The Circle of Death ride is a loop that includes the Col d’Aubisque, Col d’Aspin, Col de Peyresourde and the Col du Tourmalet.
In addition to the tens of thousands of vertical feet a cyclist must climb on this route, the ‘death’ moniker comes from the creatures that roam or used to roam the area, including bears and vultures. A bear is a rare sight in this part of France, but riders can still spot birds like the Lammergeier, or bearded vulture.
Rapha’s jersey plays up this gruesome bird in the details of the Circle of Death jersey, with buttons on the two rear pockets designed around the concentric circles of the Lammergeier’s eye. Further, the inside of the collar has a print “inspired by the Lammergeier’s plumage.”
The names of four cols in the Circle of Death are printed on the collar.
According to Rapha, the Lammergeier can swallow bones whole, and will also crack bones too large to be swallowed by dropping them from a great height down onto rocks to eat the marrow.
Regardless of the bird’s habits, the $200 jersey has a slim cut with slightly longer arms than standard.