EF Education First Pro Cycling held off on releasing its 2019 uniform until Friday, four days before the WorldTour begins at the Santos Tour Down Under, and the unusual, striking kit is worth the wait. Rapha returns to the WorldTour peloton for the first time since it outfitted Sky in 2016 with a pink-dominant jersey that is reminiscent of tie dye, 1990s Hypercolor t-shirts and an oil slick.
Gone is the green and black trim of last year’s duds. And except for the inside of the collar, there’s little in the way of argyle. Instead, the pink has blue swirls that run to purple where the colours mix. The trim is white. The shorts are a darker blue. The riders’ Cannondale bikes have a similar pink and blue pattern.
Rapha says its aim is to “disrupt the appearance of the professional peloton,” adding, “The distinctive bright pink and blue pattern of the kit is primarily functional, designed to be immediately recognizable by fans, team support staff and riders during the race. Pink is a well-known signifier of both EF and Rapha, is unique in the current pro peloton, and will ensure riders stay visible in the chaos of racing, whatever the format.”
Canada’s Michael Woods, leading his team next week in Australia, looks dapper in the new jersey.