Who says an Environmental Consultant can't change careers and become a professional bike racer? For athlete Colin Strickland there was no going back. His dream for Intelligentsia Racing was simple... #winning. Learn about the origins and how we partnered with Colin and his team to get them the gear they needed to fulfill this dream.
Words by JP Partland. Images by Roman Siromakha, Travis Hallmark, Intelligentsia Racing, and Meteor x Giordana Racing.
Easy-going and approachable off the bike; intense on two wheels.
Both things can be said about great coffee and Colin Strickland, the marquee rider of the 2017 Intelligentsia Racing team, sponsored by Intelligentsia Coffee and Giordana.
A TEAM IS BORN
Colin founded Intelligentsia Racing after developing into an all-around racing threat. He had success on the road, in criteriums, and on the muddy fields of cyclocross before turning to fixed-gear road racing and winning repeatedly at Red Hook Crit events, including four races in a row and the overall in 2016. With his success and personality, Giordana happily came along for the ride, bringing customized kits for each RHC event, to better celebrate the races and further brand identity for Intelligentsia Coffee.
Four races, four kits. With the bespoke Custom program, Giordana creates unique kits for each race. Giordana put the Intelligentsia name in the middle of the uniform, but everything else was inspired by the city hosting the events. Julian Andretta, creative director, summed it up this way:
"when I was thinking about the team’s kit, I thought it would be really fun to have a new look for each race, inspired by the location in some way, national colors or landmarks, or the country’s flag."
Crazy kits are common at RHC events, with designers going wild. Giordana wanted to have designs that not only called attention to the Intelligentsia team, but belonged at the front of the pack, where the team expected to race. Their two favorites: the Brooklyn and London kits.
The Brooklyn No. 10 look was inspired by the iconic Brooklyn Chewing Gum cycling team’s jersey, an Italian team sponsored by an Italian company. And that jersey was an adaptation of the United States National Champion jersey—that had a blue upper half, with white stars, and vertical red and white stripes for the lower half. The Brooklyn jersey shared the blue upper, but with the Brooklyn name splashed across the front and back and red and white vertical stripe lower.
"The Intelligentsia Brooklyn No. 10 look worked in slender vertical stripes of orange, white, and powder blue, Intelligentsia’s colors, with navy blue and a few stars, to tie it all together."
The London No. 3 look was inspired by the Union Jack, itself pretty stripy, and the infinite-seeming latticework of streets and sidewalks of the British capital. Canary yellow accents hint at the royal lineage of England. The Intelligentsia Illuminated Cat, itself a cool customer, makes an appearance on the stars over the shoulders; the cat’s dangling tongue evoking the iconography of the Rolling Stones.
The Intelligentsia squad looked good and raced fast in the FR-C Skin Suits and training in FR-C Pro apparel. In the thick of the action at all four races, Colin finished sixth overall in the series, and the squad came home fourth overall in the team competition. The team also found time to race gravel events, with Colin winning the gravel worlds, among other dirt road races.
METEOR X GIORDANA
For 2018, the team was rechristened the Meteor x Giordana squad. Pronounced “Meteor By Giordana", Meteor is another coffee shop and café owned by the same folks who own Intelligentsia. This time, the design was a bit more traditional, with fewer colors and “Giordana” splashed in huge letters over the shoulders, a real contrast from 2017, and keeping attention on the team.
"The four-rider squad, Colin, Amity Gregg, and Michael Sheehan, and Dan Hughes, raced fixed-gear crits, geared crits, and gravel races."
With the RHC series curtailed, the team put their focus on the other events in their fairly broad wheelhouse. And did pretty well. Colin went to Nebraska in the hopes of repeating as Gravel World Champion. He made the winning break, flatted out of the break, chased it down, and, in the end, crossed the line first to keep his title for another year.
Giordana is happy to be working with Colin and his teams as we are with WorldTour squads and any club, team, and shop that has an interest in custom clothing. We offer custom versions of virtually all our clothing collections and accessories allowing us to kit you out in your design no matter what you want to wear. We can work with anything you bring us, whether it’s from a graphic designer or a sketch doodled on a napkin, and it will all look and work great. We take pride in our work and produce your custom clothes in the same facility that produces the rest of our offerings.
Thanks to the Giordana Kit Builder website, you can even leave the work of collecting the orders to us. You designate a team captain to create a store, allowing members to place and pay for their orders separately, so that the job of herding cats is taken care of by us.
Visit GiordanaCustom.com to learn more about our custom program and how to get involved.