French sportswear giant Le Coq Sportif has a long history of sponsorship in cycling. It has been producing the Tour de France leaders’ almost every year since 1951 and has been a main sponsor of the legendary retro fest L'Eroica (and now L'Eroica Britannia) for more than five years.
This year, Le Coq has got serious, with a big push to get its clothing into local bike stores. The brand’s design team has been working hard on key tech, while retaining Le Coq’s 60-year heritage. You can see a full selection of photos from the range in the gallery.
Premium line - Tour de France Yorkshire and leaders’ jerseys
To tie in with this year’s Tour de France, Le Coq has created dual lines of clothing. The Premium line consists of a maillot jaune and a special black Yorkshire jersey that purport to be as close to the pros’ jerseys as possible.
Just 500 of these Premium jerseys will be available.
These ultra limited jerseys feature an ultra-lightweight, high-elastic, silk-like polyester yarn, with laser-cut edges and full flat-locked seams. To stay within the rules laid down by Le Tour’s organisers, the zip is a three-quarter length, so it doesn't flap open when undone in the high heat.
The back panel is made from a light, fine mesh, to allow maximum breathablity. The brand's logos and the signature of the tour’s founder are included on the jerseys, in a retro-style flock that’s bonded to the material. In celebration of the tour’s start in Yorkshire, the yellow jersey features a subtle print of a Yorkshire rose on the front panel.
The collar is a nod to the heritage of Le Coq – while it’s a close fit and is fully flatlocked, it’s shaped and detailed to look like the collars of the original wool jerseys from the 50s.
As well as a maillot jaune, the Premium range also features a limited edition Grand Depart jersey. Both have flock logos
The Premium jersey range is completed by an all-black Yorkshire Grand Depart version, which has flock logos (including a black flock Yorkshire rose) and the same lightweight fabrics and laser-cut detailing. Both premium jerseys will be available in June for £125 each.
Sport line – leaders’ jerseys
Sitting below the Premium line, is a full complement of leaders’ jerseys. They feature the same faux-collar details as the Premium offerings, as well as three rear pockets and a full-length zip too. The graphics are all true to the race jerseys, but these are cut for more 'normal' shaped riders. Kids are catered for too – the leaders’ jerseys come in a full range of children’s sizes.
Alongside the race designs is a special blue Grand Depart jersey that’s been produced for the Leeds send off.
The blue Grand Depart jersey
Those lucky enough to be riding this year’s Etape are catered for with a special red, white and blue Etape jersey with a chest stripe design that represents the Pau-Hautacam route profile. All of the replicas and specials are £65.
Le Coq’s all-new Performance collection comprises jerseys, base layers, jackets, gilets, socks and shorts.
The Arac performance jersey is available in long- and short-sleeved versions. It features the same lightweight silk-like finished polyester fabric as the premium Tour de France jerseys, with laser-cut hems and cuffs and a silicone band gripper on the rear hem.
Unlike the tour jerseys, the Arac has a full zip, though it shares the same faux collar shape inspired by Le Coq’s first yellow jersey back in 1951. The Arac is available in four classic colourways and Le Coq also offers arm warmers to match the black/white and white/black versions. The Arac is £90.
We like the subtle colours of the Performance range
The Performance range is joined by some classic Peugeot-inspired designs (think Tom Simpson and Eddy Merckx), which have a more relaxed cut and are priced at £59. There is also a full merino long-sleeve jersey with retro collar detailing, silicone gripper hems and highly breathable woven sections in high-heat areas. It’s priced at £90.
There are three shorts offerings. First up is a pair of basic waist shorts (£75) with a 3D multi-density chamois and silicone band leg grippers. The left thigh is adorned with a reflective logo and French flag detailing. Next in line is a pair of lightweight bib shorts (£90) with a multi-density Technica chamois, and the same detailing as the waist shorts. The premium shorts (£105) use a heavier-weight lycra with compression qualities, and are cut mid-length.
For cooler conditions Le Coq has a winter softshell that’s water-resistant and windproof, with plenty of reflective details and rear pockets. It continues the retro collar theme, and is also available as a gilet. The jacket is priced at £150.
The rain shell is all black, but reflective details ensure you should be seen
There’s also a rain shell jacket that looks promising for wet conditions. It too has plenty of reflective detailing, as well as a Napoleon pocket and a side-entry rear pocket. The rain shell is light enough to pack into a jersey pocket and, like the rest of the range, it features the retro styled collar.
There are carbon reinforced socks, mitts and full finger gloves, full merino lightweight base layers (both long- and short-sleeved, £50) and great quality caps (£16) too.
The range of L'Eroica-inspired clothing has continued to grow. Alongside the classic L'Eroica merino jersey (which comes in three colourways), Le Coq now has a range of T-shirt designs and shoes. The classic trainer style is mated to a stiffened sole that's designed to work with classic clips and straps (L'Eroica doesn't allow clipless pedals).
The L'Eroica-inspired range has expanded to include shoes