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UCI fines EF Pro Cycling over its one-off Giro d’Italia kit

Governing body says striking one-off kit wasn’t cleared with it in advance

The UCI has fined EF Pro Cycling’s eight riders competing at the Giro d’Italia, as well as the team’s sports director, over its striking one-off Rapha + Palace Skateboards kit unveiled at last Thursday’s team presentation at the Temple of Segesa on Sicily.

Teams are permitted under uCI rules to change their kits once a season, one of the reasons that EF Pro Cycling chose to do so for the Giro d'Italia being to avoid confusion between its usual pink and purple kit and the race leader's maglia rosa.

The result of the collaboration between the cycle clothing and skatewear brands is a striking kit has sharply divided opinion among cycling fans on social media, its impact heightened by the secrecy surrounding the project.

The lack of advance publicity shots of the kit meant that other than those directly involved in the project, even media outlets who had been told that the team would be switching kits for the race, had no idea what it looked like until the riders took to the stage for the presentation.

It appears the UCI was also kept in the dark, with world cycling’s governing body slapping a 500 Swiss Francs fine each on all eight riders as well as sports director Fabrizio Guidi, for sporting “Non-compliant clothing during podium obligations (Team Presentation, 01 October 2020).”

Tweeting a picture of the race jury’s communiqué, team boss Jonathan Vaughters said: “Oh UCI Cycling … you guys are always looking out for the best interest of the sport, aren’t ya? Thanks for the $4000 of fines for wearing our crazy ducks. Hope David Lappartient enjoys his dinner – on us! Salud!”

In a subsequent statement, the UCI said: “All jersey must first be submitted to the UCI in their final version for approval … including in the case of a temporary change of jersey for an event, in particular to avoid it resembling another team jersey or a leader’s jersey in the general classification, as well as any prohibited sponsorship.

“The EF Pro Cycling team displayed a different jersey than the one previously submitted to the UCI during the presentation of the teams for the Giro d’Italia 2020. As a result, the team deliberately failed to comply with the regulatory process and was fined CHF 4,500 by the UCI Commissaires’ Panel. The team was then invited to regularise its situation by the UCI, which allowed it to start the race with this jersey.

“The UCI would also like to point out that the proceeds of the fines are distributed as follows: 50 per cent to the National Federation organising the event, 50 per cent to the UCI.”

The collaboration also extends to the team’s Cannondale bikes, as well as the riders’ Poc sunglasses and helmets – with those used on the opening time trial yesterday featuring a duck’s bill on it.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Dhill | 3 years ago

Great kit love it. 

No one was harmed due to wearing of the kit, but for those easily offended by anything they want to be easily offended by in order to have a debate about it.

It is after all wet and windy, days getting shorter so we need something to get heated about. 

Rick_Rude | 3 years ago

It looks 'strikingly' shit to me. Is it one of those magic eye puzzles or something?

I'd fine them just for the actual aesthetics being crap. 

sparrowlegs | 3 years ago

Eh? I don't get the bit where they say it's to stop it looking like a leaders jersey. Have you seen Jumbo Vismas kit? It thought I was watching a repeat of the TdF today when Roglic won LBL. 
The UCI really are a bunch of cretins. Forget Making a stance on BLM but you wear socks that are too high or a funny coloured kit. Twats. 

Organon replied to sparrowlegs | 3 years ago

Not sure about your LBL point, but in Jumbo's Tour kits was like they were all leading to tour as a team [until the last day that is.]

Nick T replied to sparrowlegs | 3 years ago

What's not to get? The team kit rules are there for a reason, to ensure riders are recognisable and teams don't just pitch up in whatever they want each day. They're allowed to change to an "away kit" of sorts as long as it's been approved like everyone's "home kit" needs to be approved. EF chose not to get this approval in order to stage a publicity stunt, then keep the stunt going by complaining about the fine they knew they were going to receive 

cdamian | 3 years ago

Cheapest promotion ever!

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