Team Sky’s mesh skinsuit will be used for the first time in competition at the Tour Down Under this week. The almost see-through garment caused an internet stir recently when Chris Froome posted up a photograph of himself on Twitter wearing it.
Designed and manufactured by British-based clothing company Rapha, the skinsuit’s semi-transparent nature is all part of the plan – it is designed to cool the riders down during races in hot climates, and will also be used in the forthcoming Tours of Qatar and Oman.
“The Road Race Mesh Skinsuit draws upon Sky’s experiences from both the 2013 Tour Down Under and the 2013 Tour de France,” said Rapha in a press release. “In Australia, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard’s feedback on our Summer Bib Shorts resulted in the creation of a mid-season second-generation Summer Bib Short, which was then used at the Tour.”
After taking on board feedback from riders during the 2013 Tour, Rapha Team Sky design manager Piers Thomas brought into play a new solution – combining the attributes of Sky’s existing mesh jersey with the summer bibshort to produce the Road Race Mesh Skinsuit.
According to Rapha, the medium version weighs only 196.6 grams – so it’s light as well as cooling. Mesh sections on the upper body and front of the thighs utlise airflow into the rider to produce a cooling effect, whilst ColdBlack treated material is used elsewhere for comfort (and modesty, we add).
Rapha also say that they have no plans on making the garment available to the general public, although a mesh jersey will be on sale by the summer.
Sky rider Salvatore Puccio models the Rapha Team Sky Road Race Mesh Skinsuit