The news that the UCI and Santini will be offering a new collection of rainbow bands clothing and accessories has proved surprisingly controversial.
On Friday (January 22), the UCI announced its new range of world champion replica kit, including jerseys, shorts, gilets, and accessories.
The rainbow bands are iconic in the world of cycling as the rainbow jersey is worn by the world champion of each discipline, from road cycling to BMX racing.
But despite the familiarity of the kit, the decision to release this new line has proved controversial amongst some cycling fans, who feel the rainbow bands should only be “earned” and not bought.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “The joint UCI-Santini initiative in partnership with Decathlon is a magnificent opportunity to take the popularity of our sport beyond its traditional public. The commercialisation of high-quality, attractive and well-priced articles in the rainbow colours, the global symbol of cycling, in a major shop specialising in multisport and leisure, will enable us to reach new categories of bike users. This is in line with our desire to promote cycling more widely as outlined in the UCI’s Agenda 2022 and underlying our ‘Ride and Smile’ campaign. ”
Designed and manufactured by the Italian brand Santini, the UCI’s official clothing partner, the items will be available from March 2021 exclusively in Decathlon shops in Italy, Belgium, Hungary and Switzerland as well as via Decathlon’s website. The shops will have a dedicated UCI-Santini corner.
Road cycling category manager for Decathlon Italy, Donato Favale, said: “The commercial partnership with Santini satisfies the dual ambition of Decathlon Italy: to put the greatest number of cycling enthusiasts on the saddle and to establish a collaboration that will allow us to fulfil our mission ‘Sport for the Many’. The product offer outlined with Santini and the UCI will be present in 75 per cent of physical Decathlon Italy stores and in 100 per cent of the online offer.
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