There's simply no excuse for a polka dot bike, no matter how good at climbing you are

The Tour de France is a hotbed for new cycling tech. Companies are all over the world’s biggest bike race with their new gear, as, after all, it’s cycling’s biggest stage for a bit of marketing.

So it’s no surprise that when a rider gets hold of one of the prestigious jerseys of the Tour, their bike and kit sponsor roll out the custom kit to really show off while they have the spotlight.

But some definitely get it more right than others, so we decided to take a look at the best and worst Tour de France bike/jersey combinations.

The Best…

1. Thomas Voeckler, 2011

thomas voeckler 2011 tour de france watson

Colnago class from Thomas Voeckler (Photo: Watson)

Not too little, not too much, Thomas Voeckler has nailed it with the almost golden paintjob of his Colnago C59. Combined with the Campagnolo five arm chainset and box section wheels: lovely.

2. Cadel Evans, 2010

cadel evans yellow jersey tour de france watson

Less is more for Cadel (Photo: Watson)

The understated yellow of Cadel Evans‘s bike in 2010 just looks class, doesn’t it? So good that we can even overlook the clashes with the fluorescent yellow shoes and black and red shorts.

3. Fabian Cancellara, 2012

fabian cancellara yellow jersey tour de france sunada

Quality rider, quality bike (Photo: Sunada)

Understated in everything but his dominant riding, the plain yellow of Fabian Cancellara‘s Trek combines perfectly with the deep section black wheels.

4. Marco Pantani, 1998

marco pantani 1998 bianchi

Pantani’s Bianchi: an icon of modern cycling (Photo: Watson)

Not strictly a Tour de France customisation as Pantani rode this bike throughout the 1998 season, the celeste and yellow really shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. Even with the yellow tyres and yellow shoes, this is an iconic look.

>>> Marco Pantani’s bikes on display at Wilier

5. Chris Froome, 2013

chris froome tour de france yellow jersey

It’s the little touches that make all the difference for Froome (Photo: Watson)

In Chris Froome‘s previous stints in the yellow jersey he’s added more and more yellow touches to his bike as the Tour has progressed. Early in the race and the little details such as the yellow cable housing looks great.


Watch: our favourite cycling jerseys of all time


… And The Worst

1. Thomas Voeckler, 2012

thomas voeckler polka dot jersey tour de france 2 watson

Wrong in oh so many ways (Photo: Watson)

Tommy V goes from hero to zero with this polka dot bike, complete with polka dot wheels and even a polka dot seatpost. Still, nothing can be quite as bad as those polka dot shorts.

2. Peter Sagan, 2012

peter sagan green jersey champs elysees 2012 tour de france

Peter Sagan: never a man to do things by halves (Photo: Watson)

Peter Sagan had every right to be happy about his first green jersey triumph in 2012, but plain black wheels and a black stem would have looked better with the lovely green frame.

>>> Pro Bikes: Peter Sagan’s Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS (video)

3. Vincenzo Nibali, 2014

vincenzo nibali 2014 tour de france watson

Almost there apart from the wheels, hoods, and pedals (Photo: Watson)

A black bike with yellow decals should work, but something about Vincenzo Nibali‘s machine doesn’t quite look right. Maybe black hoods, pedals, wheels and bottle cages would have been better.

4. Pierre Rolland, 2013

pierre rolland tour de france polka dot jersey

Pierre Rolland has been spending too much time with Thomas Voeckler (Photo: Watson)

Obviously egged on by his teammate Voeckler, Pierre Rolland gets the chicken pox Colnago out for a spin.

5. Alberto Contador, 2010

alberto contador yellow jersey tour de france

Yellow cranks? Really? (Photo: Watson)

Where do we start really? A yellow frame was never going to work that well with red and pink details anyway, but has then taken things way too far with the yellow pedals and cranks.

>>> Tour de France bikes: Alberto Contador’s Specialized S-Works Tarmac

6. Andre Greipel, 2015

andre greipel green jersey watson

Someone at Ridley needs to check the colour palette (Photo: Watson)

On the face of it, this doesn’t look too bad, but then you notice that the paint is a slightly darker green to the jersey, and the red decals on the Campag wheels clash horribly.

7. Carlos Sastre, 2008

carlos sastre tour de france 2008 yellow jersey watson

Come on Carlos, put in some effort (Photo: Watson)

Maybe the Saxo Bank mechanics were good mates with the Schleck brothers, but they certainly weren’t putting much effort into helping Carlos Sastre celebrating the greatest day of his career in 2008.