The Tour de France always inspires cycling teams to do something a little bit special from the norm. The focal point of the season sees teams looking to get as many eyeballs on them for their sponsors. Last year we saw the likes of EF putting dinosaurs on their jersey as they linked up with skateboarding brand Palace for the second time and the year before that was the special purple and gold jersey from the then Alpecin-Fenix as a homage to Mathieu van der Poel’s grandfather. It was a throwback to the Mercier-BP-Hutchinson team from the 60s/70s that Raymond Poulidor raced for and earned his ‘eternal second’ nickname behind Jacques Anquetil.
This year we’ve seen 2 teams completely change their sponsors going into the Tour de France. Team DSM’s parent company merged to become DSM-Firmenich, which eventually passed down to the cycling team in a necessary rebrand. Trek-Segafredo also changed their team name to Lidl-Trek as Segafredo ceased to sponsor and the budget supermarket took over the reins. New sponsor, new colours.
Some teams like Movistar like to make changes for a cause, which harks back to Team Sky’s 2018 special orca jersey. Others have a simple colour change and some like Uno-X want to just add a focus to another part of their sponsor’s collections of brands. Lotto Soudal previously changed to Lotto Fix All (at the Giro & Paris-Nice) and New Lotto Soudal in 2018.
2023 Tour de France special edition team jerseys
The Bahrain-Victorious team is set to make a noticeable change in their attire for the forthcoming Tour de France. Renowned for their eye-catching red and orange ensembles, the squad will adopt a white kit for the French contest, reflecting Bahrain’s significant role in the global pearl fishing and trading industry. When introducing the kit, Bahrain-Victorious clarified that the teal touches reflect the Arabian Gulf, while the pearl-like gold accents signify the brilliance of pearls. Four pearl-shaped logos of the team’s main sponsors grace the jersey. While gold is used on the trim of the sleeves and the base of the bib shorts, the shorts primarily maintain a conservative black colour.
The changes put forth by Bahrain-Victorious are not confined to their attire. Their bicycles will also undergo a transformation for the Tour de France. Riders like Fred Wright and Matej Mohorič will be riding white bicycles adorned with blue designs on the forks and the Merida logo in striking gold prominently showcased on the frame. The pearl-inspired theme extends to the team’s socks supplied by Alé, as well as their Rudy Project helmets and Scicon glasses.
Uno-X Pro Cycling
Uno-X Pro Cycling, a Scandinavian squad and a wildcard for the Tour de France, was one of the few teams that opted to keep their existing jersey design for the 2023 season. They reasoned this choice was due to environmental concerns and the absence of changes in their sponsorship, thus negating the necessity for a complete kit overhaul. However, circumstances have since evolved for Uno-X. For the Tour de France, both the men’s and women’s teams will enjoy support from supermarket chain REMA 1000, a change that makes sense given REMA 1000 and Uno-X share the same parent company.
The team’s new jersey differs from the previous primarily red and yellow design, with a dominant red theme except for a central yellow stripe bearing the Uno-X logo. The conspicuous ‘R’ logo of REMA 1000 is prominently displayed on the jersey’s back, sleeves, and side panels. As the new design’s colours align with the existing Uno-X kit, the transition to brighter red should be relatively seamless. Given Uno-X’s trademark assertive riding style, we expect to see a lot of this jersey leading the pack in the Tour de France, even if we might mistake it for the Spanish national champion every now and again.
Team DSM has unveiled a kit update that won’t just apply to the Tour de France, but will see them through the entire season. A new sponsorship from dsm-firmenich is now backing both the men’s and women’s teams. This company, as described in the team’s press release, leads the way in reinventing, producing, and merging key nutrients, flavours, and fragrances. As the women’s team approaches the Giro Donne and the men’s team gears up for the Tour de France, Team DSM will be officially known as Team dsm-firmenich.
This new sponsorship has ushered in an upgrade to the DSM kit. The team’s uniform, formerly black, has now shifted to navy with a gradient to blue at the back. The iconic light blue stripes, embodying the ‘Keep Challenging’ ethos of Team DSM, still adorn the kit, ensuring the team’s recognisable presence in the peloton. But the front of the jersey features an interesting change: the dsm-firmenich logo is displayed in a trio of white blobs on the chest, the rear of the jersey, and the shorts’ side, offering premium visibility for the sponsor. Despite these changes, the kit isn’t a radical departure from what we’re used to from Team DSM, so fans and riders like Romain Bardet should find the transition smooth for the Tour. It’s a subtle variation that still respects the team’s identity. Good work, Team DSM.
For those who’ve been following cycling for a long time, this harks back to the Garmin Slipstream jersey from around say 2009. There’s no argyle but the stripes do have some meaning. The white represents Mt Hermon, the blue is the coastline of Israel and the orange represents the desert. Linking all three is the Israel National Trail that runs from north to south over 1000 kilometres and is shown on the bottom half of the front.
The orange shoulder should help visibility but with so many new jerseys, it’s going to be a tough first few days getting the eyes adjusted to all the new variations!
In April of this year, Jumbo-Visma, winners of the last Tour de France with Jonas Vingegaard, gave us a sneak peek of their special Tour de France kit. They introduced it with a quirky AI-made video starring a young Jonas Vingegaard. They hope the design of the kit will spur the cyclists of tomorrow to dream big about joining the Tour. This jersey design came from a partnership with Efteling, a well-known Dutch theme park. It’s interesting to note that the park used to host a bike-riding merry-go-round called The Vélodrome, and so this jersey and few other items are part of the Vélodrome collection.
Efteling shared a “story of belief, dreams, and hard work” to inspire the new Jumbo-Visma Tour de France kit. The tale focuses on a kid who breaks free from The Vélodrome merry-go-round and winds up on the Champs-Élysées. The team’s jersey aims to capture the magic of dreams. It boasts a starry sky and constellations on the black areas of the jersey, with Jumbo-Visma’s trademark yellow on the right sleeve. It was launched with that somewhat creepy AI video of a young Jonas Vingegaard that had…a mixed reception!
In honour of their ten-year involvement in the Tour de France, Bora-Hansgrohe has introduced a special edition kit that holds great sentimental value. This kit carries the names of those riders who have created notable moments with team manager Ralph Denk. Among these celebrated riders are Peter Sagan, who clinched the team’s initial stage victory, and Emanuel Buchmann, who ended up fourth overall in the 2019 Tour. Denk also took the chance to appreciate the Tour de France organisers, ASO, for giving his team a wildcard spot three times consecutively in the multi-week race.
The ‘Band of Brothers’ motto, a representation of the team’s solidarity, is featured on the jersey’s back, along with the logos of Bora-Hansgrohe, Specialized, and Le Col – all key sponsors of this German team. The bib shorts’ hem mirrors the jersey with a pattern of numerous past and current team riders’ names, making sure the overall ensemble coherently aligns. While this kit maintains the distinctive green colour that has represented Bora-Hansgrohe over recent seasons, it significantly differs from the standard Bora kit with more of a minty green.
Movistar is set to unveil a stark contrast to their usual kit in the 2023 Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes (although no women’s riders have been photographed in it yet). This new uniform, aptly named the ‘Iceberg’ kit, trades in the team’s characteristic navy blue for white. According to Movistar, this ‘Iceberg’ kit aims to accomplish four things: to boost the technical performance and sustainability of the materials used in the apparel, to highlight Movistar with a groundbreaking design in the Tour de France, and to promote social consciousness towards safeguarding our oceans and seas. There was a bit about the announcement on ProCycling when it was released too.
The team pointed out that this kit, crafted by Gobik, will be made from a minimum of 60% recycled plastic materials, thus marking it “the most sustainable kit ever worn by a team on the Tour.” Furthermore, Movistar shared that the jerseys worn by the cyclists will be signed and put up for auction following the race, with proceeds going towards funds dedicated to ecological causes. With Bahrain Victorious also going white, plus UAE who are always in white, it will be interesting to see if the jerseys are different enough. Also compared to national champion jerseys that can often be white too.
The Kazakh team, Astana Qazaqstan, are setting their sights on a memorable 2023 Tour de France. Their sole goal is to secure Mark Cavendish his 35th stage victory, a feat that would undeniably make its mark in the annals of cycling history. Stuck on 34 wins after a memorable 2021 Tour de France, this year is the last chance for the Brit to break the record of Eddy Merckx with retirement on the horizon.
Astana’s kit provider, Giordana, has pulled out all the stops, creating a Tour-specific jersey with an eye-catching, marble-like pattern of gold and blue. On their website, Astana explains the unique allure of the pattern, likening it to mineral veins, with colours that resonate with the blue of the sky, the gold of the sun, and elements of the Kazakh flag.
It’s kinda similar to a Rapha-designed jersey for L39ION a couple of years ago but is definitely more eye-catching than their current year-on-year design. If Cavendish does set the record, this jersey will be highly visible in the record books.
Trek has swapped Segafredo for Lidl and created a new jersey design as a result. Basic blue, yellow and red colours have been fashioned together. A lot of people don’t approve of the way the Lidl square just sits there on the chest between two other Lidl squares. The back looks significantly better with the geometric shapes but for some reason on the front it has gone basic and worse for it.
The national champion jerseys are some of the worst on show, however. Particularly Skjelmose’s Danish one where the Lidl square sits a bit obnoxiously in the middle of the Danish flag, something that didn’t happen before on Mads Pedersen’s jerseys.