No time to train? Can’t travel to a World Championship qualifying race? Afraid the pandemic will once again cancel the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships and scuttle your plans to be World Champion?
No worries, you can now buy rainbow stripes rather than earning them the old fashion way with hard work, luck and a World Championship victory.
As the UCI struggles to regain a solid financial footing in the wake of a devastating 2020 season that saw the Olympics postponed, most professional races cancelled and the hugely popular amateur Gran Fondo World Championships also cancelled, the UCI is turning to mass-market sales of rainbow banded World Championship clothing.
On Friday 22 January, the UCI announced a change in policy that allows anyone to purchase and wear a World Championship rainbow striped cycling jersey, bibs, socks, gloves, etc.
Previously, the coveted rainbow stripes had to be earned by winning a World Championship race and were not permitted to be worn by anyone other than current or former World Champions.
In announcing the change in policy UCI President David Lappartient said: “This is in line with our desire to promote cycling more widely as outlined in the UCI’s Agenda 2022 and underlying our ‘Ride and Smile’ campaign.”
We expect the UCI will be smiling all the way to the bank.
Designed and manufactured by the Italian brand Santini, the clothing will be available in March 2021 at mass-market sports retailer Decathlon shops in Italy, Belgium, Hungary and Switzerland as well as online. Eventually, the rainbow accented clothing will be for sale at all 1600 Decathlon shops worldwide.