It appears as though Fabio Aru has been issued with a new team jersey after controversy erupted over the first version of his Italian road race national champion colours with new squad UAE Team Emirates.
The team had posted a photo of Aru in his new Italian champions jersey as part of its unveiling of 2018 team kit. However, many fans had branded the jersey as unacceptable as the Italian tricolore stripes were pushed far down the jersey, below a large sponsor’s logo.
“The worst national champs jersey I have ever seen. Yuck!” said one Twitter user, while another commented “Poor Fabio, how can you ruin the Italian jersey like that.”
With the controversy brewing, Italian paper Gazzetto dello Sport reported that Aru had said that this was not a final version of the jersey.
Subsequently, Aru posted a photo of himself on a training ride with a seemingly redesigned jersey with the tricolore given far more prominence and the sponsor logo much reduced. The tricolore also features on the sleeve cuffs.
It’s not the first time that a team’s version of a national champion’s jersey has caused an upset among cycling fans.
Aru’s former Astana team-mate Vincenzo Nibali sported a ‘reduced’ Italian national champions jersey in 2014, which featured bands in the centre for the tricolore.
Aru himself had an all green/white/red national champions jersey at Astana when he became Italian national champion in 2017.
Complaints were also aired by fans after Team Sunweb unveiled Ramon Sinkeldam’s Dutch national champion’s jersey, with the stripes squeezed in among the logos.
Sinkeldam has now moved to French team FDJ for 2018, where national champions’ jerseys are devoid of any large sponsor logos and given top-to-bottom bands.