While it’s common, almost expected, for football fans to wear their team’s shirt, cycling fans are different. There has long been a tradition that you’re only allowed to wear the shirt if you were in the team or won the race. Which is a shame as there have been some great shirts down the years, as shirt collector Andy Storey’s new book, The Art Of The Jersey, details. We’ve picked out a few of the best.
MAPEI – 1996
The iconic Mapei jesrey was one of the first replica shirts to be offered for sale to fans, and it’s still available today at prendas.co.uk
LA VIE CLAIRE – 1985
This Mondrian-inspired shirt was a favourite of cycling legend Bernard Hinault, seen here punching French protesters in 1984.
WORLD CHAMPION – Since 1927
The rainbow jersey is worn by the world champion each year who is then allowed to add a rainbow trim to their kit for the rest of his or her career.
Z – 1992
This design, featuring a cartoon ‘Z’ of the sponsors, a children’s clothing brand, was loved by many, and hated by as many more, but it was often on the podium as it was worn by the great Greg LeMond.
MAGLIA ROSA – Since 1931
The overall winner in the Giro d’Italia has the honour of pulling on the pink jersey, in this case designed by Dolce & Gabbana for the 100th anniversary of the race in 2009.
TI-Raleigh – 1976
Raleigh, once the bigest bicycle makers in the world, the people behind the Grifter and the Chopper, also sponsored a road team in the 70s that wore this distinctive kit.
PEUGEOT – 1984
The black and white checks of Team Peugeot were most famously worn by the first British rider to ever wear the TdF leader’s yellow jersey, Tom Simpson, who died on Mount Ventoux in the 1967 Tour aged 29.
TEAM SKY – 2015
Sir Bradley Wiggins has worn leader’s jerseys in all three grand tours and the rainbow stripes but is best known for his time in the black and blue Rapha-made Team Sky kit.
BROOKLYN CHEWING GUM – 1977
It may look like an American jersey, but Brooklyn Chewing Gum is an Italian brand that only looked to the States for inspiration.
BIANCHI URSUS – 1952
There are few truly iconic brands in cycling but Bianchi can legitimately make that claim, largely for their links with the great Italian post-war cyclist Fausto Coppi.
MAILLOT JAUNE – Since 1919
The most famous jersey in cycling, to be worn only by those who have held the lead in the TdF. Legitimately, which is why Armstrong, whose shirt this is, doesn’t count.
Many of these jerseys are available at prendas.co.uk
The Art Of The Jersey: A Celebration Of The Cycling Racing Jersey by Andy Storey, published by Mitchell Beazley, £15.99 (octopusbooks.co.uk)