Nopinz makes its official WorldTour debut this week at the Tirreno-Adriatico time trial, (opens in new tab) having partnered with Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux as the squad's aero time trial partner for skinsuits (opens in new tab), gloves and overshoes.
The team continues to wear Santic clothing for road stages, marking the first time a WorldTour team has chosen a specific racewear manufacturer for the time trial - though there have been instances of re-badged time trial suits.
The team trialled the suits at the UAE Tour in February.
Nopinz founder Blake Pond noted: "Our aero products have been used under the radar in and around the pro peloton for a few years now, delivering marginal gains and assisting riders to wins at the highest level. Now we’re involved as an official partner, it gives us the opportunity to come out of the shadows and show the world what our kit can do."
Devon-based Nopinz began manufacturing race clothing in 2015, and is best known for its patented 'SpeedPockets' which do away with the concern over flapping numbers - and for amateurs wearing the same skinsuit all season - holes left by pins.
Belgium Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will wear the Flow time trial suit, plus Pro-1 aero socks and gloves. The suit was developed over 18-months of computer modelling, wind tunnel and track testing in collaboration with experts Aerocoach.
Aerocoach is the official partner Team Qhubeka, and has worked with Tour de France winners, UCI world, Olympic, and national champions as well as CTT champions in the UK.
The suit's features include precision ergonomic fit and cut, plus trip seams placed to optimise aerodynamics and in-house 'Speedscalez' fabric produced by Nopinz.
Analysis by Aerocoach recorded the Flow Suit as the 'fastest skinsuit we have ever tested'.
Commenting on the partnership, Nopinz founder Pond added: “We couldn’t be more proud of our relationship with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. Personally, I am excited by the prospect of seeing our logo on the WorldTour stage and in the Tour de France. When I started Nopinz in 2014, I could only dream that would happen.”
Riders wearing the kit have been fitted up a body scan, to create a custom fit for each individual.
Performance manager at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, Aike Visbeek added: “The excellent results in the wind tunnel show that our riders can rely on very competitive aerodynamic clothing. The partnership with Nopinz is a first important step towards progress in time trials!”
South African rider Louis Meintjes will wear the suit in the Tirreno-Adriatico time trial, and has already taken it for a whirl at the UAE Tour which took place in February, he said: "The bodyscan was successful because the fit is really good! The used material is stretchy, which makes it not only a good fit but also very comfortable. The bib number pocket is practical as well as aerodynamic. The Nopinz time trial suits, shoe covers and gloves are probably one of the best on the market, so I’m very happy that the team partnered with this brand to improve our performances!"
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