What it takes to outfit a pro cycling team
One of the advantages of riding with the Hincapie Sportswear staff is that I’ve gotten to see or hear the inside scoop on what’s going on with the BMC team. When I rolled into the office today for a ride, UPS had just dropped off a huge shipment of the first batch of team issue BMC clothes. The staff was quickly separating what the team needed for the upcoming Tour Down Under and what they need for the California training camp later this month. While they allowed me to take a look at the new kit I had to take a blood oath not to post pictures or even discuss what colors they used. I’ll say that the kit looks clean and will standout from the rest of the peloton.
I spoke to Rich Hincapie about the production details of the clothes Hincapie Sportswear had to produce for the BMC team. Add to the fact that the team has two current American national champions, a world champion, as well as former national champions on the team there needs to be elements beyond a standard jersey design. The UCI has certain standards for how a world champion stripes, as well as how a national champion jersey, is to look. After the technical details of how wide the stripes need to be or exactly what shade certain colors needs to be, the rider gets to weigh in on the design. This takes a lot of emails back and forth with the rider and many late nights at the office. After seeing the kit myself and witnessing the work first hand, I’m confident that the tifosi will approve.
- The BMC team has 23 pro and three U23 riders.
- Each rider will get approximately 60 pieces of cycling clothing throughout the year. Clothing is replaced when riders crash, lose them or wear out.
- Casual clothing will include Hincapie denim jeans, track suits and collared shirts. If you want to hear a fun story ask Rich what he had to do to the track jackets before they were sent to the team.
- The total amount of clothing pieces sent to the team are in the thousands (in addition to the basic kit of shorts and jersey there are many different types of gloves, various skinsuit types, various jackets and shoe covers to name just a few pieces).
- The retail cost for the amount of clothing for the team is between $300,000 to $400,000.