First photos of new road race world champion Peter Sagan in his rainbow-striped outfit with a new customised Specialized Tarmac

The first photographs have been published of freshly-crowned road race world champion Peter Sagan in his pristine rainbow-striped Tinkoff-Saxo cycling kit – and we’re almost afraid to report that he’s gone for white shorts.

The use of white shorts for professional riders is almost as contentious an issue among die-hard cycling fans as long, black socks. They don’t like them.

White shorts to match the traditional white top with rainbow bands is seen as a bit too flash. But, worse than that, no-one likes to see a grotty pair of white shorts when the roads get wet and muddy – as they inevitably do during the spring classics.

As well as his new kit, Sagan was also showing off a newly customised Specialized S-Works Tarmac, with a customised paint-job echoing the rainbow bands on his jersey.

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White shorts bad, but at least the bike looks good (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Mark Cavendish famously eschewed the full-on white ensemble during his tenure as world champion in 2011/2012. He stuck with the classic black shorts, turning his back on the sartorial bling introduced by the likes of Mario Cipollini and Paolo Bettini.

Such is the stigma attached to white shorts, that when British women’s road race world champion Lizzie Armitstead posted a photo of herself in her new rainbow-striped kit last week, she apologised for the use of white shorts. “First training ride in my stripes, don’t worry black shorts have been ordered”.

White shorts or not, Sagan has proved to be a very popular world champion already. He’ll be back in action and in his new kit at the Abu Dhabi Tour in the Middle East, starting on Thursday, October 8. Thankfully, the roads should be dry.

  • J1

    Oh imagine the pink and blue shorts with the Rainbow jersey on Rui Costa, that would’ve been lovely!

  • J1

    I dunno, Robert Förstemann’s are pretty incredible.

  • cusser from jamaica

    World road champions should stand out in the peloton. Lizzie and Peter have never looked so badassed as they do now with the white shorts with rainbows. Leave them on kids you both were supremely entertaining in the states.

  • chiefkurtz

    2015 was a great course, Richmond did itself proud.

  • Jan Ayalin

    Peter Sagan worked hard for whatever short colors he want to wear… Congrats Peto!! 🙂

  • linda hanna

    Suck it up everyone. Sagan can do what he pleases!!! He’s the world’s best on the road.

  • Arthur Ramos Schaefer

    Tony Martin, Rui Costa. All of these bikers used white pants. Can’t understand this article. Sorry..

  • Arthur Ramos Schaefer

    On XCO Nino Schurter has used white for so long. And we know MTB is so much wet and muddy than Speed races!! Why are we arguing???

  • Jon

    I upvoted in the hope you’re shopping for something to replace that faded gipiemme kit – I’m not keen on riding behind white shorts in the rain.

  • Chris Williams

    Looks good – most impressive legs in cycling today. Lizzie looks even better – keep the white shorts

  • Derek Jennings

    White shorts are great! Fed up with being able to buy any colour so long as it’s black.

  • J1

    I’m not sure blue & yellow shorts would look great. Tinkoff should change next season’s shorts to black if they’re that bothered.