Rapha and Palace Skateboards are back with a radical new kit design, to celebrate the return of the Tour de France Femmes. And this time, there are dinosaurs involved.
The kit will be worn by riders on both the EF Education-Tibco-SVB women's team - at the Tour de France Femmes, which kicks off on Sunday, July 24 - and the EF Education-EasyPost men's team at the Tour de France.
Men's team CEO Jonathan Vaughters called the design "wild" and "bold", and we can only speculate as to whether there's a link between the choice of cartoon critter and the archaic attitudes which have seen the Women's Tour de France held back for over 30 years.
The two brands made headlines when they collaborated in 2020 to create a unique EF-Education kit, which was dominated by the presence of cartoon ducks. The team was ultimately fined £3,700 by the UCI for the 'non-compliant' clothing, but the waterfoul inspired jerseys also sold out in minutes.
Explaining the significance of both the kit - and the race itself - founder and owner of the EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team Linda Jackson said: "Women's cycling has been growing steadily over the past couple of decades, but the return of the Tour de France will accelerate this growth and further our search for equality."
“It's a true honour to have the EF Education-EasyPost men's team racing their Tour de France in a jersey that celebrates women's cycling. It's been a very long road to get to this point, and all of us, the riders, staff and management, realise the significance of this jersey and will be proud to wear it.”
EF Education-EasyPost CEO, Jonathan Vaughters, welcomes the change of kit to celebrate the Tour de France Femmes returning to the cycling calendar.
“The changeout is our way of celebrating women in sport and the Tour de France Femmes," said Vaughters. "It’s wild, it’s bold, and it’s an exciting time for the cycling world and long overdue.
"It’s an honour for our team to race in this kit in advance of the women’s Tour de France. Both races will be incredible, and we’ll fight to keep this kit and its celebratory message at the front of the race this July."
The EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team kit will include the Women’s Pro Team Aero Jersey, Women’s Pro Team Training Jersey and Women’s Pro Team Bib Shorts II and the EF Education-EasyPost team kit consists of the Pro Team Aero Jersey, Pro Team Training Jersey and Pro Team Bib Shorts II.
Both team kits are complemented by special editions socks, caps and musettes, with all of the aforementioned items available for purchase from the Rapha (opens in new tab) and Palace (opens in new tab) websites.
Both teams' liveries will also change for the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes, too. Riders will use a special edition Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD frame, which features the same details incorporated on the design of the kit. The frameset will be available through Rapha's, Palace's and Cannondale's (opens in new tab) online shops, though in very limited quantities.
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
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