approve all of these kits, was more focused on proper logo placement and size than making sure half the peloton doesn’t look exactly the same.

The third option appears to be the best bet.

The UCI has extensive kit design guidelines available for teams that primarily focus on the compliance of various leader’s jerseys – world champion’s kits, European champion’s kits and the like. But all pro kits need to be approved prior to use. Using one-off jerseys (like EF did at the Giro) results in fines for the team.

There is no rule that expressly bans nearly identical kits, only kits that are too close to UCI jerseys.
More rules about logo placement.

So four different teams with four different designers headed into their separate mood rooms, each apparently plastered with photos of Carribean sunsets and frozen strawberry mango margaritas, and popped out a week from the New Year with… sunsets and frozen strawberry mango margaritas. And the only entity that could have warned them of this fate earlier in the process did not do so.

The kicker in all of this does lie with UCI. Sources indicate that the new Women’s WorldTour leader’s jersey uses these same colors and wavy design. The Human Powered Health jersey we see above had to be tweaked at the request of the UCI to avoid matching the new Women’s WorldTour leader’s jersey, according to one source.

Andy Schleck-CP NVST-ImmoLosch had planned to use its 2021 jersey design for 2022, which used the beachy sunset colors seen above. The UCI rejected this design, and the team will release a new jersey this week.

The squad is not happy and went as far as referencing the image CyclingTips had posted in a statement on Facebook.

“Recently several 2022 jersey designs are announced of the UCI Women’s World Teams and the UCI Women’s Continental Teams,” the statement reads. “Our team was highly surprised because our team is the only team of all teams below who did NOT change their jersey colors in any way compared to our 2021 jersey. Despite that our team was the first of all teams with this design, the UCI still denied our jersey and leaves our team behind with an unfair feeling, especially because all our kit was already finished.”

It is unclear how the Andy Schleck team jersey was rejected but the Human Powered Health and Team SD Worx jerseys slid through with flying colors. 

A rider from AWOL O’Shea, a UCI continental team based in the UK, reached out to CyclingTips via Instagram and said the team’s 2022 kit design had been rejected by the UCI due to its colors, seen below. The squad has been using the colors for several years.

This was the 2021 AWOL O’Shea cycling team jersey. Photo by AWOL O’Shea/Patrice Fouques

So, it appears the new Women’s WorldTour overall jersey will feature the Instagram colors, though in a darker shade, and have a wave-like pattern. 

And the others? My guess is commentators are going to have one hell of a time identifying who’s who in 2022.

It’s the Holidays and a time for joy. So, while the teams argue and stress over their matching jerseys, have a laugh. Read some of the comments in this post below. They are pretty great. #SorryNotSorry

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