By Phil Hecken
I know as much about bicycling as the next guy, which means nothing. But I do remember watching a bunch of Tour de France’s back when some guy named Armstrong was rewriting all the record books — possibly on PEDs as it turns out — but it definitely brought cycling to the forefront of American sports (as much as can be done, I suppose), since well…this guy rode around and around a track in Indy some 32 years ago.
But ever since the Tour de Lance ended and that other American with a plastic yellow bracelet had a brief moment in the sun, I haven’t really paid much attention to the race. Sure, I know the leader wears a yellow jersey, but that’s about it.
Fortunately, there are Uni Watch readers who do follow the crown jewel of cycling, the Tour de France, and I’m pleased to introduce them to you right now. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Craig Ackers, with his look at the “uniforms tendencies” of the Tour, who’ll be followed by Shane Bua, who’ll take a look at all the unis of the 97th edition of this 2,200 mile race. Here’s Craig:
A look at the Tour de France
By Craig Ackers
22 teams means 22 uniforms, right? Wrong, this is the Tour de France.
July is here and so it is time for cycling’s annual crown jewel the Tour de France.
This year there are 22 teams. To a casual sports fan this would mean 22 uniforms.
This is not the case in cycling. I’ll try to explain.
Firstly there are “official” tour jerseys.
OK, casual sport fans will probably know that the overall leader wears a yellow jersey. Indeed casual fans may even know that the “King Of The Mountains” wears a white with red polka dot jersey or that the sprints points leader wears a green jersey. There is also a fourth official tour jersey the white jersey for the best rider in the overall classification that is under 25.
Simple enough. Er…not quite.
It is sometimes the case that the overall leader is under 25 years old or also King Of The Mountains. In this case the overall leader wears the yellow jersey and the second placed rider in say the under 2s or King Of The Mountains classification wears the leaders jersey for that classification without being the leader.
Seems fairly clear you may think. The 4 official jerseys are always worn but everyone else wears their own team uniform. Think again.
World champions in cycling wears the “rainbow” jersey. Now as the Tour de France has both time trials and road race stages this means there will be two “rainbow” jerseys on display. One for each discipline.
Now each world champion is also entitled to wear the rainbow bands on their jersey sleeve cuffs to denote their previous world champion status Cadel Evans of BMC (last years world road race champion) will wear his teams road kit except for the subtle rainbow bands round the sleeves to indicate his previous world champion status. His teammates meanwhile will wear this.
Then there are the national champions jerseys. Each nation has its own national champion. Regulations permit this national champion to wear a national jersey in competitions as a reward. As with the rainbow jersey there are both road race an time trial champions and in any given year they may not be the same person even though they may ride on the same team.
Had enough? Thought not.
Like the rainbow cuffs of previous world champions some former national champions like to show off their past national wins with a ring of flags on their jersey cuffs. So, Fabian Cancellara, champion of Switzerland in the time trial could wear something like this in the time trial stages and something like this in the normal road stages. But even that jersey was not the same as his team mates due to the jersey cuffs issue.
Teams then change jerseys just because, well, they can. Sky Procycling normally wear this but to raise awareness of the environment they ditching Sky Blue for the Tour de France and instead are wearing this.
And sometimes it is not just the jerseys. George Hincappie of BMC wears USA flags on his sleeves. When he actually was US national champion he was not quite so subtle. As well as the national jersey he wore a national helmet, shorts, socks, mitts and bike.
Where the yellow jersey was once enough for the peloton and public to know who the leader was it seems that nowadays riders need to make bit more of an impression when they are in yellow. This all yellow for yellows sake (“YFYS” © Uniwatch) will no doubt mean that in the future when the leader takes a tumble it will be very, very obvious he his hit the tarmac.
Remember 198 riders, 22 teams but dozens of different uniforms! I cant think of any other team sport were uniforms are anything but, well uniform.
Great job with that Craig. Up next is Shane, with a look at what they’ll be wearing this year:
2011 Tour de France Team Unis
By Shane Hua
The tour, as usual, contains 18 teams. 14 of them are teams on the UCI Proteam circuit, while the other four are invited French teams (FDJ, Saur-Sojasun, Cofidis, and Europcar)
The jerseys that most people will recognize are those given out to category leaders. Yellow for overall (General classification), green for points (mostly sprinters), white for the best young rider, and the polka-dots worn by the King of The Mountains. But here’s what the individual teams will be wearing.
Garmin-Cervelo is a new team, featuring members of Garmin-Transitions and Cervelo TestTeam. Garmin was long known for wearing argyle, but after the merger, Cervelo’s black became the dominant color. They’ve come out with a new white and blue jersey for the Tour, and I love it.
Another new team this year is Leopard Trek, which was created after brothers Andy and Frank Schleck left Saxo Bank last year. Leopard Trek wear a half white/black top with a light blue horizonal stripe, and black shorts.
The aformentioned Saxo Bank-SunGard have switched their look up a bit. Last year, they mostly wore black, but are now wearing light blue, with an eagle…or falcon or something.
Team RadioShack are back this year, after almost being disqualified on the last day of the 2010 Tour for switching to BFBS Livestrong jerseys. They changed mid-stage, but changed back to black on the podium.
The team’s uniform hasn’t changed from last year, a white jersey with red sleeves and black trim, and black shorts. You can also see the jersey that Garmin-Cervelo’s Fabian Cancellara will be wearing in this year’s Tour, siginifying a current world champion.
Euskaltel-Euskadi are instantly recognizable by their orange and black kit, signifying Spain’s Basque country. No changes for this year.
Ag2r-La Mondiale have another great uniform, white with blue and brown designs, and brown shorts.
The support vehicles are dressed up much the same, tres chic!
I always liked Astana’s unis, which paid homage to their Kazakhstan base.
This year, they’ve changed it up a little. Still light blue and yellow, but no more sun logo.
BMC looks a little more “digitized” than last year, but the colors and design stayed the same.
Cofidis are the first of the invited French teams. They competed last year, and appear to be wearing the exact same unis.
Sponsored by France’s national lottery, FDJ are another invited team. They wear a mostly white uniform, with the shamrock logo of FDJ, and blue trim.
Lampre-ISD are an Italian team, probably best known for sprinter Alessandro Petacchi. Another easily recognizable team, in bright pink and blue.
Quick Step are another Belgian team, and look pretty much the same as last year, in blue and white.
I thought RaboBank had a different uniform in last year’s Tour, but a quick Google search proves my eyes wrong. They wear orange with blue and white trim.
I believe this is Saur-Sojasun’s first TdF. Another of the invited French teams, they’ll be wearing white and blue.
MoviStar may be a new name in cycling, but it’s not a new team. The Spanish team competed as Caisse d’Epargne for several years. They’ll be wearing navy, with white trim on the right side.
Team Sky, from England, wear black and blue Adidas uniforms. Fairly simple.
Rounding out the peloton, Vacansoleil-DCM are making their Tour debut this year. Another team in navy, with some yellow trim. The guy on the right is wearing what I believe is a Belgian national championship jersey.
And nice job with that Shane! For those of us here in the States, it seems like NBC is stepping up its coverage. The Tour kicks off today, so check it out if you get a chance. Who know there were so many “uniforms” in one sport?
2011 Uni Tracking
Back with more tracking from the readers today.
Today features Matthew Cupps, who is a Pirate tracker. He sent me this earlier this week, so it’s not quite up to date, but close:
I’ve been tracking the Pittsburgh Pirates uniforms for the 2011 season (home, home alt., road, road alt. and one 1971 throwback). Most notable this season is that the Pirates, at least thus far, as more competitive than they’ve been since I was a teenager and they narrowly missed winning the Central in ’97.
So far, it’s been back and forth. There were a couple five-game losing streaks by uniform, and their road greys have been easily their most successful outfit. Aside from the one-time throwback, of course.
Anyways, here’s a list of their gamesby uniform, with the total games/wins/losses and runs scored/allowed at the top. Go Bucs!
We also have tracking today from Walter Young, who is a Mets tracker (and who also sent this to @MetsPolice:
June calender, and season breakdown through June.
You two can fight over who uses them first, or at all…lol
Thanks guys. If anyone is tracking their teams, by uniform, you know what to do.
by Rick Pearson
Might be time to re-evaluate your approach…
And as always, here’s your full-size…literally.
We have another new set of tweaks today.
If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great at keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!
And so, lets begin:
We start with Taylor McGillis, who takes Tim E. O’B's template and goes to town:
Here’s a 3D template tweak I did for the M’s.
Next up is none other than Rick Pearson, who has a tweak…
1. If dark sanis under white stirrups was a great look (and didn’t look so fucking odd) it would have caught on a long time ago. So I changed the socks to striped tubes (see 1976 White Sox and Rays last year).
2. Made the hat logo smaller, which I know Tim E. kept larger just for mock up purposes.
3. Made the TV number larger, because typically they are.
Not a bad looking mono uni, espeically if you’re the Reds.
And closing down the tweak show today is Walter Helfer, with a nice Pads tweak:
Here’s a riff on my all-time favorite uniform. Had San Diego not opted for brown jerseys in 1980, this is what I’m guessing the road uniforms would have looked like. I’ve always dug the taco colors, thinking if you want a team that plays into the fall, you should have an autumnal color scheme.
Thanks fellas! Back with more tomorrow.
And now you find yourself in
Lots of uni happenings in baseball yesterday. First off, up in the great white north, eh…the Blue Jays, in honour of Canada Day, broke out their Canada Day BP jerseys, complete with black helmets, black socks, CNOB (“country name on back”) and white pit stains. But at least their
S&S trucker caps & flag patches looked nice. They did look nice, right?
In other uni news, the San Diego Padres partied like it was 1984, wearing their taco unis as they took on the Seattle Mariners — who were also throwing back. Unfortunately, the Padres wore their uniforms three sizes too big, and didn’t play along by wearing white shoes. Only one or two guys (that I saw) bothered with proper rups & sanis, even though those unis clearly need them. I can see not breaking out the shoes, but man…you gotta wear the brown and
mustard gold sanis.
The Mariners, on the other hand, all took part in the proper hosiery…well, almost. Yeah, two-in-ones just don’t quite work, especially with high tops, do they? And even Ichiro, who can make any uni look good, seemed to be wearing blue sanis under his blue hose. Saw a bunch of highlights on the MLB Network, and they were really chatting up the unis — and not always in a loving way either. Still, the game last night looked a lot better than the last time these two teams hooked up. More photos of the game can be seen here.
Down the coast a ways, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hooked up in a throwback game against the Los Angeles Dodgers of
bankruptcy court Los Angeles. The Angels, dressed in their 1961-era unis with HOC (halo on cap), and their McAuliffe font, looked good, but of course, no one wore proper hosiery. The Dodgers, who were throwing back to this, did have their LA sleeve patch, but I’m not sure that uni is any different than what they currently wear. Nice how that works.
That will do it for today. The end of interplague is this weekend, thankfully, and you’ve got some tennis to watch (if you’re into that white-outfits only kind of thing) at Wimbledon. A couple of ‘ova’s (Sharapova vs. Kvitova) this morning and then Raffa vs. Nole tomorrow. And, joy of joys, the MLB will be breaking out their hideous S&S caps … definitely for the Fourth, but look for a few to break them out early. And, for those lucky enough to see it, the Tampa Rays will become the Smokers when they play the Cards today, who’ll apparently be playing along. Better see lots of rup! I’ll probably have more on that game tomorrow. Lastly, while browsing around the interwebs, I stumbled on this neat little throwback sked, with graphics that look very familiar.
Reader Dave Rakowski sent in a late e-mail which read “PIX 11 showed this guy getting off #7 train on their broadcast after the game.” Sweet!
And finally, reader Brady Phelps thought we’d get a kick out of this. Good shot of the few players wearing brown rups with gold sanis too.
Everyone have a great Saturday, and I’ll be back with my last weekend post until August tomorrow.
“I think for me it goes all the way back to my kindergarten days. Who DIDN’T want the 64-count box of Crayola crayons over the lousy 8-pack?” — Chris Holder