New Year’s Day not only signals the first day of the year but the riders are also allowed to start using their 2012 team’s gear. There were quite a few exciting transfers with HTC-Highroad folding and Geox going bankrupt and we tried to gather all as many new jerseys as possible. Did we leave out someone? Let us know.
First up probably the most dominant cyclist of 2011, Philippe Gilbert. He joined the Dream Team called BMC and he already showed off his new colours as soon as the rules allowed him to do so.
Tejay Van Garderen have also had a stellar year with excellent performances through the year. When his team, HTC Highroad folded, he was quickly snapped up by BMC.
Big applause to the all-new FDJ Big Mat jersey - except that there is almost nothing new about it. The only addition is the new sponsor, Big Mat (a supermarket chain in France), otherwise it's pretty much the same as last year.
When we first caught a glimpse of the new, almost all-Australian powerhouse, Greenedge's jersey design, we were all sure that this is just a interim design until they come up with something for the start of the season that is less, khm, ugly. But they haven't. This is what Matt Goss or Robbie McEwen will wear in 2012.
It's a bit more red, it's a bit less blue and Canyon is the new bike sponsor, instead of Focus - all in all, not a lot of change, at least in terms of the jersey design. Having, among others, Oscar Freire and Dennis Menchov on the roster, it will be an interesting year for Katusha.
Another new formation are the Lotto-Belisol team. It used to be the Omega Pharma - Lotto, but Omega Pharma jumped ship and seeked the love of Quickstep. And the jersey design? There's nothing wrong with it, I even like the combination of the deep-blue and the hint of red, however, it's a rather nondescript jersey, don't expect to spot Andre Greipel from miles during the Tour de France.
Here is what we think might have happened here: the designers of this jersey spent way too much time with the designers of yesteryear's Team Trek LEEOOHPARD jersey and they got very envious of the pale colours and the overall design and decided to come up with their own iteration. What they left out of the equation was that the sponsors wanted all their logos in their original colours hence the jersey looks like an overzealous teenager's sticker collection.
I'm utterly puzzled by this photo, it's weird on so many levels.
It's weird to see 'the fastest leadout man in the business' a.k.a. Prince Harry a.k.a. Mark Renshaw not in HTC-Highroad colours and not leading out Cavendish. It will be an interesting year for him and for Rabobank as well, how they will balance Robert Gesink's GC ambitions and Renshaw's ambition to win as many sprint finishes as possible. The first head-on battle between him and Cav will also be a very interesting one.
It was probably the most anticipated transfer in 2011 and once it became public that Mark Cavendish had signed for Sky, we all wanted to know how the jersey was going to look like. We didn't have to wait long, Cav shared a photo on the 1st Jan, as soon as possible and the official photo was up on their website pretty soon. Like.
Last, but not least, one of the most iconic cyclist of 2011, Johnny Hoogerland and two other teammates. The jersey isn't that much different but it's a shame that Hoogerland's team mate fell victim to this horrible disease. We don't know what the disease was but it clearly made him loose most of the flesh on his left arm...
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