One of the features of each of the “five fast factors” mini-preview series that just concluded was the fifth factor, seeking to ask of each franchise, when did they perfect their kit? Every year new kits come out and people give their thumbs up or down, but rarely do we link back to the previous edition in making that judgment, let alone winding all the way back through a team’s fashion history to place it all in context.
Below are the 10 definite winners of the 11 teams reviewed, plus a couple extras explained below. And one of the teams, FJD, we don’t really have a true winner yet, but I tossed in the two likeliest winners. And now I am asking you to vote for the best of the best! In doing so... I am not even sure what I am asking you, but I think for me it will be which version seems most inspired in the context of kit development. You can think of it that way. Or just pick the one you like best. Anyway, please scroll through the review of the winners, and vote!
Israel Premier Tech: 2023
This one garnered just under a majority, 45% and with more than twice the number of the next most popular option. Yes, 2023 is a good year for kits, but it also helps to take some time and get beyond “what if the Israeli flag were a jersey?”
Quick Step-[insert]: 2021
Sitting pretty with 41% of 73 votes cast, about three times the all-black one from a few years earlier. It’s a lot of blue, but compared to other iterations (which were almost all a lot of blue), the deep shade here seemed to stand out.
EF Education-EasyPost (a/k/a Slipstream)...
We have a dead heat! 18% each. So I will give you their two very disparate options, the nouveau pink and the old style Garmin classic.
Who doesn’t love pink and black?
Anyway, the 2010 Garmin Classic:
Two memorable choices.
No team’s kit evolution generated less consensus than INEOS, whose winner, shown above, was 1-3 votes ahead of two other options, and at 16% support, there are probably some groans about the outcome there.
UAE (Lampre) 2010:
This pink and blue classic garnered 42% of the 57 votes cast, easily taking the UAE category. In fact, Lampre kits placed 1-2-3 in the voting, with all of UAE’s muted fashions added together still only taking about a quarter of the total votes.
Bahrain Victorious 2020:
This version might have benefited from a bit of illegal assistance when I labeled it their “hot as the sun” look. It got 35% of 62 votes, a couple clicks beyond this year’s kit.
Trek Segafredo 2021:
This look didn’t exactly dominate the competition, taking 23%, just ahead of their red-shouldered/black torso stripey thing and a classic LEOPARD one. I do think this is their most recognizable version, for some reason.
Jumbo ... another double.
I may be breaking the law here, but we had two versions separated by a single vote... and like 15 years (and 100% of the sponsors, riders, management etc.). So I think I’ll put both out there — mostly because the winner was the Rabobank one which I don’t feel great about including.
Jumbo Masterpiece 2021 Tour special:
The Masterpiece jersey — inspired by the brushwork of Rembrandt, Vermeer and van Gogh — was such a giant Dutch culture flex that it broke through and scored 28%, best of the recent Jumbo editions.
Old School Rabo:
Aaaand 29% of you were so overcome with nostalgia that you voted for this Rabo classic, which had about 20 different versions of more or less the same thing. This is from 2010.
Alpecin-Fenix-Deceuninck 2021 Tour Special Mercier Throwback:
Fully 65% of the 74 votes cast were for this temporary throwback edition used in the 2021 Tour de France. So either a lot of us were touched by the loving tribute to Raymond Poulidor, or are in our late 70s. Or both!
Bora Hansgrohe 2023:
This one got a third of the 60 votes and won handily. Bora are a good example of their look going somewhere, and then actually getting there.
I’m not quite sure we have a winner for the Groupama FDJ review yet, but it looks like these are the top two options. I’ll put “one of the FDJs” in the poll.
Groupama FDJ 2023:
Like I said, this is a developing situation, but two very nice looks: a replica of the French national team and a lovely sunny white with some updates on the old clover look.
What is the most significant, memorable, likeable kit from the recent history of team kits?
Israel Premier Tech 2023 Pinkish Hue
Quick Step 2021 Deep Blue
EF Easypost 2023 Flamingoes
Garmin 2010 Classic
INEOS 2020 Red Top
UAE/Lampre 2010 Blue/pink
Bahrain McLaren 2020 red hot
Trek Segafredo 2021 all business
Jumbo 2021 Masterpiece
Jumbo Rabo 2010
Alpecin Mercier Tribute 2021
Bora Hansgrohe 2023 evolved
Groupama FDJ French national team
FDJ 2017 whitey whites