*VOTING NOW CLOSED... THE WINNER IS LA VIE CLAIRE!*
It's time to cast your final vote... the Full Kit Ranker has whittled 16 classic jerseys down to two, and on Bank Holiday Monday we'll be crowning the greatest cycling jersey of all time!
Some absolute classics have been felled in our previous rounds; and as you'll see from the comments on Round 1, plenty didn't make our shortlist either! The likes of the Z–Tomasso kit worn by Greg LeMond, the Molteni strip that is best associated with Eddy Merckx's dominance in the 70's, plus other legendary jerseys were eventually knocked out; and our two finalists are both French team jerseys and both from the same era in the 80's, worn just a season apart according to our records. Here's a good reminder of how each one looks, plus a bit of history before you get voting...
The distinctive La Vie Claire jersey is one of the most celebrated of all time, and was worn by the likes of Greg Lemond (above), Steve Bauer and Bernard Hinault; the latter who wore it before he donned yellow for his 1985 Tour de France victory. Although this classic maillot was manufactured by Italian cycling apparel specialists Santini, it was inspired by the grid-based work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, renowned as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
Hinault told Rouleur that originally the jersey was going to be black, but fabric manufacturing techniques of the time meant it would be far too hot; so the stylist came back with the Mondrian idea, and the whole team loved it. Hinault himself says he thought the jersey was "exceptional".
Our second finalist is also a jersey that was manufactured by Santini in 1984, although there were countless iterations all with the same classic checkerboard design across the middle; in fact, this version featuring the Shell logos was one of the last Peuguot-branded jerseys to appear in the World Tour peloton, with the car brand being a title team sponsor from 1901 all the way up to 1986 when Peugeot-Shell disbanded. The classic checked black and white maillot was worn by Eddy Merckx, Bernard Thévenet, Robert Millar (shown above) and Stephen Roche in its various forms. According to cycleranking.com, Peugeot are still the most successful cycling team of all time.
The Peugeot jerseys were actually blue and yellow for many years, with the checkered pattern appearing from 1963. The design was almost identical for the next two decades until the team disbanded, with various oil company sponsors (BP, Esso and eventually Shell) appearing on both arms.
So, which one will it be? The poll is below, simply cast your vote and on Bank Holiday Monday at 5pm, we'll check the percentage scores and crown the Full Kit Ranker's greatest jersey of all time! (If the poll isn't showing, it's most likely you're on an AMP page... click here)
You can buy a modern La Vie Claire replica jersey here, and there are still some 80's replicas around on eBay. You can also buy a 70's-era Peugeot-BP replica from Prendas here, and you can still find some original 80's Peugeot-Shell-Michelin replica jerseys on eBay.
As with the previous rounds, make sure you cast votes for all four match-ups and discuss with your fellow Full Kit Rankers. Feel free to share your favourite jerseys that missed our initial shortlist in the comments too... we might even have enough for another tournament!
And once again, cheers to the Full-Kit W*nkers page for inspiring the name of this epic contest - part of Twitter folklore.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.