Best Cycling Team Jerseys From Tour De France History
The best cycling jerseys and kits from Tour De France history.
A look into some of the best cycling team jerseys throughout history
Cycling is big business and it's not all about the bike. All of the big trade teams from the Tour De France allow their followers and cyclists in general to show their support.
Unlike Soccer where a supporter will generally follow a local team or a team from childhood. The franchise and sponsor led nature of cycling means that teams are often interchanging in their management, riders, colourschemes and sponsors who often drive the visible nature of the kits. This has lead to some pretty classy kits over time (Although some not so depending on personal opinion!)
For many within the sport, the cycling jerseys have become iconic symbols of the commercial nature of the sport. But they are also synonymous with the riders who many of us love to watch.
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Another version of the Renault- Elf cycling kit in modern fabrics from Assos of Switzerland
The red train of Mario Cipollini- The Saeco Cannondale cycling team jersey
Saeco Cannondale dominated the sprints in the 90's
Growing up in 90's- TV was all about the Tour on Channel 4
During the 1990s while I was growing up it was ritual viewing in our household to watch the Tour De France. During that period one of the most successful sprinters in the peloton was Mario Cipollini of the Saeco team. In some ways Cipollini was one of the greatest sprinters on a bike of all time. He won a total of 12 Tour De France Stage wins throughout his career but never actually made it through to Paris to claim a win on the Champs Elysees.
Cipollini courted controversy with his cycling fashion statements. He famously wore a Julius Caesar inspired cycling kit for a Tour De France stage in 1999 to celebrate the birthdate of the former Roman Emperor. Cipo and his team were dressed as Roman Emperors while Mario rode to the signing on point on a chariot, with a stripper named Cleopatra by his side.
The race organisers fined the team for the stunt (a regular occurrence with 'Super' Mario) but the publicity it gained then and now is legendary and certainly must have assisted in selling Saeco's coffee machines or Cannondale bicycles as a result. His brashness was combined with a tenacity and drive to be successful which really helped to add personality to the flat stages of the Tour De France
Magenta can look good on a guy- Team Telekom/ T Mobile
The German cycling team of Team Telekom bought one key colour to the Tour de France which made them instantly recognisable in the peloton- Magenta.
Whether it was Erik Zabel challenging in the sprint stages for the green jersey or the likes of Jan Ullrich and Bjarne Riis at the head of the bunch as the roads went upwards there was no mistaking the team's colour had a dramatic effect.
The Team Telekom T Mobile squad always added a touch of magenta to the Tour de France
An old-school Bianchi- Campagnolo cycling jersey
A cycling brand defined by a colour. Bianchi
The Bianchi brand has been around over 125 years with some considerable success in the Tour De France from riders like legends of the sport Fausto Coppi, Felice Gimondi and more recently Jan Ullrich who have all raced in the jersey of Bianchi.
Eduardo Bianchi's bicycles became a success in the early days of international bike racing from the late 1800's. A key factor in distinguishing a Bianchi from the competition was the Celeste blue colour scheme which makes them as recognisable in the peloton today as they were over 100 years ago.
2003 saw the return of the Bianchi team to the Centenary Tour De France in support of the German cycling enigma, Jan Ullrich. Ullrich pushed Lance Armstrong all the way to Paris and helped to ignite the 'passion Celeste'.
A more recent re-appearance for Bianchi in the 2003 Tour De France
Simple yet effective use of colours- Omega Pharma- Quickstep 2012 cycling kit
The British Ti- Raleigh team have a great history in the Tour
The legendary Peter Post run Ti-Raleigh team of the 1970s and early 1980s was run through a hard edged discipline that could make or break a rider. British cyclists will always have a soft spot for the team as the Raleigh bike manufacturer was a big employer in Nottingham right in the heart of the industrial Midlands.
The team was home to some of the best riders of the era including , British legend Dave Lloyd, as well as 1980 Tour De France winner Joop Zoetemelk and former Olympic and World Road Race Champion Hennie Kuiper.
The Ti-Raleigh team jersey is a true classic.
Vintage Tour De France Classic- Ti Raleigh
A Mondrian art inspired cycling jersey- La Vie Claire
The La Vie Claire cycling jersey
Neo-plasticism. Cycling as a showcase for art and colour- La Vie Claire
If you haven't heard of the influential Dutch painter Piet Mondrian you may well have seen his work before. He was a pioneer of abstract art in his unique style named 'neo-plasticism' which involved primary coloured blocks painted within a black grid on a white background.
The La Vie Claire team of the 1980s incorporated a Mondrian inspired design into their cycling kit. It was initially designed by Italian fashion house Benetton made it one of the most memorable cycling jerseys of the 1980s in it's appearance. La Vie Claire was replaced in 1998 with Toshiba although the Mondrian effect kit was kept due to it's near timeless, memorable design.
The design of the cycling jersey was so successful that one of the secondary sponsors of the team- Look (who produced cycling pedal systems) altered their company logo to mimic the design.
Team 7Eleven and La Vie Claire cycling kits in racing action
Peugeot- As famous for cycling as cars!
One of the most iconic cycling teams of Tour De France history has to be that of the French bicycle manufacturer Peugeot in the 1970s and 1980s.
Peugeot have been pretty successful in le tour. Winning in 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1913, 1914, 1922, 1967, 1975 and 1977. Bernard Thévenet was successful in the 1975 and 1977 editions of the race.
The iconic chequerboard design cycling jersey was adopted by the team in 1963 and stayed until the team's demise in 1986 although the Italian manufacturer Santini produce a replica version of the classic cycling jersey for former fans or the team as featured below.
The iconic Peugeot Cycling Team jersey in modern fabrics
Flawed Italian climbing genius Marco Pantani on Alp D'Huez in 1997
British Style- Simple yet understated for Team Sky Pro Cycling
It's fashionable to be British again after Bradley Wiggins' 2012 Tour De France win in the colours of Team Sky Pro Cycling.
The 2013 Team Sky cycling jersey is arguably the best Pro cycling jersey over the last few years and combines black with royal blue elements for a svelte and fast look. The 2013 kit is also made by the coolest company in cycling right now- Rapha. Rapha produce some of the highest quality cycling apparel available and is the epitome of British cycling style which provides a solid foundation as a sponsor of Team Sky.
Keep an eye out for them at the 2013 Tour.
Team Sky Pro Cycling Kit for 2013
The Orange Jersey of Euskaltel Euskadi
Show your Basque jersey colours- Euskaltel Euskadi
It's hard not to have a soft spot for the Euskaltel Euskadi cycling team from the Basque area of Northern Spain. Their small budget and policy towards the recruitment of riders who have been schooled in the Basque region gives the squad a sense of purpose and tradition which has led them to often lose their bigger riders to bigger money at other, more substantially backed teams.
The team has long term sponsorship from Euskaltel- the Basque telecommunications provider and Euskadi- the regions government.
One of the main draws towards Euskaltel is their bright orange team kit which draws from the main colour of the Basque flag.
The team shot to prominence in 2003 when Iban Mayo and Haimar Zubeldia climbed to top-10 positions in the Tour De France showcasing the bright orange jerseys of the team. Their current team leader Samuel Sanchez is a consistent top 10 finisher in the Tour helping the team to animate the race in the mountains where it's riders often feel most at home.
The Colombian Invasion of the 1980s
Colombia's Luis Herrera won a stage atop the Majestic Alpe d'Huez in 1984 starting a gain to prominence of Colombian cycling with it's exceptionally talented climbers 1995 saw the first Colombian professional team in the European peloton.
The guys (and girls) at Prendas Ciclismo have bought the iconic Cafe De Colombia jersey back to life in modern fabrics so you can choose to own this amazing jersey for yourselves. It offers a touch of retro yet still looks classic today.
Show your love of great coffee- Cafe De Colombia Cycling Jersey (1985)
MG Technogym 1996 Cycling Jersey
The Italian dream team of 1996- MG Technogym
With a line-up featuring many of the top Italian riders of the time such as Fabio Baldato, Michele Bartoli, Gianni Bugno, Alberto Elli, Pascal Richard, Luca Scinto and Gilberto Simoni the teamlist reads like a who's who of 1990s cycling prominance.
The crisp navy blue with vidid sponsors elements from Technogym (manufacturer of fitness equipment for sports clubs) and MG, an Italian clothing manufacturer so it has to exude Italian style.
The Italian super squadra of the late 90's- Mapei had a unique multicoloured kit design
Lance Armstrong playing Poker in the Tour De France
Love Armstrong or loathe him. You can't deny his US Postal team didn't look good
Whether you hate Lance Armstrong for what he stands for or still have a soft spot for the man after you watched his early naughties dominance of the Tour De France when riders around him were also doping: There's no denying the brilliance of the blue US Postal team kit.
There was a level of class shown in his US Postal team cycling kit which will live on in the many photos and videos from the era. They may no longer be popular to wear but it's hard to admit that their Nike cycling kit didn't look good on them as they dominated the race.
The era of the US Postal cycling team was part of the whirlwind development of North American cycling in the professional European peloton. Earlier trendsetters had started the wave but the US Postal team pushed the boundaries to wins in the Tour De France and Vuelta a España race.
Lance Armstrong in the striking blue of the US Postal team 2001
The Love/ Hate cycling jersey of the naughties- Team Astana
The Astana Pro Team Cycling Jersey
Kazakhstan is an emerging country in both a financial (thanks to vast oil wealth) and sporting sense which is the birthplace of one of modern cycling's enigma's. Alexandre Vinokourov. The country where east meets west is developing strongly in a cycling sense and the Astana team is helping to develop both international and Kazakh riders whilst building a profile for some of the country's big businesses.
The Pro Team Astana kit is one that has been very divisive in opinion amongst cyclists. Some see the baby blue colour-scheme as brilliant, yet for others it's a monstrosity. It's colour is derived from the bright blue of the Kazakh national flag.