The Colombian women's cycling team IDRD-Bogota Humana-San Mateo-Solgar got more press attention than they bargained for when they unveiled their new team kit.
Getting the design of cycling kit just right is always tricky. For the everyday cyclist, designers have the task of finding colours and patterns that are interesting but still appealing to the masses. For professional teams, there are more issues such as making them distinctive so they stand out in photos and on screen, and incorporating sponsors logos and national colours.
It seems that the designers of the 2014 Colombian women's cycling team made a catastrophic design mistake when they decided to colour the mid-section of the team jersey, including the stomach and crotch area, in gold.
In theory, great. In practice, under certain lighting, the result is not ideal.
— ÚltimoKilómetro (@Ultimo_km1) September 12, 2014
The kit was spotted during a cycling race in Italy, as the team took part in the Giro Toscana.
While we are certainly not a fan of the unfortunately chosen gold-toned mid section of this kit, which do look like flesh-coloured panels, the resulting media frenzy it has provoked has spread far and wide.
The Guardian Stylewatch section went so far as to suggest "What was on the moodboard here? An unwanted, half-dressed Barbie doll, hanging out of a bin."
While women's cycling most definitely deserves more media attention, it is sad that in this case it is due to unfortunate kit design rather than their cycling prowess and athleticism.
Several people have complained that the kit is demeaning to the athletes, and it looks like UCI President Brian Cookson will be raising the issue of team kit design within the organisation.
— Liz Marley (@greensideknits) September 14, 2014
To the many who have raised the issue of a certain women's team kit, we are on the case. It is unacceptable by any standard of decency.
— Brian Cookson OBE (@BrianCooksonUCI) September 14, 2014
Plenty of others within cycling have raised the issue that unfortunate kit designs are among the least of issues facing women's cycling, which despite huge growth in support and coverage this year, still has a long way to go before it reaches parity with men's cycling.
Have a look at some of the other topical issues we've covered on Total Women's Cycling:
Does Pink Really Stink? Pink cycle clothing for female cyclists.
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