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Expert trolling of UCI rules as Rapha and EF Education-Nippo unveil new kit

The duck has gone ... but look more closely at this year's kit and you'll see it keeps within the guidelines...

The one-off collaboration between Rapha and Palace Skate for EF Pro Cycling at last year’s Giro d’Italia produced one of the most striking kits we’ve seen in the pro peloton.

> Rapha + Palace EF Pro Cycling kit

The new kit for EF Education-Nippo, as the team is now known, plays a singular riff on that, going from, as the team puts it, “the world’s least compliant jersey, to the world’s most compliant jersey.”

If, like us, you’ve pored over UCI rules on kit design, you’ll know that regulations are tight over issues such as how much space should be given to sponsors’ logos, and where they should be placed.

And, if you take a close look at the new EF Education-Nippo jersey, from Rapha, you’ll see that they have kept within those parameters … and incorporated the guidelines into the design.

Very well played.

“From the low-profile blackout kit we debuted at the 2019 Tour Down Under to the standout switch out that shook up last year’s Giro, Rapha and EF have always designed to disrupt,” says the team on its website.

“Pulling on our kit should always mean pushing the envelope and committing to driving the sport forwards.

“But even as the team who brought the pro peloton its first duck-inspired kit, we don’t want to ruffle too many feathers.

“After getting into hot water last season, we’ve decided to create a compliant kit for 2021. In fact, we’ve tried to create the world’s most compliant cycling kit.

“Though we’ve earned a reputation as rule breakers, our design for this season centres around the rulemakers’ regulations.

“To ensure we comply with every rule and regulation no matter how seemingly insignificant, the designers have shown their working. For correct positioning and spacing of sponsor logos, they’ve left their meticulous measurements marked up while subtle annotations are a nod to their creative approach to compliance.

“These finer details won’t be seen from the helicopter shots but for those who wear our kit, riders and supporters alike, they will serve as a reminder of our team’s desire to move the dial and change the sport,” the team adds.

“For fans following the team on TV or from the roadside, their favourite riders will still stand out in the team’s traditional hi-vis pink.”

Given the clash with the leader’s maglia rosa, we’ll still be looking forward to whatever Rapha and EF Education-Nippo come out with as a swap-out jersey for this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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I love my bike | 3 years ago

I hope they've factored in the stretch in use? With the bounding boxes & dimensions, it will only take a UCI official with a ruler to verify or not & hand out the fines!

At least MAMILS with expanded waist-lines don't need to worry about UCI rules.

Manchestercyclist | 3 years ago
1 like

It was an excellent example of increasing sales though a minor scandal, chapeau to them for thinking of it and then following it through. I'll bet the other teams had wished they'd though of it too, although EF might better represent the outsider status they were looking for.


Personally I think it;d be fun to see more tie-ups of this nature in cycling and a greater variety of jerseys with it, they might sell more. After all football teams have multiple jerseys, they don't do it for fun.

EddyBerckx | 3 years ago

This has gotta be my favourite kit for the trolling element alone 😊😊

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