Interesting opinions here. As I work for the team I like to share some insights how this process works for us.
First of all, the UCI regulation states that the national union has to approve the national champion jersey design. Some unions are very strict, others aren't too bothered.
We always listen to the riders opinion as he's most of the time incredibly proud to be the champion of his country. Next to that we have to make sure that the interests of our team and our partners are covered as well.
Please bear in mind that a main sponsor of a cycling team has two main rights:
- Naming rights
- Coloring rights
And take into consideration that we as a team want that a rider is recognizable as a member of our team for the TV audience, but also for our coaches watching the race on TV, for our soigneurs providing bottles along the road and last but not least for the rider himself and his teammates. Amund Grøndahl Jansen, George Bennett and even Dylan Groenewegen experienced this already. Missing bottles, being bumped out of our train etc. are things that happened.
Now back to Primoz, this was the official champions jersey when Primoz won the race last year:
As it's important for our team that Primoz is recognizable as member of the team and the main color of Jumbo's biggest competitor (Albert Heijn) in The Netherlands is (light) blue, we decided to swap the upper part (light blue) for our yellow. Could you imagine a sponsor paying a lot of money to have naming and coloring rights and then have the #1 rider of the world in your team riding in the colors of your main competitor? Or having the #1 rider in your team missing important bottles or is 'overseen' by his teammates?
Then the Triglav (three mountains) remain in the Slovenian colors, but Primoz thought it would look like the French champion because they are in that order from left to right.
To resolve that issue we included the Slovenian flag in a band around the chest and back. This could not be too wide, because otherwise the sponsor logos would drop to his belly. Please notice that all sponsor logo's are just in black and white to create a 'clean' jersey without too much interference of other colors.
Primoz, the team and our sponsors are happy with the result. Normally our champions always stick to the regular black bibshorts, but Primoz will soon wear a dark blue one.
So in the end we basically changed two parts of the 'official' champions jersey and the Slovenian union was fine with that:
- swapping the light blue for yellow
- in stead of the colored 'Triglav' we included a Slovenian band around the jersey
I hope you guys like the insight of this process for a team like us.