Friday, 7 August 2009
When Cervelo Test Team turned up to the Tour de France team presentation it wasn't the first time a Team had changed it's kit prior to the start. In the last few years it has become the norm (and mainly for the American Teams) to announce new sponsors and turn up with a modified version of the kit. This is great for the Team and the sponsor as it guarantees maximum exposure. Team Once were different in that every year you would expect them to turn up in their pink version of the normal kit, which ended up being as famous (and maybe more sought after) as their regular yellow kit.
What was different with Cervelo is that the kit change came about because of the weather! Cervelo has justly deserved the badge of the best kit this year, and world wide sales would back this up. But to then make the bold move based on riders heat management is a first as far as I am aware (and possibly risky due to those sales figures).
This led to many discussions with friends and colleagues, 'Why don't cyclists have two kits, like in football a Home and Away strip'. This in essence wouldn't work but what we are really looking for is a kit for the Spring and Autumn Classics and another kit for the Grand Tours. Colours and fabrics would reflect the chosen season and no doubt the psychological benefit would be appreciated by the riders.
Columbia Highroad (as was) used this to a small effect in the Spring Classics by having a short with a black bum and groin area. Lets face it, it's no bad idea if you are racing in the Flemish Spring time when you can see four seasons in one race to at least give the riders a small piece of dignity when battling hard against the elements.
In the current climate where so many teams use the sales of merchandise to supplement the Teams budget, a second kit may be welcome. It could also allow shared title sponsors to equally have their companies colours unleashed unto the public at large. I don't buy lot's of Team kit, but I maybe more tempted if there was a colour way I liked.
Let's hope that the UCI open it up and make some things less rigid. If we are wanting to globalise our sport more we need to look at the success stories in other sports to see if they are worth adopting in ours.