Following the launch of Adidas’s new-look Great Britain team kit last week, Cycling Weekly has trawled the archives for the best – and worst – of the national jerseys worn through the years.
Give or take a sponsor being added or a slight change to the sleeve design, the kit worn by riders representing Great Britain at international events (not including the Olympics) has changed only eight times since 1959.
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Dating back to 1959 when the British Cycling Federation was formed, this kit will never win awards for its creativity. However, it is a reminder of a time when sporting jerseys were simple and, for the many years of this jersey’s existence, sponsor-free.[below]
The closest jersey, in design terms, to the recently unveiled 2013 kit, this strip used the BCF’s logo as its main inspiration. Only minor modifications were made to its appearance throughout this period.
This kit, which supported Manchester’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games, was worn at that year’s world track and road race championships in Oslo.
Newly-appointed World Class Performance Plan director Peter Keen wanted to create a “sea change in attitude” at the BCF. This short-lived lime green kit was certainly a radical departure from previous designs, one that CW at the time called a “monstrosity”.
Welshman Julian Winn designed this kit, which thankfully saw the level of green reduced significantly. At the time, Winn was combining a career as a freelance graphic designer with his racing programme.
CW said this jersey combined “the traditional red, white and blue in a modern swirl of colour” and heralded a “new age for British cycling, out to dominate world cycling by 2012”.
The first Adidas-produced kit. The biggest modification came in 2009, when Sky’s logos were added, and the words ‘Great Britain’ were dropped (see second picture)
BC and Adidas claim this new kit is the “most innovative ever launched”. One item in the range is said to combine “the aerodynamics of time trial skinsuits with the comfort of elite stage race jerseys”.