In search of the world's best club jersey: Welland Valley CC v Thanet RC

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

Welland Valley CC v Thanet RC
(Image credit: Future)

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.

I mean, that's a little harsh, 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 first two clubs: Welland Valley CC and Thanet Road Club. Let battle commence!

Welland Valley CC for Jersey Clash

(Image credit: Welland Valley CC)

Welland Valley CC

(Image credit: Future)


We spoke to Judith Rout, vice-chair of Welland Valley CC

Q: How long has the club been going and what sort of riding do your members do?
A:
Our members do every sort of riding – well maybe not much BMX – we love cycling. The club was founded nearly a century ago in 1927 and is not just surviving but thriving.

Q: Tell us the story behind the jersey design
A:
The design was produced by club member Mike Smith. It was one of many options produced by club members and then voted for by them in 2014.

Members are really rather proud of the vibrant design and some even go to the trouble of wearing red socks on the right feet and blue on the left to match the jersey sleeves. Club kit is all made by Vanelli. One of the owners of Vanelli is a member of the club and we get great customer service.

Q: What are some of the most interesting rides – or biggest achievements – members have worn it for?
A:
There are two that really stand out this year. The first was 78-year-old Denis Smith riding in the masters cyclo-cross World Championship. He came first in his age category and it’s wonderful to see him racing this year in his special WVCC jersey complete with rainbow bands. What made it even more special was that another club member – Vic Barnett, who is a past Masters world champion too – was also on the podium with him.

The second is 15 year-old Ruby Isaac who recently won the junior National Hill-Climb Championship, knocking over four minutes off the previous record for the hill. She was not only the fastest juvenile but also the fastest junior.

Q: Is there anything else you might like to add about the jersey or the club?
A:
The brilliant thing about our brilliant yellow jersey is that if we have a number of participants in a group race it is extremely easy to pick them out and see how they are progressing.

Nic Fennell of Thanet RC in action 2023

(Image credit: Frank Roscoe)

Thanet RC

(Image credit: Future)

We spoke to Thanet RC general secretary Simon Henderson 

Q:  How long has the club been going and what sort of riding do your members do?
A:
TRC was founded in 1947. We have a wide variety of disciplines, currently time trials are our most supported events, club events and opens.

Q: Tell us the story behind the jersey design.
A:
[Henderson pointed us to the extensive history on the club website, where we found an impressive gallery of its jerseys dating back to the woollen items of the 1950s. The club colours were traditionally yellow, blue and red – one anomaly being in the 1980s when the club wanted to mimic the design of the famous PDM team, but a communication issue meant the items received featured the original PDM colours rather than those of the club. In 2011 the blue was replaced with black, with the most recent design majoring on simplicity.]

Q: What are some of the most interesting rides – or biggest achievements – members have worn it for?
A:
Chris Fennell [recent former national champion at 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles] started off his time trialling exploits at TRC. His brother Nic has won 18 out of the 20 open time trials he has entered in 2023.

If you would like your club to feature in Club Jersey Clash, please get in touch: cycling@futurenet.com

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