Team Sky has some new tools at its disposal for this year’s Tour de France in the form of redeveloped garments from Rapha, specifically a new skinsuit and a new jersey. The Rapha Pro Team Aerosuit features a new seam design to aide in aerodynamics, while a new fabric around the “cylinders” of the body — the arms and legs, for example — is said to cling onto wind longer, aiding in improved aerodynamics.
In advance of three weeks in France that will likely offer foul weather at some point, Rapha developed the Pro Team Shadow jersey that’s made from a special fabric designed to be comfortable for normal riding but also wind- and rain-repellent. It’s made from a soft fabric coated in durable water repellent, or DWR, so the jersey breathes while still providing protection from foul weather. Rapha hopes to replace various jackets and vests so riders can avoid frequent clothing changes.
Both the Aerosuit and jersey are slated for a release later this year, but keep an eye out for Team Sky riders wearing these garments at the Tour.
The Extreme Rain Jacket is also currently in development. Rapha says this piece is designed for gruppetto riders trying to finish the race in foul weather; the Extreme Rain Jacket is said to help transition riders from the grueling conditions outside into the team bus at the end of the race with a combination of weather protection and comfort. No release date for the jacket has been set.