The BMC Racing Team, winners of the 2011 Tour de France, will line up for the 2012 season wearing apparel supplied by Hincapie Sportswear.
According to Hincapie Sportswear president Rich Hincapie and BMC Racing Team president/GM Jim Ochowicz, the three-year relationship has been highly beneficial for both sides. We look to Hincapie for their ability to provide high quality racing clothing in a variety of fabrics and styles, Ochowicz said. Pro racers are very particular about all their equipment and theyre tough on their kit. Hincapie has been a great partner for the team.
Our relationship with the BMC Racing Team is incredibly positive for our brand, said Rich Hincapie. The team provides a constant source of product suggestions and testing pro input that goes straight into our consumer line.
Hincapie said the company gets a lot of questions from fans about whats involved in supplying a pro team. Here are some of the most frequently asked:
How many pieces of apparel does each rider get?
Each rider on the BMC RacingTeam gets a Rider Kit, containing about 300 individual pieces of apparel:
bibs with special color blocking to match a race leaders jersey
pair of Element bib shorts
pair of Element bib tights
Element Windtex jackets
Element Windtex Polar jackets
Element wind vests
Element Polar vests
Pacific rain shells
Pacific rain vests
Element arm warmers
rain arm warmers
Arenberg arm warmers
Arenberg knee warmers
rain knee warmers
Arenberg leg warmers
Axis race gloves
Black ice gloves
merino wool gloves
Axis shoe covers
neoprene shoe covers
Arenberg shoe covers
Pro Sock shoe covers
Tour LT beanies
Alpe Brim caps
Powercore Flex sleeveless base layers
short sleeve base layers
merino wool short sleeve base layer
merino long sleeve base layer
short-sleeve Velocity speed suits
Velocity long-sleeve speed suit.
How long does it take to create a world or national championship jersey?
The truth is that its a scramble. Everyone needs a shot of the new champion in his new kit, the day after the race. To accomplish that, the Hincapie Program Director works closely with BMC Racing Team management ahead of the races to predict likely winners of both time trials and road races. In this way, we make sure the favorites have a just-in-case jersey ahead of time.
The complete kits are another story. On race day, the minute results come in, they are relayed to the Hincapie factory in Colombia which produces the whole new kit on the spot and gets it to the new champion in his home country, the next day.
Occasionally, though, we get caught out. In June, Martin Kohler surprised us and everybody else by winning the Swiss national time trial championship. After some urgent communication and quick handiwork at the factory, he had his new jersey the next day.
With the talent we have on the 2012 BMC Racing Team, its going to be especially interesting logistical exercise this coming year.
What are some examples of BMC Racing Team products that made it into the Hincapie consumer line?
Definitely the Pacific Rain Shell jacket and vest, the Velocity vest and the eVent rain jacket and vest.
Virtually everything in the current Velocity Line, which are the custom products for teams and clubs and most of the current Equipe line use the same patterns and fabrics as BMC Racing Team apparel. For 2012, Hincapie will debut the Gran Premio line, which will also bring many of the features of the BMC Team kit to consumers.
How do you handle an unusually proportioned BMC Team rider?
Quite a few riders have special pattern modifications. Alessandro Ballan, for example, has very long arms which calls for special jerseys, jackets and arm warmers. In creating their own Rider Kit, each BMC RacingTeam rider can request specific patterns and a variety of bib short chamois, so their kit is quite customized.