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Le Col enters the WorldTour with Bahrain-McLaren

Joe Robinson
9 Dec 2019

A change of team colours alongside the change of name, what do you think of the Bahrain-McLaren kit?

British cycling clothing specialist Le Col will make its first venture into the men's WorldTour with Bahrain-McLaren. The kit company, owned by former professional rider Yanto Barker, was unveiled as the new kit manufacturer at the team's launch on Monday at the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre in Surrey.

Le Col takes over from Italian brand Sportful which supplied Bahrain-Merida since its inception in 2017. It also comes as bike brand Merida steps down from primary sponsorship, replaced by British automotive manufacturer McLaren.

Marking the change, the team have done away with their previous navy, red and gold look integrating the Formula 1 racing colours of McLaren with a sunburst red-to-orange jersey.

Looks-wise, the jury is out (especially over those light blue sleeves), although Bahrain-McLaren has already stated that the Le Col kit has 'proven to be the fastest kit in initial aero testing', making it up to the performance demands of the team.

The move is a big step for Le Col. The brand has supplied professional teams in the past, notably Team Wiggins and Sarah Storey Racing, but not at this level.

The demand will be big on the brand, however Barker believes it comes at the right time.

'Le Col has always been on a trajectory to the top of the sport since its inception. Our purpose has and will always be, to make the best performance kit in the world so that riders can go faster and further,' said Barker.

'This is the perfect time for us to enter the WorldTour; the conventions of cycling kit design are mature and they’re ripe to be disrupted. We have already been working hard to develop bespoke kit for some of next year’s toughest stages at the biggest races.'

Bahrain-McLaren team principal Rod Ellingworth added that Barker's first-hand pro experience and the brand's desire to produce the best technical kit made the partnership a no-brainer.

'We were blown away by Le Col’s attitude to collaborating with us to create the very best performance products and taking a "rider first" approach to improving athlete performance,' said Ellingworth.

'In particular, Yanto brings unique experience to us. He’s not only spent many thousands of hours in the saddle over a 20-year pro career, but is someone who is also passionate about acquiring new knowledge and genuinely loves the process of innovation.'