Team Tinkoff-Saxo, quite possibly the most energetic team of the moribund pre-holiday season (if their media presence is to be believed). have gone out and done it now. It being "third jerseys," conceptually speaking. Calling it their "training kit" to be used at official team training camps (of which there typically aren't many), Tinkoff-Saxo are now riding around Gran Canaria in a kit full of various shades and hues of green, in camouflage style. Let me guess what comes next: like our extra kit? You can buy that one too! Get the whole set for the low low (not very low) price of all the moneys!
Traditionally cycling teams have had a single look each season, though a few teams have used special jerseys in summer, particularly when their primary look is dark colors, which hold a bit more heat in the summer months. Tinkoff-Saxo apparently will switch their colors entirely for the regular season, to some sort of black/gold color resembling the New Orleans Saints. Anyway, the "third jersey" thing is a way football (soccer) teams have been selling extra kits, with the excuse that playing in international competition sometimes pits them against teams with similar kits, so something different is required. Growing up when I did, the concept was unheard of, but third jerseys are everywhere nowadays: baseball, the NFL, the NHL, perhaps the NBA (I wouldn't really know). It only makes sense that cycling would catch on, since the sport has as good a reason as any for selling its colors to consumers... who ride bikes and usually prefer an actual biking jersey.
Still, this is the first we've heard of the concept being fully imported to the sport. Call this a watershed moment?
Oh, and since they put it out there, let's rate it!
I'm going with 3: Not bad. I wouldn't reject a gift of this jersey. I won't hold it against them.
Colors are OK, a bit neon-ish. Concept is fun. I guess I don't have a terribly strong opinion either way. It's fun but if I look at it enough I might change my mind.
Speaking of new kits!
Ah, now we're getting somewhere!
Where they came from:
Lotta black. Nobody hated it. But I'm not sure how terribly excited we were either. Oh, for the record, here's where they were before 2014. 2013, to be precise.
And before that (2012):
Where They're Going
Into the blue. Or at least the less black.
Concept? Let's make an amalgam of some of our past kits. It's the aqua blue swatch from 2012, the Quick Step blue oval from time immemorial, and otherwise the cost-controlling black-and-white that's dominated the last two seasons.
Rating: 2 [Ugh. Wouldn't wear this in public. I might root for them out of pity.]
Is that unfair? I'm just very bored with their look right now, which was always a little conservative to begin with (are we sure they're a Flemish team?). Some years, they got conservative right, but usually it's something I hold against kits.
As I look at it, I definitely like it better than last year. The tropical sea blue definitely livens up the otherwise-entirely-dismal look. But I can't not hold the latter part against them, and I'm not terribly inspired by the amalgam concept.
OK, waddya got?