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I was never supposed to be a pro-cyclist.

I mean, some (including myself) would argue that I’m not a pro-cyclist now, but that’s beyond the point. My name is Joe Laverick, I’m a 23-year-old British kinda pro-cyclist and after spending my U23 years riding for the world’s best development teams, I couldn’t quite make the step up to the World Tour..

Enter, my privateer era. As a privateer, I effectively run my own team. I’m in control of everything from finding sponsors, booking flights, choosing my race calendar, racing the bike and designing my own kit.

I mainly combine a calendar which covers gravel and road, and then throw a healthy dose of time-trialling in to keep the child inside of me alive. It’s a model which allows me to race at the highest level, while travelling to the most amazing of places. I’ve just returned from a six-week block racing in the US, where I covered nine different States.

What would your dream cycling kit be?

I mean, if you were the boss of a World Tour team, what would you do? We’ve all had those thoughts and we’ve all questioned why so many pro teams have similar looking kits. Actually being able to design your own kit - that’s a dream, right?

 MG 4301


I was never supposed to be a pro-cyclist. My first love is, and always will be, football (soccer to you Americans reading this). I started playing at the age of six, and it dominated everything I did. As a young English kid, football is the normal thing to do. Cycling - what the heck is that?

I accidentally fell into cycling. Everyone always asks me how I got into the sport, I still don’t know. We have no cyclists in our family, no close friends either. It was a mere coincidence that one day I declared I wanted a road bike.

That day was in 2014, and my life has never been the same since. The cycling bug spiralled out of control. First we’d be going to local evening TTs, then we’d be driving to regional races, then it was national and finally the step to mainland Europe. I grew up fast racing a bike.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped playing football. I fell out of love with the sport which was once my everything, and this new shiny thing called cycling took over my life. Every weekend I’d go out on my bike for three or four hours in the morning, rush home for lunch and then play a football match for my local time in the afternoon.

It became unsustainable. One of them had to give, and with that, my football ‘career’ was over.

Cycling never really stopped spiralling out of control for me. Hell, as I write this I’m about to board a flight which is the start of some nine weeks of racing across the world.

At the end of 2023, the opportunity to work with Castelli came into fruition. Castelli are the sort of brand that need no introduction - they’re iconic. It’s an honour to call myself a Castelli sponsored athlete.
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I knew it had to be something different. I knew it had to mean something to me. I knew it had to stand out from the crowd.

When you’re presented with a blank canvas of a cycling jersey, your mind starts racing with so many ideas that it goes blank. I’d spent so many hours daydreaming about what kit I would design if I ever had the choice, that when I actually got the opportunity, it was blocked.

I started with basics, what did I want it to show?

The British connection was important to me. I may not have lived in the UK for five-years now, but it’ll always be home and I wanted that to show in my kit.

British Racing Green - that was it.

My heart was set on BRG for a long time. It’s so quintessentially British, it’s perfect. There’s just one problem, it doesn’t stand out from the crowd. I wanted to be able to look at a peloton and immediately spot myself. BRG would look great in a photo studio, but it’s not a race kit.
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Football is tribal in England. Everyone has their team, everyone is proud.

I grew up in a medium-sized town in the north-east of England called Grimsby. It’s a working class town that was once one of the biggest fishing ports in Europe. Our football team, Grimsby Town, may not be the best in the country - we finished 89th out of 92 professional teams in the 2023-24 season - but they are my home team.

The black and white army - a striped kit mimicking my local football team. That was it.

I sat down with Alberto, one of Castelli’s designers and we got to work. This was the first touch. A Grimsby Town heavy jersey, with some sort of link to my now adopted home town of Girona. You can see some of our original ideas in the photos below. As soon as I saw the draft document, I knew we were on to something. The stripes stand out in the peloton, and they have a greater meaning to me. It’s a winner.

There were a few bits of refining to do. The design inspirations were all cool, and I wanted a combination of a couple.

Alberto came up with having a pattern on the stripes which was inspired by the famous Eiffel Bridge in Girona. Then his design of my “TAG” logo, my pet name for the privateer project, was to be in the style of the classic Umbro logo you’d see on old football shirts.

The final design, the one I wear today, is exactly what I wanted. It’s classy, it’s unique, it’s timeless and it stands out in the peloton. The only issue I didn’t think about was having a majority white kit when I race gravel, but you live and you learn…
Article: Joe Laverick
Images: Joe Laverick
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