pro cycling

The trouble with Bahrain Mclaren

Baffling but true. Many Twitter types are proclaiming with confidence that the tequila sunrise fade of the Bahrain McLaren bike and jersey is, and I quote, ‘the shit.’

‘Best kit in the peloton bar none,’ is a phrase being bandied around. ‘Burnt sunshine’ announced one otherwise entirely sane individual recently. This was a good thing, apparently.

To which I laid down my phone and self-barred myself for an hour to avoid the descent into problematic fashion based ‘Twitter spat.’

I am not immune to the idea of supporting a pro team on the basis of mere clothes. In fact, it’s often my first consideration. But no. Had I, as a kid, possessed some artistic flair and an early design software package on my ZX Spectrum I’d have come up with the red, to orange, to yellow fade and the basic, blocky font.

It’s the 1980’s as design palette.

And the bike is called the Merida Reacto; which may or may not be named after a comic-book character and sounds like it’s aimed at pale-faced indoor schoolboys.

Embed from Getty Images

All of this is before I’ve even started on Bahrain (which as a country, is problematic), and McLaren (which as a company, is mind-bendingly tedious).

Many years back, before I stopped watching F1 racing, every other week the TV coverage would feature rhomboid-jawed Scottish driver David Coulthard treating us to a breathless tour of a spotless (and frankly disturbingly well ordered) McLaren factory. Coulthard and the other petrol-mongers treated it with a Sistine Chapel reverence.

It was a shrine of logic, order, and smart-arsed business, and it left me as cold as the scalpel shine of the factory floor. Populated, back then, by people who were undoubtedly controlling controllables and pushing envelopes, and are now probably tickling the badger and birthing the embryo (or whatever it is that tedious corporate types get up to these days).

Being neither a car fan, nor a serious, stern-browed control freak, they are not for me. Former Sky boffin Rod Ellingworth is now, of course, badger-tickler-in-chief at Bahrain Mclaren pro cycling team, and quite frankly the entire project leaves me a little cold.

They may, of course, be about to light up the remainder of the truncated 2020 season with a display of maverick free radical racecraft:

Mikel Landa flexing his eyebrows and conquering entire mountain ranges single-handed; Matej Mohoric reprising his party trick of riding away off the front of the race, hands draped like puppy paws across his bars, wondering why everyone is making it look so hard; Mark Cavendish slamming doors and insulting journalists for old times sake.

If only that were part of the business plan.

(Top Image: Petar Milošević / CC BY (

1 comment on “The trouble with Bahrain Mclaren

  1. I can forgive the garish kit, the Bahrain blood money not so much…

    Liked by 1 person

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