Seeing the Israel – Premier Tech jersey on the podium of the Tour de France yesterday as Simon Clarke celebrated his stage win was a moment we won’t forget anytime soon. The fact that it was our Racing for Change kit made it all the more special.
The new kit, designed by Stijn Dossche of Stycle.Design puts the spotlight on our fundraising campaign to build the Field of Dreams bike center in Bugesera, Rwanda as part of our Racing for Change campaign.
When we first floated the idea of using the Tour de France to raise awareness for the Field of Dreams project, one thing was clear. We needed to have an inspiring kit to bring this idea to life. Having seen Stijn’s designs on Instagram, we approached him and gave him the Racing for Change brief and a blank canvas to work on.
“I never expected something like that to be honest. I was very honored to be part of this project. Knowing that this is all for a good cause, only makes it so much bigger,” said Dossche.
Brief in hand, where did Stijn start?
“I wanted to stay as close as possible to the main idea for this whole campaign, which is the country of Rwanda. First of all I started with doing research on Rwanda. What is the country like, what’s the vegetation, what’s popular, the backdrop to the country. That actually was sufficient enough for me to go into the next phase, the design. From there on I had a main idea that worked really well from the beginning. The team was very supportive after seeing the first draft! Looking back on it, that gave me an extra push to add some more details and make it pop,” added Dossche.
More than meets the eye
The kit perfectly captures the essence of the Racing for Change project and each element has a meaning, explains Dossche.
“The main color, blue, is a reference to the flag of Rwanda and their cycling community (their national outfit is blue as well). The darker blue is an edited photo of soil, that’s an obvious one, to represent the mud which is such an integral part of the country’s landscape. Further on you have the ‘Imigongo’. For me, this is the protagonist of the whole design. It’s an old Rwandan art form, and this had to be included. It’s multi-colored to express all the different facets of the country and its people. To top it off, you can find some of their most colorful flowers on the right arm.”
Nailing the design
The kit you see in the peloton was one that was carefully selected after multiple design changes over the course of about one week. With some slight variations, we knew we had the one and looking back at it, Stijn agrees.
“Looking back on it, the kit that’s riding the Tour now is my favorite! We tried some other versions with dark blue or white, but I think this shade of blue works best. Not only design-wise, but also when you see the team riding in the peloton, it’s easy to spot (maybe a bit easier for me, I’m biased). Nevertheless, I don’t think there’s a jersey out there with this much meaning behind it, and that’s what makes it so good for me personally.”
The first designs that inspired the final Racing for Change kit.
Funding the Field of Dreams
At the time of writing, we have almost reached 30% of our 300,000€ fundraising goal. With all eyes on the Tour de France, we’re calling on cycling fans around the world to help us change the lives of thousands of youth in Rwanda.
Fans who donate will be rewarded with our Racing for Change kit for donations over certain amounts or will go into the running to win Racing for Change kit, a hand painted HJC helmet, and the grand prize of a limited edition Factor Bikes Racing for Change OSTRO VAM raced by one of our Tour de France riders.
Donate here: bit.ly/FODIPT