It is at this time of the year I think I am most jealous of the pro’s life, as they return to the job of riding, refreshed and full of hope for the new season. Embarking on trips to Mallorca, Australia and Argentina to spend weeks riding on sun-kissed roads. Older team members rekindling room-mate relationships like old married couples. Showing up at camp carrying a little too much weight, but also just right, trusting their bodies that it will be gone in the next 6 weeks in-time for the classics. New team members sometimes riding in their old team kit looking for a career reboot, or nervous young riders putting shoes on next to stars they have admired from afar, who have maybe over-trained just a little too much to be “good at camp”, and make a good first impression with the new DS. But it is actually really none of this that makes me jealous. It is all that f*#king new kit! I love new kit.
Nothing makes me happier than riding a new build for the first time. Or slipping my arms into a nice new jacket, or a pair of shoes that are still perfectly white. So you can image how my jealously went to 11 when I saw not one, but two! kit cases that Rapha delivered to the team members of SKY. There is no disappointment to be had here my fellow kit therapy seekers. This is no Fuji-Servetto skin colored kit that made the riders look naked on the bike. There is no “what the f#*k is this…” moment here. Just a nod and a smile in the knowledge that every other team in the village and on the start line is going to be very very jealous. Yes the new Rapha Team SKY kit is nice. Simple, but not boring. Just enough design, to be well designed, but not brash. Not overstated in an Italian kind of way, but making a strong statement in itself with its minimalism. I am happy to see a British brand show the Italians and French how to do style, in a way that they have mastered and lead in fashion, product design and cars, but seem to be remiss in bringing to their cycling teams. Chapeau Rapha.