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Slipstream unveils new team kit for 2012 Tour de France

LIÈGE, Belgium (VN) — Following the announcement of new co-sponsor Sharp on Monday, Garmin-Sharp, formerly Garmin-Barracuda, officially unveiled the team’s new clothing at a press conference Thursday morning.

The new Castelli kit drops the lower-third argyle motif in favor of a more subtle argyle theme across the stomach and back, and adds a red band across the chest with the Sharp logo.

The new design will be applied to Castelli’s latest-generation lightweight summer gear, first seen at the Giro d’Italia this year. Castelli calls the new kit Inferno, and it is designed to be both extremely cool and lightweight.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a while, because the team asked for it last year at the Tour,” Castelli brand manager Steve Smith told VeloNews.com during the Giro. “It’s always so hot there, the guys are always looking for ways to stay cooler.”

The new jersey is designed to be as lightweight as possible while maintaining the stretch required to keep it aerodynamic. It loses only three watts at 40kph relative to the team’s Aero Race jersey, according to Smith, and weighs only 90 grams.

Water retention was key as well, says Smith, as the weight of a jersey can double when full of sweat or water is dumped over the head. Castelli chose jersey fabrics that minimize water retention, reducing this excess weight. The Garmin replica version of the lightweight jersey is available now.

The Inferno shorts, which will be available in summer of 2013, use seven different fabrics and, as the name implies, are designed for the hottest summer days.

“On the front and back we went with the lightest Lycra we could go with without running into transparency issues — we don’t want to see that, either,” Smith joked.

“The side panel is a little bit of an open mesh, so the riders need to put sunscreen on there. The front of the short uses a slightly heavier fabric to keep the sun off, but it still has a lot of airflow. The back of the legs get a lighter fabric, which would sunburn if we put it on the front. The inside of the leg uses a nylon/polyester mix that wicks incredibly well and is abrasion resistant for better durability.”



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