Rio 2016 Track Cycling skin suits, rated, because because is why

If I turn the hours of watching Olympic track cycling into a post, that makes it a productive use of my time, right?

NZ: austere. 8/10

France: refined like Concorde 8/10

Hong Kong: okay. Maybe a bit 90s airline makeover: ash with charcoal with battleship and a highlight of moonrock. Ah, Lee Wai Sze has little bauhinias on her socks too, aw. Oh and look, it says ‘Hong Kong’ on her helmet in Cooper Black. And HK are my favourite Olympics participants, and so for these three reasons I have upgraded their score by one to 8/10

Great Britain: fussy & fugly, 5/10

Denmark: the problem is having quite a nice red in a translucent material makes it look like not as nice a pink, I think. Shame, cos the design is super. 6/10

Spain: juice carton 5/10

Czech Republic: the Czechs had the best skin suits in London too 9/10

Russia: I sort of like it! I know, Russia, but still 8/10

Canada: not sure why you need that much blue really. I appreciate the blocking, but no one thinks of mid-blue when they think of Canada? 6/10

Australia: everyone goes on about ‘the iconic green and gold’ but there’s a reason it’s not a common colour combination outside sport. I will say they don’t look as much like Flora tubs as in previous years 5/10

China: I note that they are very keen on your knowing that the cyclist contained in the skinsuit is from China. ‘China’ it says on each shoulder, ‘China’ it says on each forearm, ‘China’ it says across the back, ‘China’ it says on the chest, ‘China’ down both legs. Otherwise the flourishes & fonts & stuff are awkward. Bonus point for the Chinese Opera helmets though. 6/10

Germany: Like it, I would say something about what a clean & restrained design this is but you’d think I was influenced by national stereotype. Ain’t necessarily so: the Mont Blanc Meisterstück Solitaire Blue Hour Skeleton 149 Fountain Pen, yours for only £5900, is also made by a German firm. 8/10

The Netherlands: attempting to combine the colours of the flag with the traditional orange was a mistake, never mind the black or the white lion. Full orange or gtfo imho 5/10

Colombia: not really a fan of the ribbon motif 6/10

S Korea: bland & a mess all at once 5/10

Lithuania: you’re starting a long way back if the colours of your flag are green/yellow/red. It seems there might not be a massive market for photos of Lithuanian cyclists as this is the best I could find: Simona Krupeckaite is the third rider behind the derny here. It was possibly unfair to hope Lithuania would get more than 6/10

Ukraine: If anything the picture situation is worse for Ukrainian cyclists. Liubov Basova is wearing the red and white helmet in this picture. Quite a lot going on but I’ve decided I’m on side. 8/10

Italy: perfectly serviceable 7/10

USA: I have a friend who has told me several times how much of a sin it is to wear navy blue with black. That aside, this is alright, innit? Could do without the back stars, but I’ve definitely seen US outfits that look more like they come from the pages of Marvel Comics than this. 7/10

Venezuela: it’s, er, energetic, isn’t it? Cannot approve of this degree of crazy, I’m afraid, so it’s 5/10

Poland: pretty good! A bit boring, maybe, but then perhaps we needed boring after Venezuela 7/10

Ireland: nifty! 7/10

Switzerland: Supergreat. I hope the designers of the Canadian kit have seen this and are reflecting on what could have been. 9.5/10

Belgium: they never change, and nor should they, as they were clearly inspired by south east London’s Dulwich Paragon. Hurrah for Belgium 8/10

Japan: underwhelming 6/10

Brazil: isotonic sports drink on a bike 6/10

Malaysia: all hail the cycling wasps of south east Asia! 8/10

Egypt: can’t really get worked up about this either way. A bit half-arsed, but then Egypt may not see cycling outfits as its highest sporting priority. Fair enough. 6.5/10

Cuba: high-tech retro. Started off disliking this, but actually it’s fine, isn’t it? Quite smart, even 7/10

Azerbaijan: perhaps there was a fight between two skin suit designers and this was the compromise solution. A bit too much going on, really 5/10

(A very grumpy aside about the pictures: I know that of course you would never be so crass as to use water-marked images, and that you’re probably very disappointed in me. I have tried embedding these pics in Medium, in WordPress, using three different methods (as suggested by Medium, WordPress and Getty help sections), I opened an Embedly account to try and get it done, I tried both on my iPad and on my desktop. Nothing worked till I tried the old-fashioned save locally, upload to WordPress thing. I get why media companies want control of their images, but can they at least make sure the solutions they offer to us well-meaning saps who try to do the right thing work?)


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