New Tinkoff kit pushing Contador to earlier retirement
Alberto Contador has stated numerous time that the 2016 seasons will be his last in the professional peloton. However,, rumors are circulating that the ugliness of the new Tinkoff training kit may force him to retire immediately after the Tour de France.
“It is just butt ugly. Maybe the most horrible design Alberto has every seen. He’s embarrassed and upset,” said his brother and manager Fran. “He told me he doesn’t want to look like a zebra jigsaw puzzle freak. Hopefully he can put up with it until the Tour and then he’s taking it off immediately.”
The new design has met with mixed reviews, with some finding it bold and others calling it heinous. “When they had the camouflage kit, that was terrible, but this is far worse,” said freelance designer Felix Dematteo. “Really, it’s difficult to say what it is other than strange and awful.”
The Spaniard is reportedly furious that he must wear the garish kit for his final season. “Alberto has a keen sense of cycling history and he does not appreciate looking like some kind of joke,” said Tinkoff soigneur Paco Martinez. “Every time he puts that kit on, he says ‘don’t look at me. Do not look at me.'”
Several people in Contador’s inner circle say he doesn’t want to end his career like this, the butt of jokes, of social media comedy, a hashtag for fashion fails. “Froome doesn’t have to wear ugly kits, Quintana doesn’t wear ugly kits. Why should Alberto have to subject himself to this level of embarrassment,” says Fran.
As yet there have been no comments on the new kit design from teammate and current World Champion Peter Sagan. The Slovakian is known for his playful attitude and irreverent style. The inclusion of rainbow stripes together with the wild criss-cross black lines will be quite a visual shock.
“When you design a graphic pattern, you have to think about the visual impact on others,” says designer Felix Dematteo. “Suppose you’re following right on Contador’s wheel on a fast, technical descent. You can’t focus on the road because that kit is such a distraction. The UCI needs to look at this as a safety issue.”
For Contador, the issue isn’t safety but self-confidence. “How can Alberto feel strong mentally and train hard when he looks like a clown?” said Fran. “We are not happy about this. You have to look good to ride fast and this is just an embarrassment.”