I may have watched too much cycling on the telly lately. In my defence, 2020 has been a bitch. Any down time has been earned.
This came to my attention because I have alighted on a new favourite kit in the pro peloton. Maybe even team. And not only that, a new angle.
This sort of low-rent revelation only comes after a tipping point of Tour de France tittle-tattle has been reached. A few days on Eurosport in the company of Carlton Kirby and Sean Kelly and my entire worldview has flipped.
Team Sunweb, in general, are not a squad to set pulses racing. They seem quite controlling and orderly. Not overly spontaneous. I hear their riders have to deal with a lot of emails and management admin. Their kit for 2020 reflected this, or so I thought.
From the front, white with a couple of ill-placed vertical stripes, the Cervelo é in black on the shoulders, the Sunweb S in red on the upper arms. Dull and fussy. The cardinal sins of kit design. If you go with dull then you must make it plain and describe it as clean and minimal.
They got it all wrong.
Dull, with added fussy.Embed from Getty Images
Then, early in the Tour de France, I found my TV screen awash with a full Sunweb lead-out train on a mission to deliver the tremendously named Cees Bol for a sprint win.
And side on, in full flight, they looked implausibly fanTAStic!
With fussiness hidden the back and white became, as discussed, minimal. The black shades with crisp white arms up top, and the crisp white socks below, topped and tailed it. Crisply. The bike, a black-white-fade-to-red affair with a fancy cockpit offered just a touch of pizazz.
If Cees Bol’s leftfield name weren’t enough to have me cheering them for a win (and, for the record, it very much was…) then the surprising cut to the jib of a side-on-Sunweb sealed the deal.Embed from Getty Images
And then, to take the already sealed deal, drop in into a biohazard bag and send it off for further tests, my new favourite folk hero Marc Hirschi only went and did what he nearly did…et voila; I find myself, oddly, a Sunweb fan.
I’ll be damned.
Just when we thought 2020 couldn’t get any weirder.