Some things really shouldn't be messed with. I know that cycling, like everything, needs to change to evolve.
Lately I have even rethought my opinion on the radio issue, as I have started to see that it is careful management of the application of modern technology, instead of banning it, that will help maintain cycling's balance between its traditions and its place in the modern sporting arena.
However, I really do think that race leader's jerseys should be left well alone. I'm not saying that they should be made of wool or anything, make them as aero as you like, but I'm just not so sure about messing with the colours that represent the races they denote leadership of.
I'm thinking of course specifically of the latest incarnation of the leader's jersey in the Vuelta a Espana.
When they introduced the red jersey last year I received it with a bemused shrug (in fact, with only half an eye on the race I had thought it was the points jersey for a few days). I just wasn't quite sure what to make of this recent addition to the prestigious Grand Tour wardrobe.
On the surface at least, the ever-changing leader's jersey in the Vuelta seem to have come to symbolise little more than the identity crisis that the race has been suffering from for as many years as I can remember.
I can understand why the race wouldn't want to have a yellow jersey to denote leadership. Although yellow has come to be the universal symbol of race leadership the world over, it only exists in the shadow of the Tour de France itself. A leader's jersey has no more reason to be yellow than any other colour at all.
Then when you think about it the fact of the matter is, that if a race was going to be really true to the sport, the leader's jersey should always be the colour of the race's main sponsor, and on occasion it is.
But shouldn't races, particularly ones with a grand history stick to the traditional colours of the race. Cycling is a sport so rich in history it is worth efforts to pay respect to that.
The Dauphine has thankfully preserved their identity by keeping its' leader's jersey. The horizontal blue line has yet to be absorbed into yellow and marks the jersey out as a unique and quite brilliant piece of design. Its beauty is in its' simplicity and individuality, as well as in the rich history that the image of this distinct jersey evokes.
The Giro too has got it so very right with the Maglia Rosa. Unlike the Vuelta though it is comfortable in its' own skin. It is happy with its' place in the calendar, the illustrious list of winners as well its' rightful place as the cycling world's 'second' tour. It is almost impossible to imagine that jersey ever changing.
The same can't be said for Paris-Nice's white leader's jersey. It has long since disappeared, thanks to ASO taking over the race, and with it a unique symbol of professional racing has gone.
The white jersey was just right for that race. It symbolised the fields of snow the race would pass, it symbolised the blank canvas of a new cycling season, and more than that it symbolised that the race had an identity beyond that of just being a small Tour in the wake of The Big One.
So where does this leave the Vuelta with its' new red jumper?
The Vuelta is after all kind of doing the right thing by stepping out of the shadow of the Tour and not having a yellow jersey. It has chosen a colour that makes for quite a striking and unique leader's jersey (let's be honest the gold was never going to last).
It is also following the real traditions of the sport by taking on the colour of its' title sponsor Ahora Energia. And in terms of a branding exercise it seems to certainly have gone all out, throwing red paint at everything that gets anywhere near the finish line.
And yet I still don't know about the red jersey. Is it just a fad? Does it seem so transient because in this year's race no one single rider has managed to stamp his identity on the jersey for more than a couple of days, and by association help personify the otherwise inanimate piece of Lycra?
What will happen in a few years when the marketing guys at Ahora decide that they have achieved maximum exposure from their investment? Have they done enough to leave a legacy on the race just as L'Auto, and La Gazzetta have? Or will it all change again, leaving the red a dated symbol of this particular era of the race?
I suppose only time will tell as to whether or not the red jersey is a good idea. I personally think though that jerseys should stay as they are. It gives the race a personality, it makes things easier for the casual fan to follow, and it makes the riders' sense of achievement seem that bit bigger - literally letting them wear the history of the race on their backs.
However, having said all this, I know I will never lead the Vuelta, but if I did, I would be so happy about the fact I wouldn't give a hoot just what colour the emperors new clothes happened to be.