Team Sky will officially debut today at the Tour de France stage 13 time trial with a brand new Rapha skinsuit. The skinsuit, which will be available on the market next year, has already been tested by Spaniard Mikel Landa on stage nine of the Giro d’Italia.
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In the last four years, Team Sky used skinsuits emblazoned with Rapha logos, even though skinsuits were actually made by the Belgian company Bioracer, with the same “pin-striped” kit used by Tony Martin among others. Seven of the eight Sky riders in the Giro d’Italia used this skinsuit, with Landa being the only exception.
Watch: how much faster does a skinsuit make you?
Rapha claims that the new skinsuit is the fastest and most comfortable in the peloton and that it saves up to 15 seconds over a 30-minute time trial, if compared to previous skinsuits. To produce its new suit, Rapha tested 23 different fabrics both in the wind tunnel and on the track against “a number of competitors’ offerings to ensure its superior speed”, the Rapha webpage states. The skinsuit will be also worn at stage 18 of the Tour, the 17km mountain time trial from Sallanches to Megève.
At the Giro d’Italia Sky debuted also with new bib shorts, which Nicholas Roche said left him “well prepared” for the cold and wet conditions of stage eight, while Ian Boswell described them as “summer shorts for the rain”.
So mixed messages from the riders then, but what we’re really interested in is that side panel that certainly reminds us of the crash-resistant panel of the Scott RC ProTec bib shorts. Perhaps these shorts could be Rapha’s attempt you getting nasty road rash when you crash? We’ll have to wait and see.