Last week I put up the first 2017 women’s road cycling cycling team kit poll, for this year’s top 20 UCI-ranked teams, the ones that get automatic invitations to the UCI Women’s WorldTour Stage Races – and it was won by USA team Tibco-SVB.
But of course, those teams just scratch the surface – there are a lot more out there, with some really fantastic kits. I asked my readers for nominations for Part 2 of the kit vote, and wow, you delivered! All of these teams have been nominated on twitter or here on the website, and there’s a real range, from big professional outfits you’ll see at a lot of the largest races, right down to tiny domestic squads – and there are some really interesting designs in here that I think you’ll love.
As always, I’ve included links to where you can buy the kits, where I’ve found them.
The voting is now over, but you can CHECK OUT THE RESULTS at the bottom of the page – did your favourite win?
The previous year’s kit posts are on Podium Café for 2014 and 2015, and here for last year’s votes for the WorldTour and the ‘Best of the Rest‘ – and you can buy the 2016 kits through the links for the WorldTour teams, and for the USA domestic squads.
All photos are from the team websites, unless otherwise stated – click through them for the sources and credits.
The Amy D. Foundation is a very special organisation, set up to honour the memory of profesional rider Amy Dombroski, who died in 2013, when she was hit by a car out training for cyclocross in Belgium.
The Foundation helps USA women and girls ride road, cyclocross and MTB, and has a scholarship programme, as well as the road team – and one of the notable things about that team is how it has given American pros whose trade teams aren’t racing in the USA chances to ride, alongside the team’s development riders. It’s a win-win scenario, sharing pro riders’ skills and expertise with women just starting out in the sport, while letting them race more.
The kit is sky-blue and orange, and you can buy a supporters’ version with the logo on black, in women’s and men’s cut, as well as shoes, from Pearl Izumi, where 50% of all proceeds go to the Foundation. You can also show your support by buying T-shirts, socks, stickers bidons, caps and a pintglass from Handlebar Moustache, an Amy D. edition Lazer helmet, and even a coffee roast from Grimpeur Brothers coffee.
Find out more about all their work on their website, including about their road-specific programme, and follow them on twitter and facebook. You can also support the work of the Foundation by buying products and services from their partner organisations, or of course by making a donation directly. (You’ll get a free, limited edition beanie, if you donate $30 or more to the road programme before 20th March 2017)
There are 3 official Bianchi women’s teams in the world – Colavita-Bianchi, who are coming up soon, small Italian team Giusfredi-Bianchi, and in the UK, Bianchi-Dama UK. It’s the first time Bianchi have been title sponsor for a UK women’s team, and while the official 2017 team launch isn’t until next month, they’ve sent us a sneak preview of the kit to share!
The team aim is to help women race in the UK, and develop, even though they pretty much all work full-time (and you can read more about that in this Cycling Weekly article from February 2017). And I especially love how the team are helping women race not only through the team, but also by putting on races for more women to get into the sport.
The team’s also funded through a coffee business, Grupetto Coffee, which I love, because that combination of coffee and cycling never fails! If you’re in the UK, buy some, and follow their blog for regular updates from the team. You can also follow the team on Facebook, and follow their twitter. And if you’re in the South West of England and are thinking of getting into racing, make sure you follow their rider Jess Duffy, who does tons of great work in the region.
Our first Australian team of the list, they’re a small squad based in Canberra, one of the centres of cycling in the country, competing in the Subaru National Road Series and the MTB Australia National Series. Their goal is to increase women and girls’ participation in the sports, and to this end, they have a programme of Associate riders alongside their National-level team, who will be supported to develop race skills, and get to the main team and beyond.
It’s a new kit for 2017, with black details on that great colour blue, a cute design, and an upside-down 13 on the sleeve and shorts-cuff – and you can find out more about the team on the NRS focus piece on them, as well as on their website, and follow their journey on their twitter and instagram.
The second Bianchi team in the poll, and alongside the pro team that races in the USA and Europe, they’re also the largest recreational cycling team in the US, sponsoring recreational cycling clubs in over 20 states. If you want to find out more about that side of their work, there’s a great information page on their website.
Follow the team on twitter, instagram and facebook, and find out about their first 2017 training camp, and plans for the season on their website. If you like this kit, you can buy buy all kinds of cycling kit and caps in the cycling store page of Colavita’s online shop, where you can buy all kinds of Italian food, coffee and gift ideas. They’ve been a sponsor of USA women’s racing for years, so why not buy something from them, and tell them it’s because of the links to the team! And for an extra link to the squad, the team website includes pages of recipes from the team, riders and their friends.
The 2016/7 U23 Cyclocross World Cup winner, Ellen Noble, will be riding her first full road season with the team this year – listen to her talk about that, and her amazing CX season, in my podcast interview with her.
And if you love podcasts, another of their riders, Abby Mickey, has recently started a women’s cycling podcast, the Wheel Talk podcast, which you should definitely listen to, and follow on twitter. Episode 2 was with another Colavita, Amber Pierce, who also runs the Networking for Advancing Athletes organisation that empowers and mentors sportswomen, and also has a podcast!
They’ve just had their 2017 team launch, so there’ll be more details of their 2017 team kit soon – but here’s their launch photo from their facebook – the same design as last year, with new sponsors – here’s InCycle’s profile of them from 2016:
This British development team started last year, and have been racing UCI races as well as the UK domestic circuit – most recently in the Australian summer season, where sprinter Alice Barnes was 4th in Stage 2 of the Santos Women’s Tour, and 7th on Stage 1.
This year, fan-favourite and journalist Marijn de Vries is an Assistant DS, bringing her expertise from her years of racing, and they’ve added three non-British riders, Ann-Sophie Duyck, Martina Ritter, and Susanna Zorzi, who was 6th in the Deakin Women’s Race at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, but around half the squad are still U23 Britons.
Right from the start, their kit has been super-popular, with fans loving the pastel-and-black colour scheme, and it will be for sale later in the year – keep an eye on their website.
A new British women’s elite and junior women’s team for 2017, targeting the UK domestic season, they have a great minimalist-looking kit – simple but gorgeous. And I always like a team that gives junior riders opportunities to race – I hope we get to see them in the UCI Junior Nations Cup, as well as at the British races.
Year 2 for this USA-based team, and they’ve kept the same kit – black, with lots of nice little touches. The upside-down 13 on the leg, the pattern on the side, and the fact the colour on one side is blue, and on the other, minty green, while the large HB on the back makes it easy to spot in the bunch.
They’re USA-based, with big ambitions both domestically and overseas – and if you, like me, are missing the amazing Team Vanderkitten, they’re co-owned by the old VK boss, Jono Coulter, and you can read about his journey through the sport on Ella Cycling Tips.
Their other co-owner is also a rider, and the great cycling personality, Lindsay Bayer. She has an excellent (sweary) blog on her website, a column for Peloton Magazine and this year has started her Dirtfield Recordings podcast on the Wide Angle Podium network.
On the team store page, the jersey and bibs were available in supporters and race specs, women’s and men’s cut, but are currently sold out – but you can still buy a T-shirts and socks, and I’m sure the kit will have another order window at some stage too. Email them via that store page, and they’ll tell you when they’ll be taking the next orders.
It’s a development team, set up by Wiggle High5 owner Rochelle Gilmore specifically to provide a pathway for Australian cyclists to race at the top levels – such a typically Gilmore project, looking at what she’d have wanted as a young rider, and making it happen for the next generation!
They’ve already ridden some big Aussie races this year, including this year’s Deakin Women’s Race at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, where Lucy Kennedy came 4th, and they’ll be targeting the Subaru National Road Series. Just this weekend, they started their NRS campaign on a high, with Sam de Riter winning the last stage of the first NRS race, the Tour of East Gippsland, with Kennedy second, and Jess Pratt coming third on Stage 2. And as well as competing at home, they also will be fighting for the chance to race in Europe with the Australian national team on the road (which Gilmore has also been instrumental in) and track.
The kit is the same as previous years, with the different coloured sides (including socks!) and you can see more of it on the 2017 Team Launch gallery, and on their YouTube, which has videos from the 2017 racing and the team launch photoshoot.
Update! You can watch the Cycling Australia highlights from the 2017 Tour of East Gippsland here – Stages 1 & 2, and Stage 3, with the High5 DreamTeam win, and lots of the Australian kits you’ll see in this poll, in action:
This Yorkshire-based “amateur” team race the British road and track domestic season in their distinctive blue, pink and white – and they’re another team with a junior squad, as well as teams entering different categories of racing.
They’re a relatively new team on the block, but have always had fantastic kits, with innovative designs, and this 80s-inspired 2017 version is great! They haven’t had their official 2017 team launch yet, so we don’t have the full bike-and-kit shots, but there are some photos of what they’ll look like in this excellent blog about their Portland pre-season party. It’s a great example of a kit that’s using design elements from outside the sport, and being super-easy to spot in the bunch.
They’re a team who race the USA road races and Crits, and say they’re designed to prove you can be feminine and strong as hell. You can support them by buying previous years’ socks, caps and bidons on their team shop – and I’m sure their 2017 designs will turn up there too, later in the year. And if you want to support their project, there’s a donate button at the bottom of the sidebar on their website.
This small Dutch team is based in Groningen, the home of the first UCI women’s stage race of the season, the Healthy Ageing Tour. They were previously known as Bathoorn Bike4Air, in a black-white and yellow kit, but they’ve become much more colourful for this season. While they won’t have their 2017 team launch for a few weeks, we’ve seen their lovely-looking new kit in the cyclocross and other winter races – have a look in the news section of their website, and in their facebook photos.
Follow them there, and on their twitter, and of course in the Dutch and Belgian races.
The Racing Chance Foundation is a very special initiative, a UK charity set up as a development pathway to help British women start road racing and move through the ranks, get the chance to race in Europe, and hopefully one day turn pro. They have a range of activities to support these goals, from putting on racing skills clinics, multi-category racing – and taking a team to overseas races, and their brand-new North-West England-based Junior Academy.
I really love what they do, especially how they promote other races and teams – for example, here’s their take on the UK women’s road calendar, and an article describing UK races coming up in March 2017. If you are, or know of, a woman who wants to start racing, get in touch with them, as they’re super-friendly and very helpful.
In November 2015, I talked to Heather Bamforth, who’s one of the brains behind the Foundation and team, as well as doing huge work encouraging road racing in the North West of England, about this and lots more – you can listen to that podcast here. You can support their work by donating to the Foundation or buying their kit and casual clothing on their webshop.
A North American teams that’s been around in various guises for years (they used to be Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, for example), Rally have a UCI women’s and Continental men’s team side-by-side. They’ll be racing the USA domestic and UCI races, but watch out for their riders coming to Europe as part of the USA and Canadian national squads.
They have some great names to watch, too – including Emma White, the ITT and Road Race silver-medalist at the 2015 Junior Road World Championships, and trackie Allison Beveridge, who was part of Canada’s bronze-medal winning Team Pursuit squad at the 2016 Olympic Games, and has won 4 medals at Track World Championships, and that’s just the start!
The kit is very orange, and you can see how well it shows up in rain and bad weather in this article on their website (I love the photos of soaking wet, muddy riders still pushing, and smiling). The kit is usually for sale, in women’s and men’s sizes, along with all kinds of other team merchandise, including casual clothing and caps – the team store is down at the moment, but is bound to be up again later in the season.
One of the big teams of the Australian Subaru National Road Series, with Ruth Corset always one of the important riders to watch – she has already come 3rd in the General Classification of the 1st 2017 NRS round, the Tour of East Gippsland. And of course, team manager Dr Bridie O’Donnell is one of the personalities of Australian cycling, and broke the UCI Hour Record in January 2015 – listen to or read my interview with her after that.
You can buy their 2016 kit, a supporters’ jersey and more cycling gear, on the online store of their sponsor, the Total Rush bike store – and I’m sure the 2017 kit will turn up there too, later in the year.
This team name has changed in interesting ways over the years, not just as sponsors change, but along with the Olympic cycle, from TWENTY12 to TWENTY16, and now TWENTY20 – and with the change of name comes a change of colourscheme, swapping the blue in the blue-black-white for red.
So why do they change the name? It’s because the team has always had a specific goal – to help USA women get to race bikes at the Olympic Games. And to this end they have a UCI team, a junior team, as well as supporting Para-cyclists, who race on the road and track
The team is owned by former pro cyclist Nicola Cranmer, who was owner/manager of the PROMAN team, and they race the USA domestic and UCI scene, as well as some races in Europe – and of course their riders coming over with their national teams. This year, watch out for 2015 Junior Road Race and ITT World Champion (and recently married) Chloé Dygert-Owen – and they’ve added Canadian trackies Annie Foreman-Mackey, Jasmin (Glaesser) Duehring and Steph Roorda, and Mexican rider Sofía Arreola to make the 2017 squad less USA-flavoured.
Another Australian Subaru National Road Series team, they’ve gone from blue to purple for 2017, but kept their triangle-patterns. They have a fantastic gallery of their 2017 kit launch on their website.
Watch out for their riders Lucy Bechtel, who was 2nd on Stage 3 of the 2017 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, and Kate Perry and Ella Bloor, 3rd in the 2017 National ITT Championships in the elite and U23 categories respectively. Bloor also won the U23 General Classification of the first Subaru NRS race of the year, the Tour of East Gippsland.
They have a team shop, where you can buy last year’s blue kit, and I’m sure this year’s kit will appear there later in the year. Find out more on their website, and follow their twitter, instagram and facebook.
They’ve been a long-standing fixture of Belgian women’s cycling – a Flemish development team that are built around the four Druyts sisters, Kelly, Jessy, Demmy and Lenny, as well as young track and road riders – including young track sprinter Nicky Degrendele, who just won bronze in Keirin at the Cali round of the 2016/7 Tissot UCI Track World Cup.
The second Dutch team on the list, Swabo are well-known for their enthusiastic live-tweeting when they’re at big races, and for being a development team where young riders can learn their trade, and hope to get spotted by the big teams.
Their 2017 team photos and promo video on their facebook and twitter shows the team in the same kit as last year – black with Barbie-pink details, the pattern on the left arm formed by the team name. There’s no shop yet, but if you’d like to buy the kit, get in touch with the team, as they’re very friendly.
The last of the Australian teams, this one is probably the smallest, based in Melbourne. Spronsor Fondo are a women’s cycling clothing company that make bright and colourful kit with distinctive patterns, so it’s not surprise the team kits are vibrant too. This year the kit is black, blue and purple, and you can see it in their 2017 introduction post, and in this blog from a training weekend.
They are another team who have a goal of helping more women get into riding bikes, and if you’re in or near Melbourne, they run free training rides on the second Sunday of each month, for people relatively new to cycling, and on the fourth Sunday of each month for people who want to exercise their climbing legs – find out more, including how to sign up, on their website.
You can see last year’s kit on their website gallery, and buy it (on sale!) in the black-and-pink team version, or the black-and-turquoise alternative jersey and bib shorts on the Fondo site, with all their other designs.
This is the team that most people were surprised not to see in the UCI Top 20 for 2017, because they’re a long-standing USA team, who’ve been known for developing riders, allowing rides to stay in the USA for university, family or work reasons, while having forays into the European racing. They’ve been very successful – but when riders have developed, and transfer out of the team, their points go with them – so UHC don’t have automatic invitations to the 2017 Women’s WorldTour. But they’ve started the season strongly, with Ruth Winder coming second at the Deakin Women’s Race at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, and Katie Hall coming third on Stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Tour, so I hope they get wildcard invitations to the WorldTour, as they have excellent riders who should do really well.
The team has a men’s team as well as the women, and after years with the kit with one side blue, one side white, they’ve gone even more #BlueTrain for 2017, with a pattern in different shades of blue. You can see more of it in their photo gallery from the Santos Women’s Tour,
There are a lot of different pieces of cycling clothing for sale in women’s and men’s cuts on the Jakroo shop, as well as caps and musettes – and if you buy via the shop on the team site a donation will be made to the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation.
Being sponsored by a healthcare provider, their website includes healthy recipes from riders, and videos with various health tips. You can also join their team fan club – and of course, follow their twitter, instagram, facebook and youtube.
The last USA team on the list, they have the same distinctive kit as last year, with one side plain and the other patterned – have a look at it in their 2017 team camp photo albums, on their facebook. They’re based in the USA, racing the domestic scene.
The team kit isn’t for sale (yet), but if you like the stripes on the jersey, you can find similar designs on the DNA Cycling store. Follow the team through the season on their website, twitter and instagram.
While most of the teams nominated by readers have been from the English-speaking countries, we’re now heading to South America, and a pan-continental project to help develop women’s cycling in the region. They have riders from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Cuba, and they’ll be racing in the region, as well as UCI and domestic races in the USA.
It’s always a lot harder for riders from South America to get to race, especially with the UCI races disappearing from the continent this year, so this project is an excellent one, and hopefully with give riders the chances to not just gain experience, but help them catch the attention of the bigger teams too.
Our last British team on the list, and a classic blue cycling jersey! You might have seen a lot of them this week, as they’ve been busy promoting the launch of the 2017 WorldTour race, the Women’s Tour, and SweetSpot director Mick Bennett says we should watch out for WNT’s Katie Archibald.
Track fans know her Archibald Team Pursuit Olympic and World Championship golds, and it’ll be exciting to see what she’ll do with more of a road focus this year (read her Herald column about how she’s feeling about it). Irish track and road champion Lydia Boylan is also on the squad, as well as the always-fantastic Hannah Walker, who you might remember from the Adidas All In for #MyGirls video, and multiple British ITT champion Hayley Simmonds.
If you like this kit, you can buy the cycling gear, as well as all kinds of other things, including casual clothing and a balance bike and team kit for kids, on their team shop.
Now for the voting!
And the results are in!
If you’re wondering why a team you love is missing, there could be two reasons for that:
- No one nominated them for inclusion in the vote, or
- They were nominated, but haven’t released their 2017 kit yet (or I couldn’t find it for sure)
This counts for a lot of fan favourites who are launching in March – so I’ll pull together a post of more team launch kit information in April – so if you want to bring some attention to a kit you love, over the next month and a half, please do let me know, in the comments below, or on twitter.
If you have any opinions about any of these kits, and want to chat about them, get in touch in the same ways. I can talk about kits for days, so I’d love to know your thoughts!
As always, I’m funded to do this kind of women’s cycling work by my fantastic Patreon supporters – you can join them from as little as £/$/€ 2 a month – there’s more information here.