Team Postcards – from the sublime to the ridiculous

October 28, 2022 4 min read

Team Postcards – from the sublime to the ridiculous

Super Ser Cycling Team Postcard

 

The professional cycling team postcard – traditionally a necessary part of the promotion of any cycling team, showing the season’s roster of riders, and the all important patronage of their team sponsor. More often than not they provide a time capsule, giving a glimpse into another age of design and aesthetics.

Sometimes it all comes together beautifully – the combination of kit, sponsor and setting for the team photo giving a truly elegant result. While at other times, it seems that the obligation to complete the photograph was something of a rushed, and barely considered affair.

Here’s a lighthearted view at the teams who nailed it, those that missed the mark, and the others that didn’t even seem to be on the same playing field…


 

The Good…

Mini Flat Cycling Team

The almost military precision of this effort from the 1978 Belgian team a thing of real beauty. One of the greatest jersey designs lined up here to great effect. Bonus points for the dune buggy publicity caravan vehicles in the background, and the two smiling ladies perched on the roof, ready to hand out free product *cough*

 

Brooklyn Cycling Team Postcard

No matter where you put a squad of riders dressed in this kit, it’s always going to look good. Smiles all round from the 1974 Brooklyn équipe, before they all helped give the team car a push out of the sand.

 

Pinarello Cycling Team Postcard

At the heart of any team is the Directeur Sportif, as communicated brilliantly here by the choice of location for the postcard of the 1985 Vini Ricordi-Pinnarello-Sidermec team. Their jersey design for that season a new discovery for me, and perhaps while slightly ostentatious, I’m feeling it…

Bianchi Cycling Team Postcard

They don’t make them like this anymore… A postcard from Bianchi for 1949 worthy of hanging in an art gallery. Bellissima!

 

Teka Cycling Team Postcard
A very neat and tidy effort here from the Spanish Teka team of 1979. A few riders looking off camera but we’ll let it pass, as the sun seemed to be shining directly in their eyes.

 

Gazelle Cycling Team Postcard

The amateur riders of the Dutch Gazelle team. The swagger of youth, the nonchalance, these are some of the coolest kids on the block. Looking here more like a cast of extras from the film ‘The Warriors’ – if you’re in their territory you better come in peace, or prepare to rumble.

 

SCIC Cycling Team Postcard

The symmetry, the setting, the kit (of course), and those beautiful team support cars. The équipe of the 1972 SCIC team looking the very definition of Italian elegance! And while we’re on the subject of beautiful team cars, here’s a bonus below from 1970…

 

Faema Cycling Team Postcard


The Bad…

Wobler Cycling Team

Oh dear me no, must try harder. The 1983 Wolber team had their priorities, but the team postcard definitely wasn’t one of them. About the only element of note here is the DS Jacky Blanchard’s bristling moustache.

 

Amstel Cycling Team

Looking like PlayMobil figures stuck in some kind of ‘Truman Show’ dystopian nightmare, the 1985 équipe for Amstel are wondering just what they have got themselves involved in here…

Bianchi Faema Cycling Team Postcard

All elements are in place here for the team postcard of 1978 – including the photographers shadow. We’ll pretend we didn’t see it.

 

1982 La Redoute team postcard
Looking like a men’s choir ready to burst into song, the 1982 La Redoute team seem somewhat lost in this vertigo inducing image. Even the mighty La Vie Claire team couldn’t pull off the same coastline setting, the forced smile on Hinault’s face says it all really.

 

La Vie Claire team postcard


The Obscure…

Skala Gazelle Team Postcard

Channelling the MTV generation with this self-referential effort from the Dutch team sponsor, the electronics store Skala. Probably the only time you’d ever see the équipe on TV all wearing matching flip-flops too.

 

 Zuiden Veld team postcard
Riders for the Dutch Zuiden Veld team next to, leaning, sitting, and standing on, a rock. Thankyou.

 

Peugeot Team Postcard
Now this one must have required a good few takes! The 1981 squad for Peugeot showing in unison they can all cycle up a hill and look at a camera lens, while being shouted at by a photographer. Consummate professionalism here from the boys in monochrome.

 

Sonolor Team Postcard
Probably more inspiring settings to choose from than the sponsors warehouse, but I’m sure Sonolor were happy to get their 1970 range of products in the shot.

 

Super Ser team postcard
Now right here, when it comes to getting the sponsor products in shot, Super Ser doesn’t mess around. The riders looking like they’re ready to burst out laughing too, marvellous.

 

Kalmi équipe team postcard
The Kalmi équipe of 1967 joined by a couple of honorary team members for the shoot. Just watch those toes lads…



We hope you’ve enjoyed this post from Oliver Knight. Thanks also go to both Denis Barret and Gordon Tiemstra for sharing some of their postcards contained within their extensive collections.

More from the culture, craft and heritage of cycling’s rich legacy can be found within the pages of Oliver's books ‘The Cycling Jersey – Craftsmanship, Speed and Style‘, and his follow-up title ‘Pro Cycling Style – Woven into History’.

Both large format coffee table books packed with over 500 images, and feature a host of interviews with the professional riders who created this legacy, the world’s leading memorabilia collectors, and the creative teams behind brands including Rapha, Castelli and Santini, who are now producing the breakthrough designs defining the modern era.



Also in News and articles from Prendas Ciclismo

The Ultimate Domestique: A profile of TI-Raleigh’s Henk Lubberding
The Ultimate Domestique: A profile of TI-Raleigh’s Henk Lubberding

November 16, 2023 7 min read

A profile of the TI-Raleigh team’s Henk Lubberding. For 15 years Lubberding worked in the engine room of manager Peter Post’s teams; first with TI-Raleigh, then with Panasonic. He was the perfect team man, a super-domestique and more.
Read More
Why We're Crowdfunding
Why We're Crowdfunding

October 30, 2023 4 min read

After months of careful planning, we've decided to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign through Seedrs. 
Read More
TI-Raleigh - The story of a team that changed cycling
TI-Raleigh - The story of a team that changed cycling

July 26, 2023 3 min read

TI-Raleigh was cycling’s first Superteam; the first team of the modern era, a design template for the way teams race and are structured today. 
Read More

Subscribe to our news!