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How it's made: Peter Sagan's World Champs jersey

A look at the journey of the rainbow stripes from the moment they're won to the World Champion's back.

Sam Challis
14 Oct 2016

Depending on your perspective, the end of the Road Race World Championships is just the start. When Peter Sagan rolled over the line in Richmond in September 2015 with his arms spread lazily and a grin on his face, his race was done. But for Tinkoff-Saxo’s kit manufacturer, Sportful, the race was just beginning. 

‘I’d love to tell you some story about us watching the World Champs, running back to the office and working feverishly all night,’ says Glen McKibben, Sportful’s brand manager. ‘But the UCI guidelines are pretty strict about what we can and can’t do, so it was a smooth process and was all finished rather quickly.’

It took Sportful less than three days to produce a prototype jersey that was ready to send off to the UCI, cycling’s governing body, for approval. As Sagan was straight off to race in the deserts of Abu Dhabi, the design was first printed onto the well-ventilated BodyFit Pro Race jersey. ‘Within eight days we had a finished jersey for Sagan to wear. But two days after that he had five or six, and it was easy from there to make a lot – Sagan wanted to give jerseys to people who have helped him along the way,’ McKibben says.

Cyclist managed to get hold of one of Sagan’s jerseys, but for Sportful to sell replica jerseys to the public, it needs to pay royalties to the UCI and Santini, which produces the podium jersey for the World Championships. 

McKibben explains the impact a World Champion riding in its kit has on the brand: ‘I think it is both very satisfying and something we are very proud of. It’s not to say we won Sagan the jersey but I think it gives us a way to spotlight a lot of the work we’ve done with the Tinkoff-Saxo team over the last few years, and more importantly all the work we’ve been doing with all our pro riders over the last 40 years.’