Kate Smart takes a ganders at the 2014 ProTour kits

by Kate Smart

Team kits, men’s cycling fashions, call it what you will, but the time has come to give the new 2014 kits of the pro teams, the Smart treatment.

 I love a bit of retro and red goes faster

The 2014 Lotto-Belisol kit is Retro-licious. I love it. Looking at the promo photos for the kit, it’s almost like being a kid again.

he's not exactly lookin' thrilled but it is a decent kit

he’s not exactly lookin’ thrilled but it is a decent kit

My only criticism would be the colour as I have a personal preference for a more fire engine red.

Team Katusha has always been the red for me, although this year, they seem to have toned it down a little. Don’t they know, ‘red goes faster?’

mean, moody... and less red

mean, moody… and less red

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

I love diamonds. Of course I do, I’m a woman.

And there is no better diamond pattern on a cycling kit, than Garmin Sharp. The American team are taking the notion, ‘cycling is the new golf’, seriously with the golf style diamond lines, too.

Argyletastic

Argyletastic

The blue is also darling. It’s more nuanced than a pastel or a sky blue, but not too deep to be dark and depressing. This is surely going to be the easiest kit to accessorise with.

Astana’s use of a richer blue also deserves a special mention.

cp says..... uh....

cp says….. uh…. well… ummmmm

Their pale, pastel blue of previous years has had a refreshing facelift although it does border slightly onto Avatar alien blue and let’s be honest, that’s three hours of our lives we’ll never get back.

Speaking of blue, FDJ are on to a winner!

3295-fdj-renouvelle-jusqu-en-2016This year’s kit is much improved on last year’s white, which was a perfectly fine kit except the thought of having to wash a white kit always gave me nightmares.

Ditto Argos-Shimano.

Black is the new black

thumbs... almost up?

thumbs… almost up?

Omega-Pharma Quickstep has increased their percentage of black with this year’s kit.

A team representative has described the kit as ‘elegant and stylish at the same time’.

Melbourne is a city where there is only one occasion when a woman does not wear black and it is her wedding day. Wedding guests are also permitted a rare foray into colour.

In fact the city’s motto is, ‘got any blacker’, so clearly I am an expert, by birth on if a black outfit is elegant and stylish.

OPQS can be thankful that I completely concur with their statement.

The OPQS 2014 kit is cycling’s equivalent of the LBD (little black dress).

I’m absolutely loving it.

anything beats this though... everything is just so very, very wrong here...

anything beats this though… everything is just so very, very wrong here…

Sky has decided to continue on with, well practically the same black on black, with one exception.

Keeping this in mind, there are some rules to wearing black and the first of these is to steer clear of the sheer, everything including my nipples are on show.

I’m not sure what’s more offensive, the barely there time trail kit or the porn star pose of Chris Froome modeling the offensive kit.

Avert your eyes, the pain is too great.

now this image is indelibly tattooed onto your brain, too...

now this image is indelibly tattooed onto your brain, too…

I firmly believe that we should all cover up, at all times.

I know so many of you will be reading this, thinking, ‘oh, she’s so lucky, she lives in Australia where it’s always hot and the hot Hugh Jackman type men get around with their shirts off, all of the time, and blah, blah, blah.’

Let me dispel a few of these myths.

  1. It’s freezing in Melbourne right now. Seriously, winter was warming than this.
  2. There is only one Hugh Jackman and most Aussie women desperately want more Australian men to put some Goddam clothes on.

Sky’s time trial kit borders on obscene and here’s hoping common sense and decency will prevail.

Either that or a nasty case of gravel rash from a half decent fall will convince the Sky powers that be to get their riders to cover up.

Once again, BMC are doing black with red well.

bzm6qircyaaybhn.jpg?w=604

I’m a lifelong supporter of the Essendon Football Club (AFL) and hence am unable to say anything other than black and red make a wonderful colour combination.

Navy blue is so stately

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I do like the deep blue of Movistar and I’m pleased there has been little change to this handsome and manly kit, with the fun fluoro green M.

screen-shot-2014-01-01-at-9-21-08-pm

Adding to my approval of the use of this stately deep blue is Australia’s Orica GreenEdge.

These are two riding kits you could go to the polo in. They say mature, worldly and upper class.

15108_06-01-2014_2670

It works because they’re French

I have a little confession.

I have always liked the AG2R kit.

I like it because the teal offsets the brown perfectly and with the inclusion of brown shoulders to match the brown shorts, the look has been perfected.

Quoted on the velonews website, AG2R La Mondiale general manager Vincent Lavenu said, “I think this is both an aesthetic and technical success” and I think he’s right.

It stands to reason that the Frenchies would concern themselves with ensuring aesthetics are combined with technical consideration.

they say he can fit on your keyring...

they say he can fit on your keyring…

 

Kermit does a wheelie

Well, I’m sure Sagan will do at least one wheelie this year and possibly a chicken dance and I’m quite sure he will keep his hands to himself as he cycles through the pro-tour in his richer green Cannondale kit.

he wqs punched in the nuts soon after

he was punched in the nuts soon after

I like this green and I bet Belkin wishes they had of got in there first. I can’t help but think Belkin arrived too late at the clothing suppliers and had to settle for second best green.

Their kit really does lack imagination.

[this is one of cp's faves, but don't tell Kate that...]

[this is one of cp’s faves, but don’t tell Kate that…]

2014 should be another exciting year on the road for the pro-tour riders.

It’s also turned out to be an exciting year for stylish cycling kits.

____________________________________________

Kate Smart is a Melbourne based freelance writer. She writes mainly on cycling, although tennis and Australian Rules Football (AFL) are her other topics of interest. She has a strong anti-doping stance and is most interested in the institutional cultures that encourage and foster such transgressions. After a lifetime on the sidelines, she discovered the joys of getting off the couch and getting involved. She’s completed a couple of half marathons, very slowly, and rides her bike in the same manner. You can find her on twitter @katesmart12

One comment

  1. Pingback: IAMCycling: Kit of the Year? « theshankingsoigneur

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