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UCI WorldTour 2017: which team has the best kit?

Every jersey for the 2017 UCI WorldTour cycling season ranked and rated

The UCI WorldTour comprises 18 teams in 2017, with the racing action getting underway at the Tour Down Under on January 17 and the new expanded calendar running through to the end of the much-anticipated Tour of Guangxi on October 24.

With 37 races in all, there will be plenty of opportunity to get familiar with the latest kits from the top teams in men’s professional cycling, with some eye-catching new designs hitting the peloton in 2017.

New teams like Bahrain-Merida and new sponsors like UAE-Abu Dhabi mean plenty of new colours to get your head around in the bunch.

So, to help you out, we’ve rounded up all 18 UCI WorldTour kits – and, as ever, ranked and rated them. Who comes out on top in 2017? Read on…

18) FDJ

French team FDJ were bottom of our pile last year, and have stuck with the same blue, white and red design for 2017 – so we’re leaving them exactly where they were.

New year, same old kit for FDJ – and we still don’t like it (Pic: FDJ)

A predominantly white kit might look pristine as you leave the team bus, but after a day at the Spring Classics or a rain-soaked stage of the Grand Tour, it soon loses its appeal.

And just don’t get us started on those white shorts…

17) BMC Racing

BMC Racing’s red-and-black jerseys are an iconic part of the WorldTour peloton, with the Swiss-backed team sticking with the tried-and-tested formula throughout their time in cycling’s top tier.

But, while the red and black remains for 2017, the additional sponsorship of Tag Heuer for the new season has done their kit design no favours.

Tag Heuer’s logo is a new addition to the BMC Racing kit (pic – Tim de Waele/BMC Racing)

We appreciate the need for new sponsors, but the big white sleeves bearing the Swiss brand’s logo look like an afterthought – and, well, just don’t look any good.

It’s less garish on new signing Nicolas Roche’s Irish champion’s jersey, while the addition of a gold band on the cuffs for Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet is a nice touch. Samuel Sanchez gets the same treatment, too, having won Olympic gold in 2008.

But, having been one of our big favourites in recent years, this kit gets a no from us for the new season.

16) Ag2r-La Mondiale

Look, we’ve made no secret of the fact we’re not fans of Ag2r-La Mondiale’s polarising brown shorts, but the French team clearly loves it – they’ve even added more brown to their 2017 kit in the form of a new collar.

 

Ag2r’s team kit is instantly recognisable – but those brown shorts (Pic:

Otherwise the kit is largely unchanged from last year, with the eye-catching sky blue sleeve remaining to add a flash of colour.

The biggest change is in bike sponsor, with Focus’ name replaced on the kit by British brand Factor.

We love the team’s blue Factor O2 bikes and the jersey is instantly recognisable, it’s just those brown shorts…

15) Team Sky

Team Sky ended their partnership with Rapha in December, with Italian apparel brand Castelli taking over as kit supplier.

Castelli are the MAMIL’s choice, but we don’t think this Team Sky kit will be high on the must-buy list.

Team Sky’s Castelli kit is likely to look unimpressive from afar (Pic: Team Sky)

Up close it’s not too bad – the ‘morse code’ pattern actually an abstract representation of some of Team Sky’s biggest victories.

But from a distance, and in the midst of the peloton it’s not going to show up – it will just be a boring black jersey with ‘Sky’ logos on the chest and shoulders and very little of the blue touches which featured regularly on the Rapha kits.

Sky might harbour ambitions of year-round domination of the cycling world, but they won’t be winning on the kit front.

14) QuickStep Floors

QuickStep topped our charts in 2015, but went rapidly downhill in 2016 when they swapped to blue shorts and big Lidl logos – and 2017 is no better.

The blue jersey with white sleeves paired with blue shorts (both a lighter shade than in previous years) make this a throwback to some of the earlier QuickStep kit designs.

Marcel Kittel models QuickStep’s new kit (Pic: QuickStep)

Marcel Kittel has pointed out that not many teams are going for the blue-and-white combo – but the thing is Marcel, there’s a reason for that.

It’s understated, but would probably look better were it not for the blue shorts.

13) Bora-hansgrohe

Bora-hansgrohe have stepped up to the WorldTour for 2017, with their big-name signings including back-to-back world champion Peter Sagan and Tour de France King of the Mountains Rafal Majka.

Sagan, of course, will wear the rainbow bands for 2017 – pleasingly paired with black shorts again – while Majka starts the year in the colours of Polish national champion.

World champion Peter Sagan and former Team Sky man Leopold Konig in their Bora-hansgrohe kits for 2017 (Pic: Velo Images/Bora-Hansgrohe)

But the rest of the team are in black. And while there’s certainly less black in the peloton than a couple of years ago, it’s still just a bit plain.

The polka dot shorts – a nod to innovative cooker hood manufacturer Bora’s logo – are a nice touch but the jersey’s not going to turn heads.

12) UAE-Abu Dhabi

Lampre-Merida were bought out by Chinese investors Project TJ Sport, or so they thought – but when the money failed to materialise, Emirati sponsors stepped in to save the team.

It left little time for kit design, so we’ll let them off for it being a little plain in black and white, with an unusual Abu Dhabi skyline pattern running across the stomach.

A solid first attempt from the UAE-Abu Dhabi team (Pic: UAE-Abu Dhabi)

The national flag – all sporting investment from the oil-rich Emirate, from Manchester City Football Club to the Yas Marina Formula One circuit, are designed to promote Abu Dhabi to the wider world – is prominent on the jersey, and there are black cuffs to complete the look.

It’s a far cry from the fuchsia pink of their Lampre predecessors, and it is a little plain, but it’s a solid first effort so we’re going down the middle.

11) Team Sunweb

Team Sunweb – formerly Giant-Alpecin – have reverted back to the white-and-black design of previous seasons, as opposed to the black-and-white of last year.

In fact, the team switched colourway for the Tour de France in 2016, after a torrid start to the year following a horrific training camp crash which injured six of their leading riders.

Team Sunweb have swapped black-and-white for white-and-black (Pic: Sirotti)

Sunweb’s logo, meanwhile, means the touch of red previously offered up by Alpecin’s logo remains – though in a more understated fashion.

The boy racer stripes – or ‘Keep Challenging’ stripes, according to the team –also remain for 2017. It’s good, but it’s not great.

10) Bahrain-Merida

Bahrain-Merida’s addition to the WorldTour peloton has been met with some dissenting voices, who point to Bahrain’s questionable human rights record.

But purely from a cycling standpoint, the team clearly mean business with 2016 Giro d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali the biggest name added to their all-star roster.

Newcomers Bahrain-Merida will race in red and navy blue in 2017 (Pic: Bahrain-Merida)

As for the new Sportful kit, it’s the red of Bahrain’s national flag, navy blue sleeves to represent the two seas on either side of the island and a ‘royal gold’ emblem to reflect Bahrain’s culture.

It’s a complicated story, but as far as the TV cameras are concerned, the red and blue jersey should be easy to pick out. It’s a solid first effort.

9) Dimension Data

”Africa’s Team’ retained a place on the UCI WorldTour after cycling’s governing body backtracked on an initial plan to reduce the number of teams in the top tier to 17.

Given the number of wins the likes of Brits Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings enjoyed in 2016 (it was the points won from GC results which let them down), it was a popular decision.

More green for Dimension Data in 2017 (Pic: Scott Mitchell/Dimension Data)

It means the team’s predominantly black-and-white kits remain at cycling’s top table for 2017, with the addition of more green and the Qhubeka charity’s logo in the band across the chest.

Last year’s kit was a bit plain, so the added green is a winning move – and will no doubt please Cav, who uses the same colour for his CVNDSH brand.

8) LottoNL-Jumbo

LottoNL-Jumbo have tweaked their kit again for their third year under the sponsorship of the Dutch national lottery, adding black to the shoulders instead of white.

And it’s a big improvement, with the waspish look complemented by the team’s black-and-yellow Lazer helmets.

LottoNL-Jumbo have swapped white shoulders for black in 2017 (Pic: Sirotti)

It’s certainly better than their previous two kits, in our opinion, though the questionably big yellow Lotto balls remain across the chest.

Still, the new black-and-yellow colourway actually ties them in quite well though – not that they’ve been lucky balls for a team who saw the Giro d’Italia crown taken away from then runaway leader Steven Kruijswijk with just days remaining, after a spectacular crash in the snow.

7) Orica-Scott

Orica changed kits midway through last season, when they became Orica-BikeExchange, as opposed to Orica-GreenEDGE.

Now they are Orica-Scott – but they’ve decided to stick with the dark blue jerseys they finished the season in, as opposed to reverting to white and navy again.

Orica have stuck with the navy kits they finished 2016 in (Pic: Con Chronis/Orica-Scott)

The 2017 kit features Scott’s logo in a yellow-green band across the front – a touch of colour which should mean the Giordana kit stands out from afar.

Look out for British twins Simon and Adam Yates in the jersey as they look to continue their rapid rise up the WorldTour ranks.

6) Lotto-Soudal

Lotto-Soudal first launched their retro-inspired red kit in 2014 – and we liked it. They stuck with it in 2015 and 2016, and now again in 2017.

We still like it but, well, variety is the spice of life and it’s getting a bit predictable now.

James Shaw will make his WorldTour debut in Lotto-Soudal’s classic kit (Pic: Lotto-Soudal)

Nevertheless, it’s stylish and it’s distinguishable in the peloton – not least when Andre Greipel’s sprint train is lining out at the front of the bunch.

This will also be the kit British neo-pro James Shaw makes his WorldTour debut in, and it remains a strong performer in our rankings.

5) Movistar

Movistar are another team happy to stick with the tried and tested – the only changes, as ever, being a slight tweak to the big green Movistar ‘M’ on the chest and cuffs, which are also green for 2017.

Alex Dowsett shows off Movistar’s largely unchanged kit (Pic: Movistar)

The phone brand’s logo adds all the colour the team need to their predominantly navy kits, though as ever Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde will have designs on changing them for a Grand Tour leader’s jersey instead.

British time trial champion Alex Dowsett remains a Movistar rider too, though it will be in the blue, white and red-striped skinsuit of British time trial champion that he will bid for his biggest goal of the season – a Giro d’Italia stage win.

4) Trek-Segafredo

Trek-Segafredo have launched two kits for the 2017 season, a training kit which was revealed earlier in the year and then a race kit revealed on the eve of the start of the WorldTour campaign.

Sportful have been brought on board as kit sponsors and have found a use for all the  yellow material they had left over from their previous sponsorship of the now-defunct Tinkoff team with the training kit.

Trek-Segafredo’s training kit was launched first and is a winner in our view… (pic – Trek-Segafredo)

It will be a familiar look for new team leader Alberto Contador, who moved from Tinkoff for the 2017 season, and is paired with the team’s traditional black with white pinstripe jersey and Segafredo’s red and white logo.

…and Sportful have done a good job with race kit too (pic – Sportful)

As for the race kit, the yellow is replaced by red. Black and red is not exactly unique in the WorldTour, but Sportful and Trek-Segafredo have made it work. Two new kits, two big ticks.

3) Katusha-Alpecin

Last year’s number one team on the RCUK kit-o-meter have a new co-sponsor on board for 2017, with Alpecin having ditched Giant for Katusha.

It means Katusha’s predominantly red kit – or coral if you listen to the team’s marketing gurus – has a nice new splash of, erm, red.

Alpecin have swapped Giant for Katusha (Pic: Tim de Waele/Katusha)

It’s a decent combination though, as far as we’re concerned, with the colours reversed from last year (it’s now dark/coral above the sponsor logo, and red below) and the big ‘ю’ logo removed from the front.

We’re sticking with our high rating from last year – it’s a head turner that’s for certain and easy to pick out in the bunch – but there are two kits we prefer this time out…

2) Cannondale-Drapac

Cannondale welcomed Drapac on board as co-sponsors midway through the 2016 season and the partnership continues into 2017 as the Slipstream Sports team enters a second decade in pro cycling.

On the kit front, POC are kit sponsors and the eye-catching green argyle jerseys remain, with red cuffs and collar as a nod to Drapac’s sponsorship and a black hem to match the team’s black shorts.

We were big fans of last year’s green jerseys and the addition of red cuffs do it no harm either – noticeable, but not prominent enough to look garish.

Not everyone will like the argyle patterning, but it’s Slipstream Sports’ hallmark – and we’re big fans of the kit.

1) Astana

Astana have tended to keep things simple with a sky blue jersey over the year – the colour of which reflects the Kazakh national flag – but they’ve made one big change for 2017.

With Giordana replacing Moa as kit suppliers, out go the blue shorts, in come black shorts – with a fade pattern at the bottom of the jersey to nicely tie them in too.

Astana have gone for black shorts in 2017. Winner. (Pic: Sirotti)

And as far as we’re concerned it’s a big winner. Black shorts are old school cool and paired with Astana’s distinguished jerseys it’s a great look.

Fabio Aru will now be looking to pair those new shorts with the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia. We reckon he should just stick with the stylish sky blue and black instead because we love it.

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