Grega Bole goes Dutch

Grega Bole

It’s all the rage these days. Alessandro Petacchi has threatened to swap the maglia azzurra of the Italian national team for that of Kazakhstan after the Italian authorities raised the idea of banning those with doping convictions from representing their country. Now Grega Bole is sporting a jersey in the colours of the Dutch national champion. Only he is Slovenian.

Bole won the Slovenian road race championships last weekend in Nova Gorica. The town’s name means “New Hill” but he hasn’t got a new jersey yet. Bungling by Lampre’s kit suppliers SMS Santini means they got the design wrong and he’s in the colours more normally associated with the Dutch champ. It’s confusing some, TV commentator Paul Sherwen saw Bole during Stage 1 and mentioned “the Dutch champion” but got in a tangle because he couldn’t recognise who it was.

National pride
It’s not a big deal but all the same, if you’re not from Slovenia, try imagining how it would feel if your own country’s champion had to wear the wrong jersey because of a design accident. It’s not very pro.

In mitigation for Lampre and Santini, the Slovenian design does change. It is meant to be primarily white with blue and red, as demonstrated by Tadej Valjavec below. But last year’s title holder Gorazd Štangelj rode in an almost normal Astana jersey, where the colours were swapped from the normal Astana sky blue to the Slovenian blue and red.

Tadej Valjavec
Valjavec in 2008

Bole might not be a guy to mess with since he’s a former military world cycling champion. The good news is that a new jersey is being worked on as you read this.

Slovenia’s a fine country for riding with some good mountains sharing the infamous Monte Zoncolan with Italy. It’s a got a good, almost over-proportionate supply of pro riders. As well as Bole, you’ve got his team mate Simon Špilak, Gorazd Štangelj and guys like Jan Tratnik (Quick Step), Kristian Koren (Liquigas), Janez Brajkovič (Radioshack), Borut Bozič (Vacansoleil) and Marko Kump (Geox).

Thanks to an alert reader for bringing this to my attention.

15 thoughts on “Grega Bole goes Dutch”

  1. Nova Gorica would translate more to New Little Mountain. But the “new” comes from history. When Gorizia was given to Italy, Yugoslavia founded a new city just across the border and named it New Gorizia.

  2. Also, The Zoncolan is not shared by Italy/Slovenia. However Mangart is and it has a road on the Slovene side that goes up to 2100 metres.

  3. I love the fact that cycling still has the ‘tradition’ of national champions jerseys – its a great nod to cycling’s history.

    Some countries still seem to miss out though. Look at teh Belgian, French & Italian jerseys – for them, its like the original team design takes a back seat to the ‘dominant’ national colours. In fact, I remember when Pozzatto had the jersey when he was at Katusha, and the Italian Federation complained that they didn’t change the jersey enough!!

    Then you have some jerseys (look at Leopard-Trek, for example), who just have a small stripe or flag to denote the Swiss & Luxembourg national champs… I think it would be good if all teams embraced the ‘prestige’ of all national champs and had more pronounced jerseys for all countries…

  4. Ahhh C-Grade

    Then you would enter the world of MTBing.

    Some MTB riders deliberately miss / lose their National Champs because prescriptive regulations limit the available space to promote their sponsor.

    But I agree with you.

  5. I was looking forward to seeing what Craft would do for Fabian Cancellara’s Swiss Jersey and to say I was disappointed would be an understatement, compare it to his Saxo Bank one a few years ago and they’re miles apart. It ‘s like Leopard don’t want to show off the fact they’ve got two National Champions (Frank as well, rubbish design but we’d seen it already) I actually quite liked the Solvak Astana Jersey from last year and thought it was quite a clever touch.

    Talking about Astana, what was going on with their TTT Skinsuits yesterday, they were more silver than “day-glo” blue?

  6. Gandalf: thanks, you’re right about the Zoncolan, I’ll fix things. I know “Gora” is mountain, so I was thinking “hill” because of Gorica… that was my thinking anyway.

    Wobbler: the Swiss flag is itself a design icon with the bright red and the central white cross. It’s also one of the few flags in the world that is square rather than rectangular. I like the older versions of the jersey too, the new one isn’t good but teams often want “their” jersey.

    Cyclo: yes, but I couldn’t get a good photo of Ligthart.

  7. Spanish champion JJ Rojas (Movistar) has to wear a shame design as well, which by the way, is the common thing with this team (previously Caisse d’epargne, Illes Baleares and Banesto).

  8. That’s actually the Slovenian national kit for the WC, which was indeed held in Melbourne. That kit isn’t worn during regular road races like the Giro, Tour and Vuelta.
    WC kits are always different compared to national championship jerseys.

    The pictures you posted of Stangelj and Valjavec were the right ones.

    Good spot though, even Dutch media haven’t really found out until today.

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