A couple weeks back Iain Treloar ranked the kits of the 2021 men’s WorldTour. As we approach the start of the women’s road season, it’s time to take a look at the best and worst of the 2021 Women’s WorldTour kits. Agree with our assessment? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!
For 2021, Trek-Segafredo took its already popular 2020 jersey and brightened up the blue (daba-de-daba-da). Instead of white sleeves, they made the sleeves navy, to match the men’s team. The navy sleeves contrast well with the baby blue jersey and navy bibs.
Last year the reason Trek-Segafredo missed out on a podium place was the stripes – which are still slightly questionable, but actually, with the switch to a light blue backdrop, the stomach stripes look a lot less out of place.
Something Trek-Segafredo continues to do better than most is its national champion’s kits. Elisa Longo Borghini, Audrey Cordon Ragot, Amalie Dideriksen (ITT), and Ruth Winder can wear these flag jerseys with pride.
In 2020, Canyon-SRAM secured itself the top step on our definitive kit ranking with some out-of-this-world galaxy vibes. This year they went even deeper down the rabbit hole, adding more colours and more stars.
Clearly, the 2020 kit worked for the team, and for Rapha. After all, isn’t the whole point of a clothing sponsorship to sell clothing? And with the success of last year, the team behind the team threw even more personality at the 2021 outfit.
The outcome is a dreamy combination of stars and splashes of paint across a deep purple canvas. It’s kind of like the older and more worldly sister to the 2020 design.
In case you didn’t think it was possible to top Trek-Segafredo’s national champion kit, feast your eyes upon Elise Chabbey’s Swiss national champion jersey…
1. Liv Racing
There is a weird aversion to overt femininity in women’s sport. Some women see flowers on a pink kit and are offended that clothing manufacturers would dare to think women might just want flowers and bright colours. In 2013 Specialized Lululemon made a Giro Rosa special edition kit that was covered in colourful flowers. It was one of the most beautiful women’s team kits ever made.
Other women revel in being able to express their femininity whilst also being athletic. There is nothing wrong with either take. Everyone is free to be themselves. Still, it can be seen as taboo for a woman to express femininity when participating in sport.
Now, this isn’t something that every team can pull off, and if every team started throwing flowers on their kits it would be a different story, but Liv Racing has nailed it with this flowery purple 2021 kit. The flowers don’t cover the entire jersey and bibs, and the contrast of purple flowers and black makes this design girly, yet oddly subtle.
This look will not be everyone’s favourite, but Liv Racing deserves a massive high-five for recognizing that some women just want to wear flowers. Some women want to wear mascara when they race or ride. Some women want to show off their feminine side, regardless of whether they are also professional athletes.
Women should be allowed to be feminine and badass at the same time, and this kit is a beautiful portrayal of that. That may not be the intention behind this design, but that is how it’s been interpreted by this author.
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope has done some good kits in the past, and both 2019 and 2020 were good years. This year the French squad went for a darker blue for their bibs and said goodbye to the blue and red design on the front of the jersey. They left the markings on the back pocket, which will, unfortunately, be covered up by race numbers.
Regardless, this light top/dark bottom combo is a classic and FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope has done a good job with it.
Alé BTC Ljubljana
Immediate thought upon seeing the original rendering: No. You’re doing too much, do less.
But actually, upon further reflection, this neon concoction is not the worst version of the Alé kit, which has been nothing if not visible over the years. At least this year they’ve left off the weird bubbles and the Hawaiian shirt vibes.
At the very least, we will be able to see Alé BTC Ljubljana coming from a mile away, which is a lot more than we can say of a handful of the below jerseys. Bonus points for standing out and being different.
The ‘meh’ and ‘nah’
Black bibs and a multi-colour jersey is almost always a safe option, so although the SD Worx kit isn’t anything to write home about, it’s fine. Could they have done something more? Probably! Is it better than Boels-Dolmans’ absolute disaster of 2020? Absolutely!
Bonus: their national, Olympic, and world champions look great in the white/black/flag.
The Movistar kit didn’t change from 2020, which is to say, it’s still a whole lot of blue. Overall the kit isn’t bad. It looks a lot better in person; the problem is most people are seeing it through the internet or on a television where it is harder to see the small details.
At least Annemiek van Vleuten has a European champion’s jersey to add a bit of visual flair and help her stand out in the peloton (or off the front of it).
One of the most disappointing developments of the season so far is the situation going on with the Team BikeExchange kit. With the Mitchelton-Scott name behind them, the world was their oyster. They could have gone any which way with their 2021 kit, and almost anything would have been a step up from the last couple of years.
The celeste adds a little something something, but other than that it’s just a white and black version of their previous black and neon.
On the plus side, BikeExchange’s commitment to matching bike to kit gets full marks. Never again should a team wear all yellow and black, and ride a celeste bike.
Similar to BikeExchange, DSM (formerly Sunweb) could have done so many things with its 2021 kit design. And similar to BikeExchange, they decided to do a whole lot of the same old same old.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and DSM looks an awful lot like the old Team Sky. Minus 5 points for being unoriginal.
Plus 10 points for this paint job.
The UCI Continental teams that made a splash
With the rise of the men’s Jumbo-Visma team, it’s exciting to see them start a women’s team this season. As a first-year team, they are not able to jump right into a WorldTour license, but with the roster they have signed, their UCI Continental status will not hold them back.
The kit itself is not the most innovative or as eyecatching as others, but not many other teams have used the colour combinations of Jumbo-Visma, making it easy to spot. Bonus: they’re not riding celeste-coloured bikes this year!
Also … the yellow and black combined with the hexagon pattern is a blast from the honey-covered past.
The Spanish UCI Continental team Massi-Tactic has thrown together a fabulous kit each year since the team began in 2019. 2021 is no exception.
Hands down the best kit in the World. Don’t @ me.
The use of multi-colour while also being super simple. This is really the best of the best.
Unfortunately, Parkhotel Valkenburg has not yet revealed its 2021 kit, but judging by previous years, it will be a good one.
Between Movistar, Trek-Segafredo, and FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope there are far too many dark blue bottoms and light blue tops going on in the peloton this year. How entertaining would it be if every team just had to pull a colour scheme out of a hat and design their kits based on that? That way we could get a wide variety of colours represented in the helicopter shots and easily spot which team is in what breakaway.