New UCI president Brian Cookson has had a busy first 100 days in office. First, he has created the foundations for a Truth & Reconciliation commission. Second, he has refused to approve the design of the new Androni-Venezuela team kit.
“It’s a mess, quite frankly, an eyesore, and goes against our plans to improve the image of pro cycling,” said Cookson. “We cannot allow these kinds of visually awful designs to set the sport back.”
The UCI is currently reviewing many of its regulations for manufacturers — on such things as aero frames and wheel designs — and is apparently also changing the approval process for team kits.
The Androni-Venezuela failed to passed the new rules on visual perception. “It looks as if it was designed by a blind man having an epileptic seizure,” said Michel Alouette, an apparel commissar for the UCI. “How many ugly logos can you put on one jersey? I get vertigo when I see this disturbing, chaotic kit.”
In an attempt to demonstrate that the sport is on a firmer financial footing, the UCI now plans to restrict the number of sponsor logos that can be applied to the team kit. “Having a dozen logos on a jersey just shows desperation,” said Alouette. “It’s like they are begging for money — please, give us 1000 euros and we’ll stick your little company on our kit. It’s embarrassing for the sport.”
Reached for comment, team manager Gianni Savio was at a loss to explain the non-approval of the team kit. “Yes, it is true that we have a good number of logos on the jersey. I banged on a lot of doors, I held out my hand and asked many favors,” said Savio. “But that is the way we do things. We are not Sky or BMC with a billionaire writing checks.”
The UCI has cited the Androni kit for “visual pollution” and “crimes against the sport.” With the team set to contest the upcoming Tour of San Luis and Tour de Langkawai, the squad finds itself in a difficult spot. “What are we to do? We cannot get new kits at the last minute — the riders must wear something,” said Savio.
However, it appears unlikely that the UCI will back down on the new regulations governing the appearance of team apparel. “The sport needs to start looking professional. Not like some pathetic rag-tag bunch of riders who must borrow money for gas to make it to the next race,” said Alouette. “This must end. We must now draw a line on hideous team kits.”