Euskaltel? That’s easy. Lampre and Astana? No problem. Rabobank? That’s a little tougher. Movistar, Leopard-Trek, Sky, and Garmin-Cervelo? Impossible! They all look… the same.
When it comes to the best, most iconic sports identities you can almost always count on one thing: Color. Lots of color. Teams, in attempt to set themselves apart from the competition, break out the full spectrum. Complimentary colors abound, and the sporting fan embraces it. In what other forum can you get 10,000 men together in downtown LA wearing purple and gold? At a Lakers game of course. If you wore a purple shirt and yellow pants anywhere else in the city, you’d probably get arrested. But those colors define the team, it’s fans and their clan.
And where else do you find the most colorful kits combined with the most ridiculous fitting apparel? American Football. But a close second just might be cycling. That is, until recently. Where has all the color gone? Why is everything so… blue and black?
Above are the 18 pro-tour teams for 2011. A lot has changed over the last two decades and it’s mostly gone to Black and White with some blue. What happened to the days of Mapei? Kelme? or even more recently Garmin? It’s all gone. Sky came along and made a pretty nice jersey. Understated, true. But, simple, classic and apparently so good lookin’ that everyone has gone and borrowed their design. There is room for one sky jersey amongst a cornucopia of retina burning color. But 3? or 4? No thanks.
I’ve grabbed colors out of the field to see what range exists. And it’s not much. Yellow is almost non-existent. This I can understand, because many of the leaders jerseys of the races are yellow, and we don’t want that conflict. But there sure isn’t much of this primary color at all, even for trim:
Red has good representation, as usual, but it’s not that substantial:
instead it’s Blue that takes center stage this year:
combined with Black or White and we see (or don’t) nearly every team represented:
This really just makes for a boring, bland and indistinguishable peloton which is a shame.
One team has pink, Lampre:
and thankfully, a couple have held onto Orange, Euskaltel and Rabobank:
but really, what happened to poor Green?:
Even Liquigas ditched the majority of the green they once had in favor of White. Sigh. Well, we can hope for the Continental teams at least. Andalucia has already bailed on their pink and now is borrowing the Liquigas kit. Maybe Goex will be the saviour. I’m still holding out hope for a nice richly colored jersey that isn’t mainly white, or black and blue.