Tadej Pogačar cleared to use multi-coloured skinsuit at the Giro d’Italia

Holder of the maglia rosa is free to wear the divisive pink and granata skinsuit provided by Castelli, as UCI makes it decision and UAE Team Emirates seek written confirmation

Clock01:50, Thursday 9th May 2024
Tadej Pogačar and his multi-coloured skinsuit on stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia

© Getty Images

Tadej Pogačar and his multi-coloured skinsuit on stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia

Two days after Tadej Pogačar inadvertently caused a brouhaha at the Giro d’Italia, cycling’s governing body the UCI has reached a decision on the pink and granata skinsuit that the UAE Team Emirates leader wore on stage 3.

GCN understands that the UCI held conversations with the Giro’s kit supplier Castelli on Wednesday morning, with the governing body later making the decision just before 19:00 CEST that the race leader of the Giro d’Italia would be allowed to wear a multi-coloured skinsuit. This information was relayed to the head commissaire at the Giro and directly to race organisers RCS Sport.

GCN has reached out to UAE Team Emirates for comment but understands that the Emirati team has asked for written confirmation from the UCI before they race in the Castelli skinsuit. This may be an indication that Pogačar hopes to wear the skinsuit in Thursday’s gravel stage, or could simply be a result of race regulations stipulating that the Slovenian has to race in a skinsuit provided by the organisers in Friday’s individual time trial.

UAE Team Emirates’ trepidation is perhaps no surprise after a delegation of UCI commissaires flanked the team’s bus at the beginning of stage 4 and demanded an explanation for the multi-coloured skinsuit - pink up top and granata down bottom - worn by Pogačar the previous day.

Read more: Giro d'Italia's purple polemica: UCI involved amid question marks over Tadej Pogačar’s shorts

The explanation of the team’s sporting manager Joxean Fernández Matxín was simple: it was the skinsuit provided by the race organisers and Pogačar’s preferred attire over a jersey and bib shorts combination. It was an explanation that would not suffice given the ambiguity of the UCI rule book.

“The wearer of the leader's jersey shall be entitled to match the colour of his shorts to that of the jersey,” it reads.

In light of the UCI’s confusion over how the skinsuit had come about and whether or not the multi-coloured approach was a breach of the governing body’s own rule book, UAE Team Emirates decided to play things safe on stage 4, with Pogačar wearing black bib shorts, before team kit manufacturer Pissei provided an all-pink skinsuit worn by Pogačar on stage 5.

Earlier in the week, Cyclingnews reported that the UCI had threatened Pogačar with disqualification from the Giro d’Italia were he to wear the two-tone suit again, but the governing body quashed these reports in a statement given to L’Équipe.

“There is no problem with this matter of the jersey. No rule has been broken. There was never any question of disqualifying Pogačar, the president of the jury never threatened Pogačar. It’s a non-event.”

Two-tone skinsuit here to stay for all of the Giro

With the UCI giving the all-clear to the RCS-provided skinsuit after discussions with the Giro’s organisers and Castelli, Pogačar is free to use the pink and granata outfit once again on stage 6, with the Slovenian understood to have complimented Castelli on the quality of fit earlier this week. Such praise is of greater meaning, of course, when coming from a non-sponsored athlete.

Even if Pogačar chooses not to wear the kit on stage 6, the UAE Team Emirates man will still have to wear the skinsuit in Friday’s time trial if he still holds the lead of the race. This is a regulation for all time trials in the Grand Tours.

GCN understands that for all the skinsuits provided by Castelli to the race leader's of this Giro d’Italia, the pink and granata colour scheme will remain. Earlier this week, the Italian company’s international marketing manager Søren Jensen explained the design to GCN.

“It’s the same color as Torino calcio,” Jensen said over text. ⁠”On the hip is the motto of Torino: Grande Torino solo il fato li vinse [only fate defeated them].

“We didn’t want a Peppa Pig in the group 🐽 😂,” he quipped, spelling out why they had not provided an all-pink skinsuit akin to that manufactured by Pissei for Pogačar.

Issued to the wearer of the maglia rosa by the Giro’s kit supplier Castelli, the multi-coloured skinsuit sported by Pogačar on stage 3 was designed in an ode to the victims of the 1949 Superga tragedy.

Claiming the lives of all 31 members aboard a plane carrying the Grande Torino football side from Lisbon to Turin, the 75th anniversary of the tragedy was marked by the first stage of the Giro last Saturday. Shortly after the Giro climbed the Superga - the site of the crash - and finished in the centre of Turin, an annual memorial was held at the top of the climb to honour those who died in the accident.

With the Grande Torino motto adorning the inside collar of the maglia rosa jersey and the efforts that have been made to include the team’s granata colour in this year’s leader’s skinsuit, the Giro organisers and Castelli are ensuring that the 75th anniversary of the tragedy is marked throughout the month of May.

For everything you need to know about the 2024 Giro d'Italia, from the history of the race to this year's route and start list, be sure to check out our dedicated race hub.

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