By Jonny Long
EF Pro Cycling have certainly ruffled a few feathers with their one-off Giro d'Italia jersey, swapped in so the team doesn't clash with the maglia rosa, and their time trial helmet for the Italian Grand Tour is no different.
Team boss Jonathan Vaughters tweeted an image of the team's POC Tempor TT helmets for the race, which are adorned with a cartoon duck on the top.
The new kit is a collaboration with streetwear brand Palace, who's duck character features on some of their clothing.
The helmet will be worn on the opening stage one of the Italian Grand Tour, a time trial from Monreale to Palermo, before two further outings in the stage 14 race against the clock and the final stage 21 time trial in Milan.
In a video on EF's Instagram story unveiling the kit to their Giro squad, the riders are taken aback. "What is this?" laughs Lawson Craddock when he opens the case containing the helmet, before someone else adds "it's very loud, I mean...we already had a pretty loud kit. I didn't know it could be topped."
Lachlan Morton, who will be riding his first-ever Giro d'Italia, is a fan of the new look.
"I reckon EF are going to want to keep it and look like this forever," he says.
"Do you think people are going to be giving us hate? Deep down it's just jealousy."
The jersey will be available to purchase in limited numbers, as well as other assorted merchandise featuring the offbeat design. There is no word, however, on whether the helmet will be offered up for public consumption.
The riders’ bikes will also have a new look, with the Cannondale SuperSix Evo, SystemSix, and Slice bikes featuring a new all-white Palace-inspired design.
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."
"Absolutely brilliant motivation tactics here by Jonathan Vaughters," one person tweeted.
"Every single EF rider will now be more motivated than ever to win their National Championship or take a leader's jersey."
João Rodrigues snatches Volta ao Algarve victory from Ethan Hayter after punishing final climb
João Rodrigues snatched the Volta ao Algarve victory from Ethan Hayter after a punishing final climb
By Chris Marshall-Bell •
Five talking points from stage two of the Giro d'Italia 2021
Gaviria's run-in with a team-mate, confusion at the intermediate sprint, and Merlier's big win - don't miss these moments from the first sprint
By Stephen Puddicombe •
Rapha unveils its fastest ever skinsuit for the Giro d’Italia
British brand says a two-year project and a unique approach to fabric testing and evaluation has produced a new range of cutting edge race garments to be used by EF Education-Nippo in the Giro
By Simon Smythe •
EF Education-Nippo and Rapha reveal special edition ‘Euphoria’ kit for Giro d'Italia
This year's Giro switch-out kit that's designed not to clash with the maglia rosa doesn't feature any ducks... so far
By Simon Smythe •
EF Pro Cycling ask UCI to stop the Giro d’Italia on second rest day
EF Pro Cycling has written to the UCI asking for the Giro d’Italia to be stopped on the second race day because of the coronavirus pandemic.
By Alex Ballinger •
EF Pro Cycling fined £3,700 for 'non-compliant' clothing at Giro d'Italia 2020
'Hope David Lappartient enjoys his dinner - on us! Salud!' said team boss Jonathan Vaughters
By Jonny Long •
'I race hard... If there's a chance to go on the attack, I don't think. That's the way I see cycling.'
Cannondale-Drapac say they were feeling the pressure to win a WorldTour race, but followed up one at the Tour of California with a second at the Giro d'Italia on stage 17
By Gregor Brown •
Pierre Rolland ends long wait for a victory with solo win on Giro d'Italia stage 17
Pierre Rolland attacked with 7.7km on stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia to go to take Cannondale-Drapac's first Grand Tour win since 2015
By Richard Windsor •
'Our time will come': Cannondale-Drapac facing two years with no WorldTour win
American Cannondale-Drapac team haven't recorded a victory in cycling's highest level, the WorldTour since the Giro d'Italia in 2015
By Gregor Brown •
Hugh Carthy aiming for Giro d'Italia start with Cannondale-Drapac
The revelation of the 2016 Volta a Catalunya, young Briton Hugh Carthy is racing this year’s edition with half an eye on a Giro debut
By Peter Cossins •