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Tout le monde attend l’arrivée du Tour de France


By Phil Hecken

I know as much about bicycling as the next guy, which means nothing. But I do remember watching a bunch of Tour de France’s back when some guy named Armstrong was rewriting all the record books — possibly on PEDs as it turns out — but it definitely brought cycling to the forefront of American sports (as much as can be done, I suppose), since well…this guy rode around and around a track in Indy some 32 years ago.

But ever since the Tour de Lance ended and that other American with a plastic yellow bracelet had a brief moment in the sun, I haven’t really paid much attention to the race. Sure, I know the leader wears a yellow jersey, but that’s about it.

Fortunately, there are Uni Watch readers who do follow the crown jewel of cycling, the Tour de France, and I’m pleased to introduce them to you right now. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Craig Ackers, with his look at the “uniforms tendencies” of the Tour, who’ll be followed by Shane Bua, who’ll take a look at all the unis of the 97th edition of this 2,200 mile race. Here’s Craig:


A look at the Tour de France
By Craig Ackers

22 teams means 22 uniforms, right? Wrong, this is the Tour de France.

July is here and so it is time for cycling’s annual crown jewel the Tour de France.

This year there are 22 teams. To a casual sports fan this would mean 22 uniforms.

This is not the case in cycling. I’ll try to explain.

Firstly there are “official” tour jerseys.

OK, casual sport fans will probably know that the overall leader wears a yellow jersey. Indeed casual fans may even know that the “King Of The Mountains” wears a white with red polka dot jersey or that the sprints points leader wears a green jersey. There is also a fourth official tour jersey the white jersey for the best rider in the overall classification that is under 25.

Each official jersey shows the team sponsors as well as the tour official sponsors. So you could have the bizarre situation of an adidas team rider wearing a Nike uniform on the winners podium.

Simple enough. Er…not quite.

It is sometimes the case that the overall leader is under 25 years old or also King Of The Mountains. In this case the overall leader wears the yellow jersey and the second placed rider in say the under 2s or King Of The Mountains classification wears the leaders jersey for that classification without being the leader.

Seems fairly clear you may think. The 4 official jerseys are always worn but everyone else wears their own team uniform. Think again.

World champions in cycling wears the “rainbow” jersey. Now as the Tour de France has both time trials and road race stages this means there will be two “rainbow” jerseys on display. One for each discipline.

So, Thor Hushovd, cycling’s road race world champion who rides for Garmin Cervelo he will wear something like this whilst he team mates will wear this.

Now each world champion is also entitled to wear the rainbow bands on their jersey sleeve cuffs to denote their previous world champion status Cadel Evans of BMC (last years world road race champion) will wear his teams road kit except for the subtle rainbow bands round the sleeves to indicate his previous world champion status. His teammates meanwhile will wear this.

Then there are the national champions jerseys. Each nation has its own national champion. Regulations permit this national champion to wear a national jersey in competitions as a reward. As with the rainbow jersey there are both road race an time trial champions and in any given year they may not be the same person even though they may ride on the same team.

Had enough? Thought not.

Like the rainbow cuffs of previous world champions some former national champions like to show off their past national wins with a ring of flags on their jersey cuffs. So, Fabian Cancellara, champion of Switzerland in the time trial could wear something like this in the time trial stages and something like this in the normal road stages. But even that jersey was not the same as his team mates due to the jersey cuffs issue.

Teams then change jerseys just because, well, they can. Sky Procycling normally wear this but to raise awareness of the environment they ditching Sky Blue for the Tour de France and instead are wearing this.

And sometimes it is not just the jerseys. George Hincappie of BMC wears USA flags on his sleeves. When he actually was US national champion he was not quite so subtle. As well as the national jersey he wore a national helmet, shorts, socks, mitts and bike.

Where the yellow jersey was once enough for the peloton and public to know who the leader was it seems that nowadays riders need to make bit more of an impression when they are in yellow. This all yellow for yellows sake (“YFYS”  © Uniwatch) will no doubt mean that in the future when the leader takes a tumble it will be very, very obvious he his hit the tarmac.

Remember 198 riders, 22 teams but dozens of different uniforms! I cant think of any other team sport were uniforms are anything but, well uniform.


Great job with that Craig. Up next is Shane, with a look at what they’ll be wearing this year:

2011 Tour de France Team Unis
By Shane Hua

The tour, as usual, contains 18 teams. 14 of them are teams on the UCI Proteam circuit, while the other four are invited French teams (FDJ, Saur-Sojasun, Cofidis, and Europcar)

The jerseys that most people will recognize are those given out to category leaders. Yellow for overall (General classification), green for points (mostly sprinters), white for the best young rider, and the polka-dots worn by the King of The Mountains. But here’s what the individual teams will be wearing.

Garmin-Cervelo is a new team, featuring members of Garmin-Transitions and Cervelo TestTeam. Garmin was long known for wearing argyle, but after the merger, Cervelo’s black became the dominant color. They’ve come out with a new white and blue jersey for the Tour, and I love it.

Another new team this year is Leopard Trek, which was created after brothers Andy and Frank Schleck left Saxo Bank last year. Leopard Trek wear a half white/black top with a light blue horizonal stripe, and black shorts.

The aformentioned Saxo Bank-SunGard have switched their look up a bit. Last year, they mostly wore black, but are now wearing light blue, with an eagle…or falcon or something.

Team RadioShack are back this year, after almost being disqualified on the last day of the 2010 Tour for switching to BFBS Livestrong jerseys. They changed mid-stage, but changed back to black on the podium.

The team’s uniform hasn’t changed from last year, a white jersey with red sleeves and black trim, and black shorts. You can also see the jersey that Garmin-Cervelo’s Fabian Cancellara will be wearing in this year’s Tour, siginifying a current world champion.

Euskaltel-Euskadi are instantly recognizable by their orange and black kit, signifying Spain’s Basque country. No changes for this year.

Ag2r-La Mondiale have another great uniform, white with blue and brown designs, and brown shorts.

The support vehicles are dressed up much the same, tres chic!

I always liked Astana’s unis, which paid homage to their Kazakhstan base.

This year, they’ve changed it up a little. Still light blue and yellow, but no more sun logo.

BMC looks a little more “digitized” than last year, but the colors and design stayed the same.

Cofidis are the first of the invited French teams. They competed last year, and appear to be wearing the exact same unis.

Europcar competed in the Tour last year as Bbox Bouygues, but now are in the green of the French rental car company.

Sponsored by France’s national lottery, FDJ are another invited team. They wear a mostly white uniform, with the shamrock logo of FDJ, and blue trim.

Lampre-ISD are an Italian team, probably best known for sprinter Alessandro Petacchi. Another easily recognizable team, in bright pink and blue.

Liquigas-Cannondale previously wore a bright shade of green, but have gone white for this season.

Omega Pharma-Lotto, like FDJ, are sponsored partly by a national lottery (Belgium). The 2011 unis add red and green vertical striping to their look.

Quick Step are another Belgian team, and look pretty much the same as last year, in blue and white.

I thought RaboBank had a different uniform in last year’s Tour, but a quick Google search proves my eyes wrong. They wear orange with blue and white trim.

I believe this is Saur-Sojasun’s first TdF. Another of the invited French teams, they’ll be wearing white and blue.

HTC-Highroad’s kit has drastically simplified from last year, and I like it. I don’t know what’s up with the electric chair, though.

Katusha are a Russian team. Katusha. Not Katiowa. It’s in Cryllic. Red and white unis, with a great skyline feature.

MoviStar may be a new name in cycling, but it’s not a new team. The Spanish team competed as Caisse d’Epargne for several years. They’ll be wearing navy, with white trim on the right side.

Team Sky, from England, wear black and blue Adidas uniforms. Fairly simple.

Rounding out the peloton, Vacansoleil-DCM are making their Tour debut this year. Another team in navy, with some yellow trim. The guy on the right is wearing what I believe is a Belgian national championship jersey.


And nice job with that Shane! For those of us here in the States, it seems like NBC is stepping up its coverage. The Tour kicks off today, so check it out if you get a chance. Who know there were so many “uniforms” in one sport?


uni tracking 2011

2011 Uni Tracking

Back with more tracking from the readers today.

Today features Matthew Cupps, who is a Pirate tracker. He sent me this earlier this week, so it’s not quite up to date, but close:

Dear Phil,

I’ve been tracking the Pittsburgh Pirates uniforms for the 2011 season (home, home alt., road, road alt. and one 1971 throwback). Most notable this season is that the Pirates, at least thus far, as more competitive than they’ve been since I was a teenager and they narrowly missed winning the Central in ’97.

So far, it’s been back and forth. There were a couple five-game losing streaks by uniform, and their road greys have been easily their most successful outfit. Aside from the one-time throwback, of course.

Anyways, here’s a list of their gamesby uniform, with the total games/wins/losses and runs scored/allowed at the top. Go Bucs!


We also have tracking today from Walter Young, who is a Mets tracker (and who also sent this to @MetsPolice:

June calender, and season breakdown through June.
You two can fight over who uses them first, or at all…lol


Uni Breakdown


Thanks guys. If anyone is tracking their teams, by uniform, you know what to do.



Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Might be time to re-evaluate your approach…

7-2-11 d-slamma chopper

And as always, here’s your full-size…literally.


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks

We have another new set of tweaks today.

If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great at keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

And so, lets begin:


We start with Taylor McGillis, who takes Tim E. O’B’s template and goes to town:


Here’s a 3D template tweak I did for the M’s.

Taylor McGillis


Next up is none other than Rick Pearson, who has a tweak…

to a tweak.

1. If dark sanis under white stirrups was a great look (and didn’t look so fucking odd) it would have caught on a long time ago. So I changed the socks to striped tubes (see 1976 White Sox and Rays last year).

2. Made the hat logo smaller, which I know Tim E. kept larger just for mock up purposes.

3. Made the TV number larger, because typically they are.

Not a bad looking mono uni, espeically if you’re the Reds.



And closing down the tweak show today is Walter Helfer, with a nice Pads tweak:

Dear Phil,

Here’s a riff on my all-time favorite uniform. Had San Diego not opted for brown jerseys in 1980, this is what I’m guessing the road uniforms would have looked like. I’ve always dug the taco colors, thinking if you want a team that plays into the fall, you should have an autumnal color scheme.



Thanks fellas! Back with more tomorrow.


Padres Taco

And now you find yourself in ’82 ’84…

Lots of uni happenings in baseball yesterday. First off, up in the great white north, eh…the Blue Jays, in honour of Canada Day, broke out their Canada Day BP jerseys, complete with black helmets, black socks, CNOB (“country name on back”) and white pit stains. But at least their S&S trucker caps & flag patches looked nice. They did look nice, right?

In other uni news, the San Diego Padres partied like it was 1984, wearing their taco unis as they took on the Seattle Mariners — who were also throwing back. Unfortunately, the Padres wore their uniforms three sizes too big, and didn’t play along by wearing white shoes. Only one or two guys (that I saw) bothered with proper rups & sanis, even though those unis clearly need them. I can see not breaking out the shoes, but man…you gotta wear the brown and mustard gold sanis.

The Mariners, on the other hand, all took part in the proper hosiery…well, almost. Yeah, two-in-ones just don’t quite work, especially with high tops, do they? And even Ichiro, who can make any uni look good, seemed to be wearing blue sanis under his blue hose. Saw a bunch of highlights on the MLB Network, and they were really chatting up the unis — and not always in a loving way either. Still, the game last night looked a lot better than the last time these two teams hooked up. More photos of the game can be seen here.

Down the coast a ways, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hooked up in a throwback game against the Los Angeles Dodgers of bankruptcy court Los Angeles. The Angels, dressed in their 1961-era unis with HOC (halo on cap), and their McAuliffe font, looked good, but of course, no one wore proper hosiery. The Dodgers, who were throwing back to this, did have their LA sleeve patch, but I’m not sure that uni is any different than what they currently wear. Nice how that works.


That will do it for today. The end of interplague is this weekend, thankfully, and you’ve got some tennis to watch (if you’re into that white-outfits only kind of thing) at Wimbledon. A couple of ‘ova’s (Sharapova vs. Kvitova) this morning and then Raffa vs. Nole tomorrow. And, joy of joys, the MLB will be breaking out their hideous S&S caps … definitely for the Fourth, but look for a few to break them out early. And, for those lucky enough to see it, the Tampa Rays will become the Smokers when they play the Cards today, who’ll apparently be playing along. Better see lots of rup! I’ll probably have more on that game tomorrow. Lastly, while browsing around the interwebs, I stumbled on this neat little throwback sked, with graphics that look very familiar.

Reader Dave Rakowski sent in a late e-mail which read “PIX 11 showed this guy getting off #7 train on their broadcast after the game.” Sweet!

And finally, reader Brady Phelps thought we’d get a kick out of this. Good shot of the few players wearing brown rups with gold sanis too.

Everyone have a great Saturday, and I’ll be back with my last weekend post until August tomorrow.


“I think for me it goes all the way back to my kindergarten days. Who DIDN’T want the 64-count box of Crayola crayons over the lousy 8-pack?” — Chris Holder

More on Uni Watch
Comments (70)

    Actually, this is the front of what Fabian Cancellara will wear in the time trial. UCI Time Trial World Champion podium

    Last week’s Tour de Suisse

    If cycling is a team sport, then why do we only hear about the individual?

    Bradshaw won 4 Superbowls with the Steelers
    Jordan won 6 NBA titles with the Bulls
    Armstrong won 7 Tour de Frances with…who? what? huh? o_O

    /of course all the teams are just rolling corporate billboards, so meh at the whole thing anyway.

    Yeah, like Nascar and horse racing… they have individual champions, but they are on a team (or like a trainer has multi-horse entries in horse racing) — sometimes they work together with teammates, but not always. So those are individual sports.

    But with baseball and football and basketball and sports like that there are only team champions, so those are team sports.

    Stirrups are backwards…

    See, back when we DID wear stirrups that was the…
    “I Got A Briefcase For My Birthday And Loved It” look.

    I’m still partial to the early Chicago Bruisers.
    Black and (powder) Blue. Hey, they were Bruisers.
    Five, count ’em five, feathered sleeves stripes.
    This the second set; the originals had white pants with powder and black striping.

    I have the first ever Arena game from ’87 (Denver Dynamite at Bruisers) on VHS on a shelf somewhere. Might have to dig that out.

    I had the first ever Arena Bowl, but I taped over it since Denver beat Pittsburgh.

    Yeah, the Bruisers looked great. These days I like the Tampa Bay Storm’s unis.

    I still have it. Somewhere.

    Yeah, I was expecting a real show from Mike Hohensee and Russell Hairston, and it didn’t turn out that way.

    Dynamite had one of the lamest helmet logos ever. Looked the found in a newspaper advertising clip art.

    Looks better here than in actuality. Also, I think it was considerably smaller on the real helmet (at least it looked that way; may have been overwhelmed by the white background)

    The first game was Washington at Pittsburgh. (This year is the first year since ’87 that I’ve been to an Arena Football game, and I didn’t miss it.)

    In ’87, the late great Myron Cope and some of his talk-show callers joked about other possibilities. They came up with “stadium hockey”.

    Oh, meant to mention, anyone catch the Orlando Predators “bright camo trim” (or something) jerseys on NFL Network last night?

    Whoa. No. Looked like a housecoat from THE GOLDEN GIRLS.

    (Been googling for photos; no luck)

    Nice bit on the Tour… but it’s Cyrillic, not Cryllic. As in St. Cyril, one of the creators of an earlier alphabet that evolved into Cyrillic.

    The St. Cyril story gives the alphabet its name, but has been proven to be a myth. Cyrillic evolved from a Bulgarian script that was derived from Greek and older Slavic scripts that proved to be too impractical for use.

    IMHO, the Angels failure to incorporate the halo onto their current caps is as inexplicable as the Blue Jays failure to ditch their current uni set in favor of either the Joe Carter-era unis (or at least an adaptation of the George Bell-era unis).

    I agree about the halo hats.

    But, I also pondered the new style batting helmets with all the dips and rills and vents.

    Realized they’d probably be wise not to put the halo on the helmets. On one of those things it would look like a frickin’ tapeworm.

    Small bit of uni news in yesterday’s Ask Chris on the Buffalo Bills’ website. He says the team will not wear blue pants this year.

    On a stone tablet somewhere it is written that football teams should always wear dark pants with white jerseys?

    No, but it’s also not written that all teams should wear white pants with a white jersey. Variety is good.

    The Bills are going to look far too much like the Colts.

    Not gonna argue about the Colts.
    Unfortunately that’s due to the absence of real sleeves as much as anything.

    Regarding variety, the Bills have had a dark pants option lately, so for them this IS a changeup.

    By adding the dark pants option it will mean they have to resist the urge to wear blue pants with the blue jersey. At least this way we don’t have to worry about that monstrosity.

    …that is a glaring omission. so is the proper batting helmet. they take the time and expense to manufacture them, and don’t even get close. people wearing stirrups backwards, or uniforms being too baggy for some peoples tastes, whatever, it’s taste or style or individual mistake, and i can live with those idiosyncrasies. but the helmet isn’t even close.

    Hey, moose, bagginess, etc., is personal style.
    Backward stirrups is just…wrong. :)

    I’m a big fan of throwbacks & retro uni’s but I think the time has come to scrap this idea since no one seems to do it right & the players especially screw it up by not wearing them the way they were originally worn.

    I agree. They hold throwbacks now to punish us for knowing things. I don’t believe the Padres ever wore pullovers with belted pants.

    The uni maker glances at a photo for 12 seconds and designs the throwback from memory.

    Canada considers black a third national colour for sports. We rejected blue as “too American”.

    I wouldn’t mind the Jays’ Canada Day cap so much if not for the stupid S&S-style logo. The white panel on a red cap echoes the Canadian flag, after all.

    Problem is, what do you put in place of that dumb logo? Because the regular cap logo would look out of place. And a red bird? Uh-uh. I dunno, maybe a red version of the Aqua Fresh capital T. Or just put a damn red maple leaf on there. To quote today’s uni-tweaker Walter Helfer, if you want to play in the Fall Classic, break out a fall colour — with a U!

    And to the Jays, I would say, Canada Day isn’t like Easter — it’s the same day every year. Prepare for it. Ditch the black helmets and socks. Ditch the regular numbers. Maybe give the red jerseys a rest and come up with a tasteful white set with lots of red.

    After all, Kate Middleton may not be able to hit a breaking pitch, but she could teach the Jays a thing or two about Canada Day-appropriate headgear and footwear, not to mention tailoring.


    You have no idea how tempted I am to photoshop that thing on her head onto a Jays player.

    that thing? you mean a red hat?

    and yes, you should see how that would look on a jay

    Wow. Just . . . wow. I had a flashback to Damon Wayans in an old “Men on Film” sketch from “In Living Colour”!


    Oh by the way for the Cards-[s]Rays[/s] Smokers, “for those lucky enough to see it” includes everyone, because it is the “ free game of the day”

    “Who know there were so many “uniforms” in one sport?”

    Too many for me. Glad Craig and Shane were here to keep track of them for us.
    I could go for link

    And I like link

    But I’m not wearing any of those pants. If that’s what it takes to be competitive, I’ll stick to hiking.

    Those shirts are from the Katusha cycling team are are bankrolled by the Russian state. Katusha take the unusual step of having national champions shirts being in the same “style” at the rest of the team. Moldova here link and Russia here link

    Despite the mistakes, I loved the Padres/Mariners game. San Diego really needs to go back to that. As for Seattle, I’d tweak them to have the old design with the new colors.

    Speaking of tweaks…I loved all three, but my favorite was Walter Helfer’s.
    Great work, guys!

    Thanks, all. I do ’em from scratch, with magic markers. My templates are a take on Mark Okkonen’s. More to come.

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post

    The entire S&S promotion itself is ridiculous in and of itself as has been discussed here on countless occasions but the distressing of the American flag on the Jeter shirt to the right of the caps in the link is just beyond inappropriate.

    The Angels’ halo hat might be the ugliest hat in major league history. It looks astoundingly stupid. If they wore it today they would be a laughingstock. It’s fun for a game but any more and… yeah, please no.

    The Padres-Mariners game was a beaut.

    One little silver halo is basically all that separates it from the vast sea of similarly-colored, similarly-marked caps. But it’s the world’s ugliest astoundingly stupid laughingstock. O-kay.

    Are we talking about the same thing? The big white (or is it silver?) halo on the throwback hats? It looks like someone drew it on with chalk. Yeah, it’s pretty awful.

    Of course, that’s just one guy’s opinion.

    Interesting uni related story. Mark Ellis (2B) was traded from the Oakland A’s to the Colorado Rockies this week.

    Ellis was an Athletic for his entire career (10 years), which means when he suited up for the Rockies, it was the first time he took the field (in the bigs) wearing black shoes.

    He said it was “weird” to look down and not see white shoes.

    Here’s the story: link

    Garmin Cervelo in the Tour De France wore a one off jersey which will be worn this tour only. They usally wear this link but today (and for the next 3 weeks) will wear this link

    It’s sort of throwback to a few years ago link

    LA Galaxy reveal a third kit. They said it’s a really dark navy but it looks even blacker than the Chicago Bears navy color. Keeping with yesterday’s post they have named the color Punjab. Really? That makes me think of that cool techno song with Knight Rider theme by the Punjabi MC.

    Here are some pics:


    What, the stripes for the Cardinals’ socks got lost in shipping?

    Maybe they were in the same package as the cigars for Smokers’ jerseys.

    Probably the two coolest parts of the duds and they both get deep sixed. Dis uh pointing.

    My Smokers jersey looks bettet than what the Rays are wearing, but those stirrups rock!

    We know the Cards do have stripped stirrups but since the Rays provided what the Cards are wearing, I guessed they didn’t want to have compeating stirrups.

    I can’t tell if it’s just lighting but it seems that Lance Berkman’s pants don’t match with his jersey top. The greys are different shades.


    If there is a positive to be said about the Cardinals’ throwbacks, it’s the fact the numbers are actually at a proper height on the back

    Possibly inconclusive, but Kyle McClellan’s pants certainly look darker than those of Tony LaRussa and Yadier Molina.


    “Unfortunately, the Padres wore their uniforms three sizes too big”
    I understand wanting to get the details right when wearing throwback uniforms, but is it THAT important that they be worn in EXACTLY the same fashion as they did in 1984? Must they be skin-tight like they were in ’84, or should it be sufficient to say “If the Padres had never changed their uniforms between ’84 and today, this is how they would look today”?
    In other words, when wearing throwbacks, what details are ok to ignore, and what details are too important to leave out?
    Taking it to it’s logical conclusion, when a team wearing throwbacks to a really by-gone era (like the Cubs wearing 1908 throwbacks, for example), why don’t we get on them for not wearing wool uniforms? Or when wearing a 1940’s uniform, should we insist that they be made from flannel? That’s a rather big detail to leave out, isn’t it?

    “If the Padres had never changed their uniforms between ’84 and today, this is how they would look today”?

    Exactly. There really are two distinct approaches.
    One is that one, the other is the full-on TBTC, which usually has a lot of surrounding related promotions.

    We really have to ask which they were up to, and obviously not all are true TBTC games. Most, in fact, are the “old design on today’s style unis.”

    I mean, if a team is not atttempting a true TBTC, we really can’t fault them for not accomplishing it.

    It’s a fair question. Of course, part of the “problem” is that while most people who look at a throwback game don’t get much farther than “Gee, old uniforms”, there are people who look at the ’84 Padres throwbacks and ask where the RAK is. Uni Watchers usually fall into that second group, not too surprisingly. Also, if you’re old enough to remember the originals for a given throwback set, seeing them worn a different way is jarring. Those of us who remember 1984 expect reasonably tight unis and stirrups visible on everyone. It’s no longer surprising when that’s not the case, but there’s still an adjustment.

    And I don’t think anyone expects a 1908 set to look exactly like 1908 – there will be numbers, and helmets, and modern gloves and shoes. While we don’t expect to see original fabrics used, an effort to use something that looks like the original is appreciated.

Comments are closed.