Hot weather riding might feel a long way off for many riders, but upmarket cycle clothing manufacturers and Team Sky kit sponsors Rapha have just launched their 2013 spring/summer collection, with an expanded women's range and some bolder designs. The range of performance bib shorts, rainwear and variously weighted jerseys is designed to cope with high temperatures.
The men's options feature bestsellers such as the Classic jersey; the fit has been refined slightly, and the popular top is available in chilli and blue colour schemes this year, as opposed to the usual monochrome. Newcomers to the line-up include the lightweight, waterproof Pro Team Race Cape.
Meanwhile, the women's collection has been augmented with Classic bib shorts, which feature a soft mesh upper and front zip. Another addition is the Souplesse jersey, a high-performance top cut from lightweight, breathable fabric.
Styling remains quintessentially Rapha – think rich, contrasting colours and plenty of asymmetric detailing – but there's been some movement towards bolder colour schemes.
Strong Trade Team jersey designs
For example, the Trade Team jerseys (above) and caps are a nod to 1962, the year commercial squads returned to the Tour de France. And the distinctive, muted fluoro 'chartreuse' hue gets a rain cape all to itself.
The clothing launch was shot in Rapha's characteristic retro style in Corsica – venue of the 2013 Tour de France grand départ – and Australia. For more information see ss13.rapha.cc.