Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Here come the Belgians Style guide: Interview with the designer

>Mr. Astle, Your new 2010 design is just
>out. In respect to the 2009 design the 2010 has a more aggressive
>impact with a bold Black/Red colour combination. Do You think Red and
>Black will soon replace the current Blue/White trend?

No, long may the blank white (with one additional colour if you're lucky) pro identikit reign. To compound that, Forza to the faux Tron-esque body panels sported by HTC Columbia, they look wicked. Or so the local five year olds tell me. Then again who wouldn't want a six pack on the outside while they can hide a keg (I prefer a Firkin) underneath.
Being serious though there definitely needs to be a separation between the PRO ranks and the grassroots racer and they're very helpful in providing a plethora of kits we have no intention of copying. It's good to look better than your heroes, especially when you're getting dropped.

>How would You rate the impact of
>British designers like Vivian Westwood and Alexander McQueen on Your

They would have played a greater influence had I got the kit designs inspired by them to actually work.
The Westwood bondage bibshorts were a failure as once you tried a cyclocross remount and threw your leg the other tended to follow; leaving you standing on the other side of the bike and not actually going anywhere! The prototype with the bondage bibs attached through the frame was an oversight with the test rider* unable to part with his machine.
The McQueen helmet made out of glass and angel wing feathers was light and aero in the windtunnel but could only withstand one impact on a rainswept, mudstrewn parcour. The UCI wanted to ban it though as it was thought to be performance enhancing via it's shock factor.
The British Designer that has had the most influence is Wayne Hemingway, with his championing of 'middle aged' fashion staples and second hand store style. Therefore for winter 2011 we shall mainly be wearing cardigans of varying shape, sag and knit, in combination with comfy slippers from select indoor market stalls.

*Didn't know we had a test team did you...He didn't know either.

>Some people compare Your design with an
>old Assos design or the Belgian Lotto design.

I'm happy to be compared to both entities and would prostrate myself with gusto (if that's possible) before the high priests of Assos, the saviors of the cycling kit world.

I'm also available as flannel boy to Leif Hoste should his last minion need respite. I also know a good hairdresser should big Phil Gilbert need one (and I think he does).

>Rumours are out about about a collabo
>with Paul Smith for the 2011. Would You like to comment on that?

I can't really comment at the moment ( no comment means no collabo, I don't do stripe at the moment) but in the near future it's all about punk rock DIY. Expect to see some more clothing projects inspired by the glorious world of European road racing (for once I'm being serious here).

>Would You consider going back to an
>English or European supplier for the 2011 design.

I'd happily throw my (our) lot in with any manufacturer who can offer me product, pricing and confidence in their product...Who am I trying to fool I'll throw money at anyone that can make me compromise my highly developed morals via the means of private jets, deposits in secret bank accounts and life lived the Tiger Woods way!

>What sets Your design apart from other
>teams is the limited availability, which says „Members only“, so
>no chance to pick up a jersey at Harrods for an example. Will You on
>the long run set up a store in Savile Row with custom fit for members

I've seen it and it's the future. A combination of cyclist's grooming with bespoke tailoring. Have a leg shave, hot towel and massage while our capable tailors measure you (to the left sir?) for your sartorial elegance. Oh, suits you sir!

>Thanks for the interview. Can I have my
>jersey NOW.


  1. You are mental, sir. In the best possible way. :-)

  2. Do not get me wrong, this is really an interview, I did send in the questions and Duncan added the answers. Watch out, You might be the next on the list!