By Nigel Wynn
With the 2018 race season drawing ever closer, the top cycling teams are revealing the latest versions of their team clothing.
We take a look at the 2018 WorldTour team kit revealed so far. Some have gone for a radical reworking, whereas others have gone for the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach.
A change in name for the Australian squad formerly known as Orica-Scott. The team's clothing retains the dark blue from previous years, but the green takes on a brighter hue to fit in with Scott's colourscheme, which should give a splash of colour to the peloton.
Team Sky - 3/5
Gone has the black kit of previous years, to be replaced to something more akin to Team Sky's white 2017 Tour de France clothing. It's still distinctive, but it may take some getting used to.
Dimension Data - 4/5
Another team to go for a lighter kit is South African squad Dimension Data. British sprinter Mark Cavendish modelled the clothing when it was revealed.
BMC Racing Team 4/5
New sponsor Sophos adds a dash of blue to BMC's classic black-and-red kit, which otherwise appears very similar to 2017's Assos-made offering. There are some other minor changes, but otherwise it's business as usual for one of the fans' favourite pro cycling outfits.
Bora-Hansgrohe's jersey redesign has to be one of the most successful of 2018 so far. It retains the team's identity from last season's kit, yet manages to look more distinctive and fresh.
Gone is the all-red kit of 2017 to be replaced with one that includes decidedly more blue. With the inclusion of five-time 2017 Tour de France stage winner Marcel Kittel for 2018, it's highly likely that we'll see the kit streaking towards the finish line on numerous occasions.
Quick-Step Floors 3/5
Not a huge change from the 2017 Quick-Step Floors kit, but that is okay as it is already one of the more distinctive WorldTour outfits. The Belgian team has gone for a white band around the chest (similar to Ag2r below) to highlight the sponsor's name. Supermarket chain Lidl keeps its branding on the sleeves. One addition is a 'wolfpack' logo, which is apparently how the squad refers to itself.
Ag2r-La Mondiale 3/5
French team Ag2r-La Mondale have made a major change to their jersey for 2017, with the old logo-strewn design dispensed with in favour of a bold brown, white and blue kit. The team's trademark, love-them-or-hate-them brown shorts have been retained.
Movistar - 3/5
Perhaps the most surprising change in kit for 2018 is Movistar's departure from their dark blue and green kit from the past few seasons. Instead, the team has opted for blue fading into black with a large white M for title sponsor Movistar.
EF Education First-Drapac - 4/5
A new title sponsor has seen the team-in-green move to an even more colourful kit that will certainly stand out from the crowd in the peloton. There's still a touch of trademark Argyle on the sleeve cuffs for continuity.
Lotto-Soudal - 3/5
Not a huge change, but subtle alterations to the Lotto-Soudal strip brings things up to date and with a nod to retro design thrown in. Both men's and women's top-tier Lotto-Soudal teams get the same design.
Astana - 3/5
Continuing this trend of averagely rated kit is Astana, who have gone for a 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' redesign. It's still much better than the all over turquoise they insisted on prior to last year, but it remains a fairly lacking in inspiration, despite Movistar seemingly loving it enough to try and follow it.
The the team's own admission, when designing their 2018 team strip they "kept it simple and didn’t change much". The most noticeable differences between the 2018 and 2017 kit is that the word 'Bahrain' now has a dark blue background and the sleeves are predominantly red rather than blue. Dark blue shorts complete the outfit.
A few design tweaks here and there for LottoNL-Jumbo's 2018 team jersey, which largely remains the same as 2017. The team says: "This S-PHYRE performance clothing line is designed to cheat the air, maximizing aerodynamic advantages and power transmission to deliver the riders more performance per gram." So there we have it.
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