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New Logo for Tour de France


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Apparently, it's been 100 years since the yellow leader's jersey has first been introduced in the Tour de France, and as a result, the organizers of the race have decided to celebrate by introducing special yellow jersey designs for each stage, each celebrating a different aspect of the Tour. 





Full coverage is here, complete with some truly tiny pictures. 




The TDF logo has also very slightly changed- apparently they decided to kick the "le" out.




No reports on changes to the green (sprint) or white (young riders') jersey. The sponsor of the climber's jersey has changed from Carrefour to Leclerc, though, so it'll look like the one used in the Criterium du Dauphine. (Full credit to Leclerc for the logo integration with the King of the Mountains jersey design, by the way)






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I'd post a team preview, by the way, but there hasn't yet been news about the annual parade of teams whipping out their special TDF jerseys, either because they usually wear yellow (like Jumbo-Visma), or because they want to switch to a white jersey to counteract the summer heat of France  sell a "special" TDF jersey from their team store. 


For an example, here's Jumbo-Visma (known as LottoNL-Jumbo last year, because cycling teams are only ever named after their sponsors) switching from yellow to black last year




and here's Trek-Segafredo switching from red to white last year (irritatingly, neither they, nor Cofidis had any problem wearing red in the Vuelta a Espana, despite the leader's jersey in that race being a red jersey)





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I've got nothing better to do so here's a TDF team preview anyway. I'll post updates if anyone changes their kits.


Cycling teams are a bit weird compared to the rest of sports. They're always named after their sponsors, for instance- teams don't really have identities they try to consistently push beyond that (with a few exceptions). Cycling teams can form, win, and die within the space of a decade, with the team scattering to other teams or forming new ones after that. It's probably best to consider cycling teams as business partnerships- unlike field sports, which have stadiums/home cities, or things like motorsport which has enormous infrastructure investments, cycling teams are fairly "lightweight" and can be set up and dissolved fairly easily, meaning that if a big partner backs out, it sometimes makes sense to break the team up and for the major players to go their own ways.


Anyway, here's the teams in this years' tour.


AG2R La Mondiale


AG2R, or "The French team that isn't FDJ". AG2R have been around for a while, but picked up their current sponsor in the 90s. Quite a few teams have national associations, and AG2R have always been a French team, signing mostly French riders. Unfortunately, they've recently struggled against the bigger budget of the premier French squad Groupama-FDJ. For a while, they wore blue and yellow, but after AG2R changed their logo, they switched over to their current color scheme and infamous brown shorts in 2009. I'm a big fan of this color scheme- brown and light blue are a surprisingly good combo and I don't see why everyone hates the brown shorts. 


(note the Belgian bands on this kit- if you're a former national champion of your country, you get to wear those for the rest of your career, assuming you race for a cool team and not a team like Movistar which doesn't do that for "team unity" purposes). 




Arkea-Samsic are a wild-card team (i.e. a small team which got an invite to the Tour), meaning they'll show up in a few plucky breakaways and not be in contention for anything other than a random stage. They wear some boring looking white jerseys, though they will have the current French national champion to liven things up a bit. 




Astana are a team with associations with the government of Kazakhstan, and an extraordinarily checkered past with regards to doping. I actually like these guys- they have the same energy as the '00s Jail Blazers and the Oakland Raiders where all their misdeeds come with an air of absurdity that makes it seem like comedy. They're also good at launching exciting attacks which sometimes don't make much tactical sense. Anyway, since they're Kazakh, they have jerseys in the national colors of light blue and yellow. Not bad. 





Bahrain-Merida are a very new (nee 2017) team which combines two hot trends in cycling teams - having your team be "sponsored" by the soverign wealth fund of a country with a non-existent human rights record, and having your team be sponsored by a bike company (Merida are the Taiwanese bike company that isn't Giant). Cycling teams for a very long time were actually almost all factory teams run by bike makers, until about the 60s, but actual manufacturers have been getting back into the sponsorship game in recent years.




Bora-Hansgrohe are a fairly new German team sponsored by a German bathroom fittings (think Kohler) company. They have Peter Sagan, a bunch of German riders, and have nice colors. Note the national championship jerseys for Austria, Slovakia, and Germany. 




Up to last year, CCC were the factory team of Swiss bicycle company BMC - this year, they switched to Giant bikes, and got sponsorship from CCC, a Polish shoe store. They also have some of the most boring jerseys in the field - for some reason, plain jerseys with black shorts seem to be the in-thing these days.




Cofidis, AKA the French wild-cards that get wild card invites to every grand tour despite them never doing anything interesting. For a long time, they wore red, but have switched to some extremely ugly white jerseys with yellow (yellow-on-white never works) highlights and some truly awful looking red fade.



Dimension Data 

Dimension Data, aka "Africa's Team" are based in South Africa and promote African cycling. Unfortunately they've fallen off a cliff in recent years despite some high profile signings, suggesting something is seriously wrong with team coaching or management. Still, their kits look pretty nice.



EF Education First

After a year running the ridiculous name of EF Education First Drapac Powered By Cannondale, EF has switched to the slightly less awkward EF Education First name. EF are probably best known for their years running argyle-design jerseys while being sponsored by Garmin, and for promoting American cycling. They wear pink tye-dye jerseys which are truly awesome. Best looking team in the peloton, for my money. 




FDJ have been around for quite a while by cycling terms (1997), always being sponsored by Francaise des Jeux, the French national lottery (last year, they added sponsorship from French insurance giant Groupama). As such, they've been one of the most prominent French cycling teams for most of their existence, and wear the patriotic red/white/blue colors. The mismatched sleeves make the team very easy to spot in head-on shots, which I like. 




Ineos, AKA Sky, AKA the British team which is definitely not engaging in institutionalized doping despite them more or less repeating everything from the US Postal 1990s/00s playbook except being British instead of American. They're backed by British chemical/fracking company Ineos, owned by the richest man in Britain. They have the biggest budget in the field by some margin and concentrate most of their resources on winning the Tour de France every year, which they have done for six of the last seven years, only missing out in 2014 when head GC contender Chris Froome crashed out. 

Sky wore "classy" simple black kits for most of their existence, and I personally blame them for most of the peloton switching from wild designs to more corporate ones in the last few years. Last year, they wore special "Ocean Rescue" jerseys featuring an orca on the back, and promoting an environmental charity drive. They haven't announced anything for this year, though it'd be awkward to do that again since their current sponsors are a fracking company. 




For years, Katusha were the team which promoted Russian state sponsored doping cycling. In the past few years, they've kept the name, but shed the Russian image- losing most of their Russian riders, changing the team registration from Russia to Switzerland, and also not winning races anymore. Their baby blue shirts have a giant K (Katusha's logo) on the back, which makes them easy to spot from helicopter shots. 




If you watched cycling in the 00s, you knew these guys as Rabobank, with their Dutch squad and orange kits. They lost the Rabobank sponsorship after a doping scandal, spent a few years sponsored by router company Belkin, and got sponsorship from Dutch supermarket company Jumbo.

These guys have been around since 1984- an eternity in cycling terms, and have always been the premier Dutch team. They wear yellow (Jumbo's colors) but will presumably change colors during the Tour. Note the color clash with the bicycles - Bike supplier Bianchi have a trademark shade of light blue for their bicycles, and they aren't changing that for anything.

Incidentally, despite being Dutch, the team also has a secondary association with signing American cyclists - oddly enough, this is due to Italian bike sponsor Bianchi, as the US is one of their best markets.  





Lotto, AKA the Belgian team that isn't Quick-Step. Lotto, sponsored by the Belgian national lottery, have been around since the 80s, and not only that, have always been at least co-sponsored by Lotto, giving them an uninterrupted team identity that's unmatched in the peloton. Currently, they share sponsorship with Belgian sealants company Soudal, though their best-known co-sponsor was probably Belgian OTC-pharma company Omega, which promoted various products through the team in the 00s, memorably pregnancy tests (Predictor-Lotto) and nasal strips for snoring (Silence-Lotto). For a while, they were wearing very nice looking retro-inspired jerseys, but their current jerseys don't seem to know if they want to look retro or modern (see the weird black dot pattern), and look pretty bad.





Movistar are the oldest team in the peloton, and though they haven't always had the same sponsor (a Spanish cell provider), they've always had a Spanish image, always signing the top Spanish riders in the peloton. Their 80s years as Reynolds was pretty well-known, but their best known incarnation was their 90s years as Banesto, famously of five-time TDF winner Miguel Indurain. Their current look is sadly one of the most boring in the peloton, though this is more due to Movistar's current boring rebrand than anything else. This year, they have a little "40 ans" logo on the bottom corner of the jersey to celebrate the team's 40 years of existence, which is an astonishing lifespan for a cycling team. At least they have Alejandro Valverde's World Championship stripes to liven the look up a bit.




Mitchelton-Scott, the Australian team, funded by one of the richest businessmen in Australia. Interestingly, Mitchelton, an Australian winery, might be said to violate France's TV regulations against alcohol sponsorship, but they get around this by successfully arguing that Mitchelton is actually not just a winery but a resort destination and hotel at the winery, which the French authorities seem fine with. I suppose the French would be naturally sympathetic to a wine producer.

Mitchelton-Scott promote Australian riders, though their best riders are currently British. They also promote two modern cycling team trends - boring black kits, and being sponsored by a bike company (Scott, also well-known if you happen to be into skiing). 




Technically Deceuninck-Quick-Step, but Quick-Step are one of the few cycling teams with enough identity behind their long-time sponsors that everyone I know just calls them Quick-Step. Quick-Step are always an odd presence at Grand Tours because their main specialty is one-day classics races, which they attack with multi-pronged group tactics that give them the nickname "Wolfpack". They're the pre-eminent Belgian team in the World Tour, and boast some of the best riders in the region- with that being said, they tend to mostly target the points (sprinters') jersey at the Tour, and tend not to really go after the GC, though the presence of Enric Mas this year might change things. 

Quick-Step traditionally wear blue. They switched to black/light blue kits a few years ago back when they poached co-sponsor Omega Pharma from Belgian rivals Lotto, but went back to their traditional blue/white look (albeit with giant Lidl logos on the sleeves) a few years ago.

Note: Bob Jungels' awesome Luxembourg champions' jersey, and the former World Champion stripes on the cuffs and collar of Phillip Gilbert




Sunweb put all their GC hopes in the Tom Dumoulin basket this year, only for him to be injured and not fit for the tour, which is unfortunate for them. Formerly factory-sponsored team Giant-Shimano, they currently boast sponsorship from German holiday/charter plane company Sunweb, and have featured twin vertical stripes on their shirts for the last few years.



Total-Direct Energie

Formerly just Direct Energie, Europcar, and in the incarnation I remember the most, Bouygues Telecom, Total-Direct Energie, like Cofidis are one of those wild-card teams that seems to always get invited, though they're more associated with plucky breakaways than Cofidis, who mostly just sit there doing nothing interesting at all. They picked up big money sponsorship from French petro giant Total, and are rumored to be moving to World Tour level very soon.




The original Trek team were formed via people leaving the powerhouse CSC/Saxo Bank but then picked up sponsorship from RadioShack, after Team RadioShack, the final incarnation of the US Postal/Discovery Channel/RadioShack Death Star ceased operations. Trek own the team outright, making them the only true factory team in the World Tour. For a while, they were trying to make pinstripes their thing, but have switched to a rather nice retro-inspired jersey this year. Their co-sponsors are Italian coffee giant Segafredo.

Incidentally, despite being registered in America and owned by an American bike company, they don't really have an American image - in fact, they have a very international team with very little nationality association at all.



UAE Team Emirates 

Originally the long-suffering and venerable Lampre team, famous for their pink jerseys, the UAE's national wealth fund bought the team after it nearly died after a loss of sponsorship and a failed deal with Chinese investors. The team still does have some of the best Italians in the field, but the fact that they're sponsored by another country somewhat diminishes their "Italian team" image. In fact, there isn't really an Italian team at all anymore, the other big one of the 00s, Liquigas, became the factory team of Cannondale bicycles before being absorbed into EF Education First a few years back. Anyway, they have a very boring plain white look, which is a shame for a team which was once one of the most colorful in the peloton.




Plucky Belgian wild-card team, and likely the smallest team in the race. Look for them to make plucky breakaway attacks so they can feature in as much TV coverage of the early parts of stages as possible. 



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Although they didn't retain the Slovakian championship, Bora managed to win a remarkable five NCs over the weekend's national championship action, meaning they'll hold the National Championship jerseys of Italy, Ireland, Austria, Germany in road race stages, and the Polish jersey in time trials. Sadly not all of them will be in the Tour, because seeing a team show up with half the team wearing national jerseys would have been cool. 


Alex Howes, who is in EF Education First won the US title. If he's picked for the Tour, it'll make it the first time since 2010 with George Hincapie that the stars-and-stripes jersey will be at the Tour de France. Here's how that looked the last time it was worn at the Tour (plus bonus World Championship jersey)



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Massive change as Jumbo-Visma change from their yellow kit with partially yellow sleeves to... a yellow kit with black sleeves. 




Which is basically last year's normal jersey, which last year they ended up changing to not look like the yellow jersey. You do you, Jumbo-Visma. 

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Really liking the EF and Ineos gear. You're right that a lot of the looks are pretty vanilla, which is a little extra disappointing with AG2R who could do something pretty bold with their colors.


It's also good to have a refresher on team name changes. 

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It's petty but I blame Sky for all this.


It's very clear that cycling aesthetics peaked with the Mapei team and it's been all downhill from here.





though from the era where I actually started watching (2006, the infamous Floyd Landis tour), Credit Agricole were my favorite looking team. Always love red/green.



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Team presentations, and hey, look, Trek-Segafredo did the "Switching to a white jersey for better heat reflection being able to sell a "special" TDF jersey at Trek stores" thing




UAE Team Emirates are not caring a bit about modesty in the rain and are going with white shorts, which I support




and Lotto-Soudal used the team launch weekend to announce that Soudal has upped their sponsorship. As a reward, their logo is now on top of the Lotto-Soudal kits, which, OK?




And finally, Bora joined Trek in the "special white jersey" club, though they did it a bit more successfully, if you ask me.



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  • 5 weeks later...

thats better; more refined and balanced. just closing the “o” alone helps the yellow circle become the focal point and feels like we’re working with 1 less idea packed into this thing. the yellow more energetic and accurate to the jerseys. overall retains its frenetic appearance, just executed better. well done

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