Blue and Yellow is the New Black and White
Shane Ferro- Columbia
There are a few sure bets during the ECCC season. It will rain. Certain team kits will be an eyesore. Someone will show up in lederhosen. But all of that was so last year.
An unprecedented amount of good weather took the ECCC by storm, and teams were out in full force cheering and heckling through the finishing straightaways. While there were a few exciting breakaways, it wasn’t so much the blazing speeds turning heads but the appearance of new, unfamiliar spandex designs peppering the peleton.
By Saturday afternoon’s criterium, there was a buzz spreading through the crowd: “Have you seen Delaware’s new kits?”
Probably the most surprising redesign this season comes from the University of Delaware, whose team members usually blind the field with their black and white zebra stripe design.
“It’s primal,” said University of Delaware student Arthur Wicks said of the old pattern. Sentiment among team members concluded that the ECCC simply could not handle the animal print.
According to team members, the issue of kit design was hotly debated at the end of last season, but the distinctive stripes were at last ousted, replaced this season with a demure blue and yellow design.
Most other teams seemed very excited about the new Delaware look. A question about it prompted one Penn State student to declare, “Dude, the Fissel era has ended,” referring to William Fissel, a Men’s A rider who proudly wore the stripes for many years.
But Delaware was not the only team to show up with a new look. The University of Pittsburg also sported a distinctive redesign (also in blue and yellow). They came into the race looking to turn some heads. The design includes argyle bibs embellished with paw prints and old school lettering on the jersey.
During the circuit race, one Pitt rider became agitated with all the talk of the new Delaware kits. “They just went ugly for so long that it was just, like, shock value,” he said, maintaining that Pitt’s redesign actually looked better.
A cursory poll of teams watching the Men’s A race on Sunday yielded a similar sentiment. While the Delaware team may be the most improved, Pitt takes the overall win, with an honorable mention going to Middlebury.
And with that result, let the season begin.
– photos courtesy of Shane Ferro