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The Rainbow Cycling Jersey

The Rainbow Cycling Jersey
Most of us agree that the famous rainbow cycling jersey looks great. You may also know that it's perhaps the most coveted jersey in the peloton.

Cycling greats like Peter Sagan, Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert have all been World Champions, giving thementitlement to wear the rainbow jersey for the year they hold the crown.

The rainbow jersey has been worn by the reigning world champion in several cycling disciplines, since 1927. The jersey is predominantly white with five horizontal bands in the UCI colours around the chest. From the bottom up the colours are: green, yellow, black, red and blue; the same colours that appear in the rings on the Olympic flag. The tradition is applied to all disciplines, including road racing, track racing, cyclo-cross, BMX, Trials and the disciplines within mountain biking. The jersey has been produced by Santini SMS since 1994.

The Rainbow Jersey

A world champion must wear the jersey when competing in the same discipline, category and speciality for which the title was won. For example, the world road race champion would wear the garment while competing in stage races (except for time trial stages) and one-day races, but would not be entitled to wear it during time trials. Similarly, on the track, the world individual pursuit champion would only wear the jersey when competing in other individual pursuit events.

The rainbow jersey helps make a world champion easier to spot for spectators, but it also has the effect of making the title-holder more visible to other competitors, particularly in road racing situations. This can be a disadvantage as it makes it more difficult for the world champion to launch an attack, while other riders will quickly seek to take advantage if they notice the rainbow jersey crashes or suffers a mechanical or other problem. There is also reduced space for sponsors' logos on the world champion's jerseys; however, the increased media coverage of a reigning world champion is thought to offset the effects of the smaller logo space.

After the end of a rider's championship year, they are eligible to wear piping in the same rainbow pattern on the collar and cuffs of their jersey. They retain this right for the remainder of their career.

So there it is, the simple facts about the rainbow jersey. Do we have them here at Cyclists.com. Of course we do, have a look right here.

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