In search of the world's best club jersey: Dulwich Paragon CC v Marlborough CC

Every week we pit two club kits against each other and you get to vote on the best designs

Jersey clash
(Image credit: Future/Simon Scarsbrooke)

Each week Cycling Weekly takes one step closer to finding the best club jersey in the world. To enter your club email cycling@futurenet.com

Ever clocked a local club run speeding past and reckoned their amazing kit could teach the WorldTour fashionistas a thing or two? Or maybe you felt it had no place being displayed in a public place and should be consigned to the recycled fabrics bin in the supermarket car park.

A little harsh perhaps, but in any case now you get to take a better look as we assemble club kits from all over the place and get the stories behind them. Even better, you get to choose your favourites in a weekly poll – this isn't called Club Jersey Clash for nothing! In each week's instalment we'll announce the winner of the previous week's clash.

Meet our clubs this week: Dulwich Paragon CC and Marlborough CC. Let battle commence!

Dulwich Paragon CC

Fred Wright poses with Dulwich Paragon CC members at Herne Hill velodrome

(Image credit: Dulwich Paragon CC)

We spoke to Dulwich Paragon communications secretary Martin Headon.

Q: How long has the club been going and what sort of riding do your members do?
A:
We were formed in 1935 as the Village Wheelers, helping those made unemployed by the Great Depression stay fit and active by riding into Kent and Surrey. These days our 500 members mostly have jobs, but still ride into Kent and Surrey on the weekend, and take part in racing of all disciplines, sportives, and Audax.

Q Tell us the story behind the jersey design.
A:
Not even our eldest club elders can remember exactly why we chose blue and gold as our colours. But they do remember that when we added red to the mix in the 80s, none other than Bernard Hinault mistook us for Belgians. The current clean, modern design is by club member Dave Rees, and supplied by Nopinz for super-aero race wear and Giordana for more relaxed riding kit.

Q: What are some of the most interesting rides – or biggest achievements – members have worn it for?
A:
A top three from many! Caroline Reuter winning at National Trophy cyclo-cross level in the V40s at Westmorland. Jonathan Gales (who tragically died in 2022) beating Ethan Hayter to win the National B Tour of the Hopfields in 2018. And Alex Brooke-Turner becoming both TT and road race national champion in the men’s handcycles in Harrogate.

Q: Is there anything else you might like to add about the jersey or the club?
A:
What sets us apart as a club is how many races we put on: the Wally Gimber National B road race, the legendary Crystal Palace crits, plus track opens, CX races, and more. And it’s only through our members volunteering their time that we can make this happen. That’s what makes us so proud to wear the jersey.

Marlborough CC

Marlborough CC members at the top of Combe Gibbet

(Image credit: Marlborough CC)

We spoke to Marlborough CC chair Simon Taylor.

Q: How long has the club been going and what sort of riding do your members do?
A:
Marlborough CC was formed in 2018 after the group of friends who rode the regular bike shop ride wanted to take things a further after the shop closed down. We originally thought we'd get maybe 20 members but now we have over 60 men and women regularly taking part in our club rides.

Although we started as a road club, we also have a very popular 'gravel' group within the club who ride the forest and downland tracks in the area. 

Q: Tell us the story behind the jersey design.
A:
Our club kit was designed by Ian Smith, one of the original club members. We chose orange as the basis because several other sports clubs in town also use that colour.

The gradient design features the profiles of many of our local climbs such as Milk Hill, Hackpen and Walbury Hill (also known as Combe Gibbet).

The jersey also features a crest, which is also based on the Marlborough town coat of arms but with a cycling theme.

The kit is popular because it is unique and very visible, and we often get compliments on our jersey when we're on tour.

The club also has a 'gravel' version of the jersey, which is in green rather than orange. The kit (jerseys, gilets, jackets and buffs) is supplied by Kalas. 

Q: What are some of the most interesting rides - or biggest achievements - members have worn it for?
A:
Although our club is fairly new and small, our members have taken part in big events such as the Etape du Tour and Mallorca 312. The Fred Whitton Challenge and the local White Horse Challenge are very popular within the club. Next year a group of us will be taking on the Maratona dles Dolomites. Our members have also raced in the local Wessex Cyclo-cross League. 

Q: Is there anything else you might like to add about the jersey or the club.
A:
Marlborough CC is a friendly club. New members often comment on how welcoming we are, and they soon settle in and take part in one of the different rides we put on. In the summer we have club rides five days a week, including differently paced groups within a few of those rides.

We also run an annual 'training camp' which is always well attended and great fun. Seeing 15-20 riders all in club kit rolling out from the hotel to tackle the mountains of Mallorca or mainland Spain is a great sight!

IT'S TIME TO VOTE!

Last week's Jersey Clash winners was Icknield Road Club with a whopping 86% share of the vote, with Bourne Wheelers taking 14%.

Get involved! Drop us a line at cycling@futurenet.com to feature your club in our weekly Club Jersey Clash.

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