By Simon Smythe
Inspiring a new generation of riders, elevating performances to unseen heights and transforming women’s cycling are the key pillars that have inspired the new Drops-Le Col kit, according to the British clothing brand.
Le Col says the kit was informed by its cutting-edge research with McLaren and extensive experience within the pro peloton, launched after months of rigorous testing and insight from the riders themselves.
The Drops-Le Col Race Jersey and Drops-Le Col Race Bib Shorts, which Le Col is also making available to pre-order via its website, offer a premium and lightweight feel whilst helping riders perform at their peak, says Le Col, and have been constructed with the brand’s finest materials.
The newly revitalised team has made clear its ambitions to compete at the highest level of women’s professional cycling, and has been accepted to race the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix on its mission to reach the UCI Women’s WorldTour by 2022.
The team had faced significant funding issues until Le Col stepped up from kit supplier to title sponsor in a two-year deal in December and Tempur mattresses also confirmed support. Last month Ribble was announced as bike partner for the next two years.
The new kit which features, in Le Col’s words, a cyan blue, violet red and dark magenta fade, replaces the team’s earlier striped design and aims to convey the colour and personality of the team and the characters of the women’s elite peloton.
As for its technical features, the jersey uses an air-tripping fabric on the front and sleeves. Developed with the team riders, Le Col says it’s a highly breathable garment that is uncompromisingly aero for aggressive attacks and dialled in performances.
Meanwhile, the shorts incorporate a Lycra Sport Fibre that offers a supportive feel and versatile breathability and use a Dolomiti chamois. Cut for the nose of the saddle, Le Col says the shorts have been specifically designed for all-out race efforts, whilst also ensuring comfort on the longest of rides. An aerodynamic mapped fit along with mesh bib straps that have blackout silicone leg grippers will always hold the bib shorts in place, according to the brand.
Le Col founder and CEO Yanto Barker said: “We have made it very clear that we want to play a leading role in nurturing and developing the next generation of female sports stars in Britain, and the Drops-Le Col team boasts an incredible array of riders who are set to achieve exciting results in 2021.
“This newly launched kit, which has been designed around performance and personality, will help showcase Drops-Le Col to a new audience as we collectively strive to grow the sport and tell the stories of these talented women. I eagerly await the team’s return to racing and look forward to seeing them dominate the podiums throughout the 2021 season.”
Drops-Le Col co-founder and team director Bob Varney said: “The experience, expertise and passion that the team at Le Col have has been instrumental in pushing our team to new heights over the last two seasons. It’s clear that the kit created for this season is technically one of the best performing kits across the Continental Tour, but also reflects the riders’ aspiration to colour the road and breathe new life into the sport.”
Drops-Le Col rider Joss Lowden (pictured above), who will be further supported by Le Col in her official attempt at the women’s hour record later this year, said: “This season’s kit is the best yet. I love the look and feel of the jersey and the bibs offer everything a rider could want when out on the road. I’m really excited by Le Col’s plans to help us push women’s cycling into the limelight and I believe that we can truly transform the sport.”
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