Here's why Jumbo-Visma are riding blue tyres at the Critérium du Dauphiné 2021

Some of the Dutch squad's bikes are equipped with blue tyres at the French stage race

Jumbo-Visma at the Critérium du Dauphiné 2021
(Image credit: Getty)

As the sun beats down on the Critérium du Dauphiné peloton, evoking jealousy from team-mates who instead were sent to ride a rainy and cold Giro d'Italia, there was something that didn't look quite right with the Jumbo-Visma squad.

The black and yellow of their jerseys was the same, and by now we've grown used to them riding matching Cervélos instead of Celeste Bianchis, but look more closely, and you could spot that some of the riders had blue tyres.

The voice of race radio for ASO races, Seb Piquet, was the first to spot these tyres from his vantage point inside the race director's car, noticing that some of the Jumbo-Visma squad had a different colour front tyre, their back one remaining the usual black.

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Unfortunately, it's not the latest technological innovation, boffins in a wind tunnel somewhere discovering that blue is more aero than black, but is actually due to a commercial partnership the team has with a company called Swapfiets.

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Swapfiets are a bicycle subscription service operating in a number of European cities that provide members with an "always functioning bike", their service cars with bikes on the roof often spotted in major metropolitan areas, and the bikes recognisable due to their front blue tyre.

So, a marketing ploy, but a clever one. Hopefully, we'll next see EF Education-Nippo with tie-dye tyres or Bahrain-Victorious with luminous orange.

“Swapfiets is an innovative leader when it comes to urban cycling. Our team is innovative in our way of working, so we match with Swapfiets and you will see that in the peloton," said Jumbo-Visma boss Richard Plugge. 

"We both believe the more people cycle the better it is for the health of everyone and the cities we live in. Together we will help people to cycle more, as a sport as well as day-to-day. We hope that someday our next star athlete will have started his career on a Swapfiets road race bike."