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Throwback to the ‘Jeans Team,’ the Italian Carrera squad

The Canadian tuxedo went all spandex

The late Marco Pantani doing an interview Photo by: Sirotti

In the ’80s and ’90s there were lots of flashy outfits—from the Mondrian-inspired La Vie Claire kit to the flashy Z squad. The Belgian super team Mapei, as well as the French Gan outfit were famous for multi-coloured patterns on their shorts. And of course, who can forget Mario Cippolini’s incredible sartorial choices?

Carrera was an Italian-based team that ran from 1984 to 1996. Its title sponsor was the jeans company, Carrera. The team rose to fame after Irish rider Stephen Roche achieved the triple crown of cycling in 1987: winning the Tour of Italy, Tour de France, and the world champs. Back then, the team’s kit was fairly standard, but that would soon change.

Later, Claudio Chiappucci became the team’s star, wearing the yellow jersey for most of the 1990 Tour, only to lose it to Greg LeMond in the final time trial. (Canadian Steve Bauer had the maillot jaune for ten days that year, too.)

The late Marco Pantani, one of the finest climbers to grace the sport would also wear the jeans kit. Carrera would eventually double down on their team garb, making not only the bibs, but the jersey in a jean style.

Pantani won the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia in 1998. He died Feb. 14, 2004, due to heart failure caused by cocaine poisoning.