The off-season each year is a drip feed of season reviews, new signings, pre-season camps, new partnership announcements and more frequently, a grand unveiling of the new jerseys for the upcoming season.
While each team’s 2018 jersey has been released over the past few months, in varying levels of pomp and grandeur, the Santos Tour Down Under is the first opportunity to showcase the new designs in a race scenario.
The season opener in Adelaide has increased in prestige year on year since its inaugural event in 1999, earning Pro Tour, and thus WorldTour status in 2008.
The 2018 event sees a return of three-time world champion Peter Sagan, as well as other headliners including Richie Porte, Andre Greipel, Elia Viviani, Caleb Ewan and Rui Costa to name just a few.
As the excitement of the new season begins and the racing gets underway, we take a look at each of the WorldTour jerseys for 2018.
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a closer look at each of the 18 jerseys for the season, which is now officially underway.
Five year’s ago, Nicholas Dlamini made the decision to pursue cycling as a professional career. On his WorldTour debut at the Tour Down Under on stage 1, the 22-year-old collected the king of the mountains jersey as reward for his efforts in the breakaway.
The Dimension Data rider was also active in Sunday night’s People’s Choice Classic criterium but had better luck when the stakes were higher and the prize of a classification jersey was on the line.
“It was the plan actually to try and go out and get the KOM jersey. As there was only one king of the mountain for the day we thought we might as well give it a go. It worked out well,” Dlamini tells Cyclingnews in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel in Adelaide.
Up against serial breakaway artist Will Clarke (EF Education-Drapac) and Olympian Scott Bowden (UniSA-Australia), Dlamini was arguably the least known of the trio who formed the stage 1 breakaway. The Baby Giro king of the mountains winner last year, Dlamini can climb and also packs a fast sprint finish. Two qualities suited to the Humbug Scrub KOM point on the stage.
While the spectators on the sole KOM of the day, and later at the finish line in Lyndoch, were getting their first glimpse of Dlamini, he has steadily built his reputation as a rider to watch since impressing the likes of Stephen Roche and Maurizio Fondriest at the 2013 Cape Rouleur event organized by HotChillee.
At the time, Dlamini didn’t know of Roche and his palmares – no surprise considering Roche had been retired for two years when Dlamini was born in 1995. At the Cape Rouleur, he was simply riding his bike without expectations across the five-day 600-kilometre event.
As the WorldTour gets underway at the Tour Down Under, the Movistar Team riders will be equipped with special edition Fizik Infinito R1 shoes in the Spanish team’s 2018 colours.
Around the same time as the shoes were delivered to riders, including Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, BikeRadar was lucky enough to also receive a delivery of the team edition shoes, and here we take a closer look.
Fizik’s Infinito R1s are the Italian brand’s top of the line race shoes, featuring a carbon sole, a laser-perforated Microtex upper and a double serving of the popular Boa tensioning system.
For the 2018 season, Movistar switched from their traditional navy and green kit to a brighter blue and white kit, and the same blue fade features and dictates the design of the Infinito R1.
Some high-end shoes can be fairly one-dimensional when it comes to fit, but with the Infinito R1s, the two tensioning Boas are doing two different and equally important roles when it comes to fit.