The start of the year is a hard time for pro-team logistics managers. Riders are often spread out all over the world, the team kit may not yet be fully finalised and there is a pressing need to get updated pictures of everyone out onto the team website before the racing starts in earnest. Getting the rider, the jersey, a team-approved background and a photographer together in one spot can sometimes prove insurmountable. Fortunately the teams are sometimes able to employ either a little bit of digital artistry or just some old-fashioned lateral thinking to get around this problem. The Jersey Pocket has been scanning through the new roster pics to try and find the worst of the 2015 mugshots.
3rd spot: Vincenzo Nibali. Astana
The Shark of Messina must already be training extra hard for the 2015 season as he was clearly still out riding at the time that the official photographer was in attendance at the team training camp. Rather than mess up their otherwise consistent page with a different background Astana appear to have just asked their top star to find the same bit of wall and take a selfie..
2nd spot: Mick Rogers. Tinkoff Saxobank
There doesn’t seem to be too much with Aussie stalwart Mick Roger’s team photo (bottom row, 3rd from right) until you realise that he has nicked team mate Ivan Basso’s torso (top row, far left) for it. Tip to Photoshopping web-monkeys – if you are going to steal someones body, don’t pick with one with the Really Obvious Tanlines..
1st spot: Koen de Kort. Giant Alpecin.
The current winners photo is from 2014 but as it’s not yet been updated (the new website doesn’t go live for a couple of days) and as it’s so bad I feel justified in using it again. We understand that it’s not always going to be easy to get new team members in an up-to-date photo but it’s not the visually arresting domed-head of Garmin-clad interloper Caleb Fairly who lands Team Giant Alpecin in at Number 1. Lurking elsewhere in the line-up is an absolute abomination of a Photoshop. Giant went all out with their real-life backdrop and quirky tilted horizon line gambit last year but when it came to stealthily trying to add an absent Koen de Kort (top row, second from right) they utterly failed to adhere to one the basic rules of the universe. Guys, sunlight can’t come from two opposing directions at the same time.. Let’s hope that they get it right this time around.
Special ‘hors category’ award – Taylor Phinney. BMC Racing.
It took me a while to see just how bad this last mugshot is. Because it’s not been tampered with and presumably is as was intended initially I only accorded it a close fourth place but throughout the day I’ve kept coming back to it, irresistibly drawn to its stupendous crappiness. I’ve gone on about Taylor Phinney’s often ridiculous hair before but the fact that his forehead-balanced perm stack doesn’t even get a second glance here is testament to the awfulness of everything else on show. What the fuck is he wearing? It looks like he has squeezed himself into a child’s Captain America play suit. You know, one of the padded ones with the sewn-in muscles that make toddlers look like superhero steroid abusers? It’s absurd. The plunging neckline – just low enough for a retch-inducing tuft of chest hair to poke out – gives the whole thing an (entirely unwanted) added cross-dressing vibe. It’s unbelievably bad. One of my followers reckons it looks like his arms are on backwards (which given the repeated references to Frankenstein after his recent leg injury surgery is vaguely possible) whilst I keep having visions of those 2 dimensional card figures that pose in only their underwear and you add fashions to them by folding over tabs on paper cut-out clothes that never quite line up properly. Pan down that mugshot and you just know that Phinney’s undercrackers are poking out of one side as the alignment of the super suit goes out of whack. Whisper it quietly but this shot is almost as bad as Luke Rowe’s “Movember Moustache Mugshot” from last year. Inexcusable.
Not all the pro teams have posted up their 2015 mugshots yet so we may yet be treated to further disasters.. Please let me know of any you spot via the Comments box.