To beard or not to beard? Facial hair trending among riders

06 january 2016
Categories: Style

If I think back to the first races I watched on TV, to the pro races of the 90s, I recall very few athletes sporting original hair, or visible beards and moustaches in the peloton.

In these days, looking at the new official photos of the teams (including ours!), I realize that a big change has happened. A few years back, someone would have said that the beard affects aerodynamics, but now, even in the ‘marginal gains’ era, it seems like everybody is pretty much good with it.

This year, I added a beard to my look too. It was not intentional at first, but I think this will be my look on the first starting line of the season. I feel more mature than ever, and in some way, my beard underlines just that, and the fact that I am getting into the core of my cycling career. Maybe it will bring me good luck… or it might suddenly disappear. We will see.

Something must be noted, though: beard and moustache give the fans some better opportunity to recognize us. Many people say that it is now impossible to identify the most of us from our face, when wearing helmets and glasses. Twenty years ago, wearing the helmet was not mandatory, ad that might be a reason why the riders did not feel the ‘urgency’ to characterize their look any further.

Don’t take me wrong, safety always comes first: never forget to wear your helmet when riding!