Our friends at GCN did a quick survey of the pro riders' favourite jerseys a few months ago. While one or two actually chose their own kit (Mentjes?) the guys showed pretty good taste with Greipel going for Indurain's Banesto jersey and Dumoulin opting for the classic Molteni. We had some fun choosing our own Top Ten, trying to spread them out over the last six decades. Apologies for the 80s bias, a giveaway about our age here. Let us know what you think!
La Vie Claire
The Mondrian pattern is an absolute classic that remains our all-time favourite. It was made famous in the fascinating Tour of 1986 by Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault. It's about the only replica jersey that's acceptable to wear on a normal ride, simply because it is beautiful to look at. It oozes class.
Our hero, Pantani, wore this with such panache. One of my favourite shots is of him storming up Alpe d'Huez on his Bianchi wearing this fabulous kit. It summed up the 1980s: brash advertising and garish colours.
How come LeMond got to wear so many cool jerseys? Although in this picture it's being modelled by the lesser known Wayne Beddington who was brought into the team by fellow Brit, Robert Millar. Sadly the effect of the wonderful jersey is spoilt a bit by the mullet that our Wayne was still sporting in 1990. He's a taxi driver now.
Fast forward to 2017. It's understated, it bears the name of the greatest bike brand of all time and it's Ride Velo's favourite colour: blue. What's not to like? It also follows the tradition of having a really unglamorous sponsor that has nothing to do with cycling. Gazprom? Goes great with the black shorts and its simplicity harks back to a more romantic era. Best kit in the pro peloton today.
Staying fairly contemporary for a bit here. This was a great kit. The blue bands on the sleeves and shorts just gave it a little something. It was simple, not too much advertising and made Andre Greipel look pretty invincible. What an animal... Grrreipel...
Classic. Who knew that SKIL can trace its heritage to the invention of the circular saw by Edmond Michele in 1924? That's right, it's not a yoghurt brand but a manufacturer of power tools (the giveaway is the subtle drill logo on the right breast). Sadly the team only lasted a couple of years although Sean Kelly won Paris Nice and Lombardia in their colours. Tough jersey for hard men.
We're going all the way back to the 1950s now. How could Coppi look so elegant, cool and relaxed. He looks like he's heading down to the beach for Christ's sake, not competing in a Grand Tour! The jersey is beautiful, truly iconic. Everyone should have one.
Okay, so the guy's shorts are too long and the shoes... I know. But Lampre had cool kit and this version made a passing nod to La Vie Claire with its Mondrian-like blocks. That flash of pink was always noticeable in the peloton and they had cool bikes from Wilier. A bit of bold Italian flair.
Controversial, I know, especially as Tinkoff was such a massive ....(insert your own insult). But this was quite innovative at the time. I saw someone wearing this on a sportive once and it wasn't impressive but somehow Peter Sagan could get away with it.
Cipollini zebra kit
Only Cipollini could wear this with a straight face. Even Sagan would struggle to pull it off. It's included in our list for the sheer audacity.
Let us know your favourite kit designs. And of course we have some interpretations of more classic jerseys in our shop.