8/23/18 - The new MALAGA kit is part of the Santini x La Vuelta 2018 Official Collection. The new design by Santini designer Fergus Niland celebrates both the first four stages of Spain’s epic Grand Tour, and the city of Malaga, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.

A kit that celebrates the toughest grand tour

The Vuelta Espana may be the toughest Grand Tour of the 2018 season. Unforgiving team and individual time trials, explosive, high-altitude finishes, and dozens of other challenges face the riders. The Vuelta is a race that can break a champion or launch the career of an up-and-comer. But as tough as the racecourse is, the country of Spain provides a backdrop rich with beauty, culture, and history.

This year’s La Vuelta inspired us to create cycling kits that celebrate both the toughness of the race and the beauty and history of Spain. We started by selecting the best-in-class fabrics to build body-hugging, technical, race-ready garments. We then put the canvas of those kits in the hands of our design team, led by cycling’s most thoughtful designer and storyteller, Fergus Niland. The result is a breathtaking collection of leader’s jerseys and inspirational commemorative kits that reflect the race we all love so much and the people and places that serve as its backdrop.

The first commemorative kit in the series is called MALAGA.

Birthplace of the world's most revered artist

To produce our commemorative kits, our design team starts by spending time on the roads the race will cover. “The concept for all these stage jerseys is to pick up on ideas from the area,” says Santini lead designer, Fergus Niland. “We spent time in Spain to look for elements that we can use to create something interesting, something that tells a story about the stages we’re celebrating.”

This year, the first four stages give opportunities for a number of cyclist to showcase their form. A short prologue time trial will sort out the initial G.C. A 165-kilometer Stage two is relatively flat but features a power-climb at the finish. The 180-kilometer Stage three is for the sprinters. Stage four’s medium-mountain stage covers 160-kilometers and favors climbers. All four opening stages take place in and around Malaga, the city that inspired this first design.

Stripes, bars and minarets

Malaga is the birthplace of the world’s most influential artist; Pablo Picasso. Picasso’s iconic black-and-white striped-shirts were a common design in Brittany, where the artist spent much of his later life. We adopted these ‘Breton’ stripes for our Malaga kit to honor Picasso and his hometown.

“Other elements that are included in all the jerseys are the bars on the back pockets and sleeves” Niland says, referring to a design block of 21 white stripes on the rear of the Malaga jersey. “They symbolize the number of stages in the event itself.” The first four bars of the bars logo on the back of the Malaga jersey are colored in the purples and greens of the official city flag of Malaga.

Niland also incorporated a unique lettering style for the word Malaga on the jersey. “The graphic logotype for the words incorporate minarets into the letter A’s,” he says, “This draws on the Moorish/Arabic history of the area.”

Santini’s La Vuelta capsule collection is available now.

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