Team Sky learned this morning that cyclingnews.com readers had voted Cannondale as the best WorldTour kit of 2015. The final point totals were close with the Argyle Armada’s bright green taking 11,977 points while the British squad garnered 11,663 point.
The winning margin of 314 votes was a bitter and unexpected defeat for a team used to winning big races and important objectives. Team boss David Brailsford was at a loss to explain the disappointing second place finish. “I don’t understand garish optic green. It’s not a proper kit color,” said Brailsford. “We came to this competition with a lot of confidence in our kit. Quite frankly, it’s a wake-up call for Rapha but then again it’s their last year.”
While readers responded with great enthusiasm to Cannondale bright green color with subtle argyle pattern, the more understated black of Team Sky suffered perhaps from a lack of newness.
The loss apparently took Sky by complete surprise as internal projections using Sky’s propriety apparel approval algorithm failed to predict a win by Cannondale. “It’s something we’ve now looking at closely and we’ve run the simulations a dozen times with the same outcome,” said Derek Nylon, head a fabric optimization at Sky. “In each simulation, we beat Cannonade’s kit by a statistically significant margin. I’m quite baffled, actually.”
The kit failure also raises question about possible negative effects on Chris Froome’s attempt to win a third Tour de France in July and also Mikel Landa’s Giro d’Italia objective. “We’re now investigating whether some of that roadside anger directed at Chris was really kit-related. Maybe fans just didn’t like his jersey color with the color band,” said Nylon.
Sky remains tight-lipped about whether a kit redesign in now in the works or whether they’re willing to ride the Tour with second-rate apparel. “Chris is a winner, he’s proven that again and again. We’ll bring the best team to the Tour,” insisted Brailsford. “He would wear an old wool jersey and like it or not, he’s going to win.”