We cast a critical eye over the 2017 versions of the major pro cycling teams' kit
Many of the top WorldTour squads are starting to release details of their 2017 team clothing as they get kitted out for the season ahead.
So far, Astana and Team Sky have produced the most radical changes to their strip. For most teams, though, it’s business as usual, with only minor changes to their clothing to reflect a change in sponsor or two.
We’ll keep this page updated with the latest WorldTour team kit news.
Which is your favourite, or least favourite, kit? Let us know in the comments section below.
Katusha-Alpecin – 3/5
New name and new kit for Katusha, as shampoo manufacturer Alpecin switches from Giant. The squad’s kit retains its red background from 2016, but with the new sponsor’s name boldly emblazoned across the chest – that’s what they’ve paid for, after all. A large Katusha ‘K’ on each shoulder will make the team’s riders stand out from the roadside. It’s going to take us a while to recognise Tony Martin wearing it, though.
Verdict: Neat integration of new sponsor
Bahrain-Merida – 3/5
A glimpse of the new Bahrain-Merida team jersey was provided by team founder Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who posted a shot of himself posing with a team bike with the jersey draped over the top tube. It’s hard to tell exactly what the full kit will be like, but it’s enough to see the colours and gold design on the front. So far, so good – but we’ll give it a cautious 3/5 for now.
Verdict: Looking good so far
Dimension Data – 4/5
The elements of the 2016 Dimension Data kit have been juggled around for 2017 to create a classy-looking offering strip for 2017 – although there’s something reminiscent of the original Leopard-Trek or GreenEdge team kit about it. A green stripe intersects the black upper section of the jersey and the white lower half and is continued around the back, with a subtle design including 28 hands that represent the number of riders in the team and “the children who receive help through the way how our 28 riders are racing” through the Qhubeka charity, say the team.
Verdict: Classic, but not ground-breaking
Astana – 3/5
Some change for the Kazakh team, as Astana have ditched the turquoise-coloured shorts and opted for a fade between the turquoise top and black shorts. Although at first it looks like someone has spray-painted the lower half of last year’s kit (badly), it does grow on you. We’re not sure about the yellow bands on the left leg gripper and right cuff, though, it reminds us of something or another.
Verdict: An improvement
Team Sky – 3/5
A change in clothing supplier from Rapha to Castelli has seen Team Sky’s kit retain its blue, white and black colour palette, but have a redesign. The lines running across the front of the jersey are said to represent Sky’s race victories, with the length of line representing the length of the race. Some cruel observers have said that it looked like the ancient arcade game, Frogger.
Verdict: Not sure you’ll see those lines in the aerial TV shots
Movistar – 5/5
One first view, the Movistar kit does not look to have radically changed. That’s the same thought you have on second viewing, too, although you’ll spot that the front of the jersey no longer features the word ‘Movistar’ and the large green M is no longer 3D. But that’s about it, really. That’s fine, though, because the Endura-manufactured clothing has been one of the most popular team kits for the past few seasons.
Verdict: If it ain’t broke…
Cannondale-Drapac – 4/5
The Argyle continues, as Cannondale’s kit for 2017 gets a dash of red with the addition of Drapac as co-title sponsor for its first full season. Red cuffs and collar look pretty smart in the kit designed for 2017 by POC, and the team sensibly sticks with black shorts to match a block of black on the lower back of the jersey. Ryan Mullen, shown here modelling the kit, said he thought he looked like Shrek, but with no other squad wearing green, the team will definitely stand out.
Verdict: In a word, distinctive
FDJ – 2/5
ALÉ will be manufacturing French team FDJ‘s kit for 2017, but there appears to be little in the way of change from previous incarnations of the squad’s strip. Red, white and blue is the order of the day, with perhaps a little too much white in the shorts department. Dark blue shorts would look good, especially in the mud-spattered spring classics. There’s still a chance to change it before the Tour Down Under.
Verdict: White shorts. That is all
Ag2r – 3/5
Another team with already distinctive kit that has elected not to go for radical change: Ag2r‘s clothing retains the overall look of 2016’s offering. Like several other squads, the team has changed its kit supplier for 2017: out goes One Way, and in comes Italian brand Giessegi. The clothing now includes the name of British bike manufacturer Factor, who will be providing the French team with its machines for 2017. One mark off for retaining the brown shorts.
Verdict: Still looks a bit like wallpaper