Does Richard Carapaz’s Rapha Olympic champion's jersey break UCI rules?

The Ecuadorian's special EF Education-EasyPost kit might not be gold enough for the UCI

Richard Carapaz
(Image credit: Chris Milliman)

When EF Education-EasyPost released their 2023 kit, the American team shared a separate statement regarding Richard Carapaz’s design. “A kit fit for the Olympic champ,” the team wrote. “The gold accents on his jersey and shorts are subtle.”

The design, produced by cycling brand Rapha, will see Olympic road champion Carapaz wear an almost identical kit to the rest of the squad. The only difference is that the text on the Ecuadorian’s bib shorts is gold, rather than white, as is the Rapha logo on his armband. 

As EF highlight, the motifs are subtle. But might they be too subtle for the UCI’s jersey regulations?

According to the UCI's Jerseys Visual Guidelines, which stipulate the placement of logos and special bands on team kit, there are strict rules surrounding the piping on the Olympic champion’s jersey. 

The document outlines that a specific shade of gold-coloured piping “must seamlessly go around the sleeves and collar” of the jersey. In both instances, the height of the gold piping may differ, with the collar allowed to a maximum height of 5cm and the sleeves set to 5cm. 

Carapaz's kit has no such gold piping.

The UCI also instructs designers to “apply a 30mm minimum distance between each integration on the jersey,” be that sponsors’ logos, gold piping or a rider’s name.

“The proportions and dimensions indicated are in accordance with the UCI Regulations and must therefore be respected,” the governing body writes. “All jerseys/skinsuits must be approved by the UCI before production.” 

Riding for Ineos Grenadiers last season, the Ecuadorian’s jersey generally adhered to the above UCI rules. Similar designs can also be seen in jerseys worn by the previous Olympic road champion Greg van Avermaet, who won gold in Rio in 2016, and the current time trial champion Primož Roglič.  

According to the UCI's guidelines, teams who do not follow the jersey specifications and approval process may be subject to fines. In 2020, EF were fined 4,500 Swiss Francs (£3,700) for "non-compliant clothing" at the Giro d'Italia team presentation, where the riders wore special edition Palace duck jerseys.

Both EF Education-EasyPost and the UCI were approached for comment by Cycling Weekly last Friday, but neither have yet responded.

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.