One thing that can often baffle and trouble Etape riders is what kit they need to wear and carry on the day. Let’s look at the jerseys first.
Light colours are recommended, white if you are happy for it to be nowhere near as clean at the end as the start. They’ll reflect the heat better. There’s a wide array to choose from on the market in plain colours.
If the ride is as hot as it has been the last couple of years then it needs to be made from a lightweight material but one which holds its shape well and won’t sag when the pockets are full as they will be.
Talking of pockets, it needs to have plenty of space in them and be accessible. Try a few on to find out which one works for you as almost every manufacturer positions them differently and some are more accessible than others, depending on your size and flexibility.
Traditionally three pockets is the style but there’s a few out there now with two. I like three for the ease of segmentation it offers – solid food and money in one, clothing in the middle, gels and powders in the other.
Here’s a few you might like to look at.
Rapha Lightweight Jersey – Top-end stuff from my favourite kit company. Ignore worrying about the price: it does the job.
Prendas Peugeot Retro Jersey – Yes it’s a team kit but it’s not a current one, therefore avoiding falling into the “wearing kit you haven’t earned the right to wear” category. I like it, it’s class and looks smart.
Castelli Superleggera Jersey – if it’s a company good enough for Fausto Coppi, good enough for pretty much everyone else.
Do NOT under any circumstances wear any of the following: Maillot Jaune, Maillot a Pois, Maillot Blanc, World Champion, National Champion. I’ll allow current pro team replica kits because I’m feeling generous and they’re quite reasonably priced in general. If you ride for a club, you should wear your club kit.