EF Pro Cycling have been fined 4,500 Swiss Francs, or £3,700, for wearing non-compliant clothing at the 2020 Giro d'Italia.
The team unveiled an eye-catching new kit at the team presentation before the start of the Italian Grand Tour, a result of a collaboration between Rapha and skate brand Palace so that EF's usual pink kit didn't clash with the maglia rosa, which has captured the dreams and nightmares of cycling fans around the world.
However, the team apparently failed to register the kits with the UCI in time, resulting in all eight of their riders as well as a sports director being fined 500 CHF each at the team presentation.
"Non-compliant clothing during podium obligations (Team Presentation, 01 October 2020)" read the reason for the fine on the letter sent to the team by the UCI.
"Oh UCI Cycling...you guys are always looking out for the best interest of the sport, aren't ya?" Jonathan Vaugthers said of the situation on Twitter. "Thanks for the $4000 of fines for wearing our crazy ducks. Hope David Lappartient [UCI President] enjoys his dinner - on us! Salud!"
The UCI released a statement the morning before stage two clarifying the situation, saying: "All jersey must first be submitted to the UCI in their final version for approval...including in the case of a temporary change of jersey for an event, in particular to avoid it resembling another team jersey or a leader's jersey in the general classification, as well as any prohibited sponsorship.
"The EF Pro Cycling team displayed a different jersey than the one previously submitted to the UCI during the presentation of the teams for the Giro d'Italia 2020. As a result, the team deliberately failed to comply with the regulatory process and was fined CHF 4,500 by the UCI Commissaires' Panel. The team was then invited to regularise its situation by the UCI, which allowed it to start the race with this jersey.
"The UCI would also like to point out that the proceeds of the fines are distributed as follows: 50% to the National Federation organising the event, 50% to the UCI."
The kits, which feature white dots on a purple jersey, alongside the Palace duck, have been a marketing hit for the team already at the Giro.
On the opening stage's time trial, the riders also wore TT helmets that looked like ducks, with eyes poking out on top of the visor, as well as a full duck face on the back.
Rapha, who’ve been making EF’s kit since 2019, said it collaborated with Palace because of its lack of involvement in cycling and knowledge of its traditions, hoping to make "a team kit quite unlike any other seen in the peloton so far."
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1