Team Sky will finish its four-year run with Rapha this year and according to various sources, will see its stars like Chris Froome wear Castelli’s kit in 2017. The Italian company currently furnishes team Cannondale-Drapac, which will wear POC.
The British WorldTour team debuted with Adidas in 2010 and in 2013, helped British brand Rapha reach a global market.
The terms of the multi-year deal remain closely held between Sky’s principal David Brailsford, head of technical operations Carsten Jeppersen and head of performance operations Rod Ellingworth, and of course – a select few at the Castelli headquarters in Fonzaso, in Italy’s northeast Veneto region.
The exact details should emerge sometime in October or November. In those months, Froome and his teammates could already receive their first pieces of clothing from Veneto.
Castelli kit can easily be spotted with its red and white scorpion logo. It would stand out on Sky’s black and blue clothing.
In recent years, it made headlines with its innovative bad weather Gabba jacket. In the snow-ravaged 2013 Milan-San Remo, several riders said it saved their day. Castelli also supplied Tinkoff-Saxo, the Italian national team and produced the Giro d’Italia’s leaders’ jerseys.
Sky wants to tap into the same new clothing technologies and give its riders an advantage. A source at Cannondale confirmed Castelli is leaving, which paved the way for the Castelli/Sky deal and of course, for the eventual POC agreement.
Brailsford, Jeppersen and Ellingworth also considered Sportful, a sister company with Castelli, that will supply Bahrain-Merida in 2017. Regardless, the British super team should have a unique kit and clothing technologies.
Besides Castelli, Swiss manufacturer Assos and Italy’s Giordana were in the running to become Sky’s clothing partner.