Sunday, July 06, 2008

5 Heat Pressing Podium Jerseys

I picked up a good question thrown at the commentators on Euro Sport during today's live telecast of Stage 2 of the Tour.

The question was that since Tour organizers didn't know who the winner until the final minutes or so, how do they customize all the podium jerseys at the end of the day so quickly - yellow, green, mountain and white, with team logos, bib numbers and rider names?

Turns out they have a giant heat press transfer machine backstage, that transfers all the graphics and lettering onto plain jerseys in a little less than a minute or so. You could do this with a home iron but for an event as big as the Tour, you want a fast, automatic machine that takes care of all the slow, manual work.

There are many different types and sources of transfers. Generally speaking a transfer is made up of a carrier paper and inks. When heat and pressure are applied to this paper the inks are transferred to the substrate you wish to print onto. Some transfers are topical. The image is applied to the surface of the substrate.

Click here to read more about heat press transfer machines and how they work. Someone asked me about dye sublimation printing in the chat box last month. Well, the site I mentioned will give you that information.


  1. What about rider's jerseys... do teams provide their own yellow, green, mountain and white jerseys in case one of their riders actually obtain one of its status? That's what I think...

  2. Well, I'm not really sure about that. I only posted what I heard. I guess they could do that too, but the official podium jerseys are (I would think) only provided by the organizers.

  3. They had a GREAT piece on the guy responsible for the jerseys last year during the TDF. They have all of the jerseys heat transfered by one guy every morning, and again all the podium jerseys after the race. The way they made it sound is that the jerseys are there (who bought them and had them shipped, I dont know) and all of them are in a centralized location for him to print them off.

  4. Cool. Sounds like he's got a lot to do.

  5. What I meant was that yeah, the race organizers provide the PODIUM jersey, but I think the teams have their own jerseys for the riders to ride in, because I wouldn't want to ride in a "backward" jersey. Would be hard to breath and unzipper the zipper if I needed to while going 25+ mph. Anyways, I still always wanted to know about the podium jersey, I thought at one time it was just a yellow jersey with the team logo pinned onto the jersey or something.


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