A truly unique design based on Piet Mondrian's geometric pattern that was something of a revolution in the peloton. Why is this jersey important?
Well, a number of reasons but the main one being it's on the verge of the pro teams swapping from wool/acrylic mixes to the modern polyesters - this very jersey was made for Bernard Hinault himself as he wasn't a fan of the new polyester jerseys!
The construction of the jersey employs several different panels of wool, stitched together to provide the multi-colour geometric pattern. Flock lettering adds the sponsor logos with a Santini embroidered badge for the jersey brand logo.
Talking of Santini, this quote is from cyclingnews.com when they interviewed Pietro Santini about his favourite jersey design of all-time:
La Vie Claire, without a doubt. That jersey was groundbreaking in terms of design and construction. Back then every jersey was plain with just a bit of embroidery on the sleeves and neck. The Mondrian design totally changed that so that each jersey was like a work of art. It totally transformed the way in which we made jerseys.
Pietro Santini. Founder, Santini Maglificio Sportivo
The Mondrian-inspired design was mentioned in Bernard Hinault's biography in which he explained it was the team's intention to stand out from the other teams and to brighten up the peloton.
'Memories of the Peloton' (now out of print), even explained that the first idea was an all-black strip like the New Zealand rugby union team – which was discarded due to the high heat of the summer races like the Tour de France.
In November 2016, Rouleur magazine wrote an interesting journal piece about the La Vie Claire jersey which is well worth a read!
As part of our retro peloton, we proudly sell a range of La Vie Claire jerseys, bib shorts, socks, cotton cycling caps and other related items.