The 2016 UCI WorldTour starts next month with the Tour Down Under - and ahead of the race in South Australia, kit suppliers are busy making sure the riders have everything they need. Here's our guide to who's wearing what in the peloton next season, and how the kit differs (or in some cases doesn't) from this year.
Okay, the brown may not be to everyone’s taste, but according to this graphic on the UCI website there will be a bit less of it; under a partnership with new clothing supplier One Way, one of the more distinctive kits in the peloton looks set to have contrasting sleeves, with light blue on the left arm.
The Kazakh team’s 2015 kit had some added touches of yellow, possibly to celebrate Vincenzo Nibali’s status as Tour de France champion; well, he may have lost his crown, but they’re still there in what is pretty much the same design. Given yellow is one of the two colours of the country’s flag, we’ll let them off that one.
As far as we can tell from the pictures from their 2016 launch earlier this month, BMC Racing’s 2016 kit by Pearl Izumi is going to be unchanged from last season’s version, with black blocks on a red background.
You won’t be surprised to learn that here at road.cc, we’re happy to see that Jonathan Vaughters’ team is keeping with the Argyle vibe – but for the coming season, following the departure of co-sponsor Garmin, green is the new black, according to the kit design on the UCI website.
We’re sorry to see the African team’s black and white stripes from its previous incarnation as MTN-Qhubeka go –more reminiscent of a football kit than a cycling jersey, especially with that panel on the back where they wanted to put squad numbers but the UCI wouldn’t let them. In this image from the UCI website, and reflecting their bike sponsor, the new kit harks back to Cervelo TestTeam days.
After a number of years in which black and white have been complemented by light blue, the Belgian team opts for the darker hue of royal blue this time round in a complete redesign as it welcomes Marcel Kittel on board as its top sprinter, replacing Mark Cavendish. The shorts are blue, too.
One of the teams whose kit this season is largely unchanged, 2016 sees the French squad back in a mainly white kit with splashes of red and blue – as befits just one of two teams now left flying the tricouleur in the top flight .
The German team keeps with the black kit with two vertical white stripes that John Degenkolb rode to victory at Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix last year – a reversal of the white jersey with black stripes the squad had worn in previous seasons as Giant-Shimano.
The Swiss team’s predominantly navy blue kit gets a makeover for the new season. The shorts are still that colour, but the jersey is mainly white on the front, with a band that is red over the right breast to pick out part of its home country’s flag, and navy blue on the left breast, with the sponsor’s logo in white. There’s a bit more red on the back.
The silhouette of the Kremlin skyline has gone from the Russian team’s kit, as has the full ‘Katusha’ name in Cyrillic after a complete redesign. Now, there’s a stylised ‘K’ in white on a red background – potentially giving rise to an unfortunate image should three of their squad be riding abreast at the head of the bunch.
The brightest kit in the peloton, made by Champion System, retains its familiar colour palette of fuchsia, purple and green in a design that has a few tweaks from last season – perhaps the most significant being that there is now more fuchsia on the back to make it easier to pick out riders from aerial TV pictures.
A new sponsor’s name on the shorts apart – Mobiflex – the Belgian team keeps with pretty much the same kit that Andre Greipel wore when he triumphed on the Champs-Elysees back in July.
While Tinkoff’s kit has more yellow (see below), the Dutch team has decided to cut back on it, expanding the existing white patch on the chest across the shoulders and on the sleeves. The sponsor’s Lotto balls remain yellow, as does the jersey below chest level, and there are also yellow accents on the otherwise black shorts.
The Spanish team, whose kit is supplied by Scottish firm Endura, are still in head-to-toe navy blue, though with a couple of changes – the green ‘M’ on the jersey is bigger than it was last season, there are white cuffs on the sleeves, and the pockets are also white (but will typically be covered by race numbers). We’re not sure what the blindfolds are about ... but Valverde’s national champion’s jersey is certainly different.
No major changes by the look of it for the Australian team in this graphic from the UCI website, other than a little bit of red for a sponsor’s logo on the left sleeve.
Rapha enters its final year as clothing supplier to Team Sky with a new twist on the kit that has three horizontal stripes across the chest – similar to the old Rapha-Condor sharp kit, with Sky’s signature blue instead of pink, and also reminiscent of an Estonian national champion’s jersey (current holder Gert Jõeäär of Cofidis, in case you were wondering).
Due to the absence of former co-sponsor Saxo Bank’s logo, Oleg Tinkov’s team now has even more yellow on its Sportful-made jersey in what, if the Russian entrepreneur holds true to his word, will be its final season. The shorts, meanwhile, are greyish blue. Many will be breathing a sigh of relief, however, that the ‘Datcha’ jersey unveiled at their recent training camp won’t feature in races.
The most significant change here is the Italian coffee brand’s logo appearing on the black and white pinstripe kit introduced last year, giving it more of a red accent to match the existing cuffs and Trek logo; it’s also good to see another corporate sponsor from outside the cycling industry come into the sport.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.