The 2015 Le Tour is done and Froome took the yellow jersey; my three-week stint as a sports guy is done. Now let's take a step back and talk design — of the jerseys. A cyclist's racing jersey is like the graphics on a race car. Some are good and some are just over-top-gaudy, and I feel that both race cars and cycling jersey graphics looked better back in the 60s and 70s when simple, clean graphics were favored over busy, sponsor-littered designs. But today's teams still have some style, and here's a look at the best jerseys of the 2015 tour.
Not only did this British team put forth an incredible performance supporting Christopher Froome to the maillot jaune, but they also looked totally rad. In striking contrast to the mostly-colorful and busy designs of other teams, team Sky rides in all black with a striking cyan stripe down the center. This dark mass of racers was easy to spot from helicopter cams above, and the they stealthily sliced through the peloton with precision.
Of course, we shouldn't be surprised that the team looked so sharp. The kits are made by Rapha, who set the standard the minimal, understated cycling apparel design. The team car — a Jaguar — followed suit.
This Swiss team didn't seem to have a strong showing this year, but their jerseys were again some of the cleanest. Little surprise, excellent typography and efficient, minimal design is part of the Swiss national credo, and it shows with IAM's kits. The solid navy blue backdrop is a nice change from the typical black color favored by most teams, and the red and white stripe across the chest pays subtle homage to the national colors. Sponsor logos are simple and small. I love the flow of that center stripe across the group when they're riding in a pack. Great looking team.
Cannondale-Garmin gets my vote as most-improved jersey design (I wasn't a fan of their jersey from earlier years), plus I ride Cannonade so I'm a fan anyway. The jersey design isn't perfect, but I like the subtle nod to classic cycling style by including the argyle pattern on the front. And, of course, I think this team had the best looking helmets on the road with the POC Octal — what a gorgeous piece of Swedish craftsmanship. It's too bad Peter Sagan is no longer on the team in 2015, but Andrew Talansky put forth a strong showing this year.
Want a classic-style jersey of you own? As road cycling continues to accelerate in the main stream, lots of companies are bringing fantastic design sensibility to sporting riders. Instead of logo-ridden race jersey replicas, you can choose from lots of clean simple designs inspired by the golden age of cycling. Twin Six always does a great job of keeping it simple, and their price point is spot own. If you have the budget, check out Rapha's near perfect line of cycling attire.
Now that the 2015 Tour is over, my three weeks as an avid sports spectator are officially over and I'll spend the little spare time I have for the sport in the saddle of my own bike. Until next year, get on your bikes and ride.
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