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Race Tech

Rapha launch Shadow race clothing for Team Sky

Jersey and bib shorts use new windproof and water resistant fabric to offer protection from the elements

Rapha have launched a new range of clothing designed for racing in wet and windy conditions, developed in conjunction with Team Sky and tested at last season’s Spring Classics.

Rapha say the Shadow collection, which is made up of a jersey and bib shorts, came at the request of Team Sky, who are entering their final season with the London-based clothing company.

The Rapha Shadow collection was developed in conjunction with Team Sky for racing in bad weather

The range follows the trend for windproof and water resistant, race-focused clothing which provides protection from the elements without compromising on fit or aerodynamics. The Shadow clothing follows the likes of the Castelli Gabba, popular with professional riders at the Classics, but Rapha have used a fabric which is stretch woven, rather than knitted.

– The clothing of the Classics: weatherproof kit from Castelli, Sportful, Endura, Santini and more –

The ‘pioneering’ Shadow fabric goes through a four-stage production process. The yarn itself is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating and woven into fabric, before it undergoes a steam-pressure treatment that shrinks it by 50 per cent. A second DWR treatment is then applied.

“What that produces is an extremely dense fabric,” said Graeme Raeburn, Rapha’s lead designer. “It wouldn’t be physically possible to actually weave yarns that close together and so, consequently, Shadow provides very high wind resistance and excellent water repellency. It also has a fantastic range of movement and fit and, that crucial difference, amazing breathability.”

– Rapha unveil ‘more visible’ 2016 Team Sky kit –

Rapha say the Shadow jersey and bib shorts offer “all-day protection in wide-ranging comfort”, with Team Sky’s riders also benefiting by not having to fall back to the team car to pick up or drop off rain jackets thanks to the clothing’s touted versatility and breathability.

“We wore this jersey on the worst weather days of the Classics last year and it was top notch throughout,” said Team Sky’s Luke Rowe, who finished eighth at Paris-Roubaix and ninth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad during the 2015 Classics campaign, while also helping team-mate and fellow Welshman Geraint Thomas to the podium at Gent-Wevelgem – a race played out in horrendous weather conditions.

– Rapha and Team Sky to end partnership after 2015 season –

“Gent-Wevelgem was one of the windiest, most horrible races I’ve ever done, but the Shadow kit kept me in excellent shape at the front of the bunch.”

The jersey and bib shorts go through a four-stage production process to make the fabric windproof and water resistant

The Rapha Pro Team Shadow jersey and bib shorts are available online and in Rapha Cycle Club stores, priced at £220 and £260 respectively.

Website: Rapha

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