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The Look of La Vie Claire
Inspired by the compositions of De Stijl artist Piet Mondriaan, the panels of blue, red, yellow and grey, broken up by black grid lines make for one of the most distinctive team kits ever seen in the peloton. The original jersey was designed by Italian clothing brand Benetton, which is perhaps why, amongst the sea of brand names and bright colours, this design stands out. La Vie Claire was also one of the first teams to use synthetic fibres in their kit.
The team was created in 1984 by Bernard Hinault, Bernard Tapie and Paul Koechli and recruited Greg LeMond with a record-breaking one million dollar contract. They also signed another young American, Andy Hampsten. In 1985 Hinault won the Tour and LeMond rode to victory in ’86, Hampsten won the maillot blanc in the same year and finished fourth overall.
In 1988 La Vie Claire departed as the team’s main sponsor. Various sponsorship partners featured on the jersey including French company Look who, in 1989, provided the team with state-of-the-art carbon frames and forks. Look were also the inventor of clipless pedals, which the team sported. The squad additionally began using heart rate monitors, another new-school element of a modern team that helped pace the sport into a new era.
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