On Saturday, August 25, we will see many of the world’s top cyclists gathering in the blisteringly hot Costa del Sole sun at Malaga for the off of the 73rd La Vuelta, one of the most eagerly anticipated races on the road racing calendar. The event has a slightly retro feel and once again this year the leaders will be dressed by Santini Cycling Wear, the Italian family firm that has been producing coveted technical kit for cyclists since 1965.
Not just a jersey, a second skin
The 800 official jerseys for the top riders in each classification were all made by Santini Cycling Wear from the finest quality fabrics and technologically advanced fibres. The 2018 La Vuelta jerseys range is size from XXS to L. Ultralight, aerodynamic and breathable, they are made from Bodyfit, which feels like a second skin and so is used for the backs and sleeves, and feather-light Rudy which is superbly breathable. Both fabrics are made in Bergamo, Italy, by Sitip.
“Every garment we create is the result of hard work and meticulous care and attention to detail,” explains Santini CEO Monica Santini. “That is the only way we can be sure that the company’s know-how shines through in our products and that we are meeting the needs of both pro and amateur cyclist alike.”
The four jerseys are: the Red jersey sponsored by Carrefour which is worn by the overall leader, the Green jersey sponsored by Skoda which is worn by the points leader, the White jersey sponsored by Fertiberia, which is donned by the leader of the combined classification and the Polka Dot jersey which is awarded to the King of the Mountain.
Special edition jerseys
Aside from the aforementioned, Santini has also created five celebratory kits comprising a jersey, shorts, socks, cap and gloves, especially for fans (three also include a coordinating vest). Each one is dedicated to an exhilarating stage of the 2018 edition of the race: Malaga, La Huesera, Euskadi, Andorra and Km Cero.
The Málaga jersey celebrates the start point of La Vuelta 2018 and takes its inspiration from the city’s most famous artist, Pablo Picasso, and his love of Breton-style striped tops. The “Malaga” font was borrowed too from a vintage poster with mosque minarets referenced in the shape of the letter A. The back and sleeves also feature 21 vertical bars representing the 21 stages in the race. The first four are highlighted in purple and green which are the colours of Málaga’s flag.
La Huesera or “the Ossuary” is a section of the Lagos de Covadonga hill climb in Asturias, which has a reputation as being particularly grueling. The Santini jersey dedicated to the 15th stage features a bone motif on a dark background of black and purple. Touches of bright red also stand out, including on the 15th bar on the back and sleeves.
Dedicated the 17th stage which traverses the Basque Country, the Euskadi jersey’s design was inspired by the Gernikako Arbola (the Guernica tree in the Basque language), an oak tree that symbolised the Basque people’s traditional freedom. The jersey features a cross-section of the tree’s trunk complete with age rings. The font used for the “Euskadi” moniker is inspired by the inscription on wooden and stone Basque memorials. Colour-wise the red, green and white used is borrowed from the Basque Country flag.
Andorra and its mountains are the stars of La Vuelta’s 20th stage. During this particular section, the competitors tackle a climb to Arcalis, one of the toughest uphills in Andorra. The design features small mountains against an anthracite grey background in the centre of the jersey. The zip and sleeves are in yellow, blue and red respectively. On the back, just above the vertical bars symbolising the race’s 21 stages, is the word Andorra in a font inspired by the sculpture at the Arcalis summit.
The Km Cero jersey is dedicated to Puerta del Sol, one of old Madrid’s most famous and historic squares. It has a wind rose inlaid into its cobbled surface which marks Kilometre Zero or the starting point for Spain’s radial main road network. This also works as a clever reference to the Kilometre Zero concept for line races. The Santini-designed jersey is a mix of blue, red and yellow, and also features the mathematical symbol for zero.