Tour de France Rapha gear

Rapha celebrates 10-year anniversary at the Tour

On Monday in London after stage 3 of the Tour de France, Rapha celebrated its 10th anniversary with a party on The Mall, just steps from the finish where Marcel Kittel took his second stage win. Rapha is also celebrating with some special-edition gear, including a Kings of Pain line and other, more Tour-specific T-shirts and Team Sky gear.

Kings of Pain

In 2004 Rapha kicked off its presence as a company with an exhibition called Kings of Pain that celebrated what has come to be known as Rapha’s style – gritty photos of riders suffering. 10 years later, the British clothing company is capitalising on that with four Kings of Pain products: a button-down jersey, a cycling cap, a case and a bottle opener.

Some of the design elements in the collection, such as the ‘blood, sweat, tears and mud’ droplets, where designed by Ultan Coyle, the 2012 24-hour UK national time trial champion who took second at the recent 2014 championships, doing 506 miles at an average of 21.1mph and 8,000m of climbing.

The kings of pain jersey design hints at the old-school tubular over the shoulder: the kings of pain jersey design hints at the old-school tubular over the shoulder

The Kings of Pain jersey (£150 / US$220) is a Sportwool piece with a folding collar and snap fasteners. The Essentials Case (£45 / US$65) is leather and satin bag that is large enough to hold a phone, inner tube, multi-tools and some money or a credit card.

Team Sky gear

As an estimated 2.5 million fans lined the roadside for each of the Tour’s three stages in the Tour de France, more than a few of them were wearing Team Sky gear.

In addition to its usual selection of cycling gear, Rapha has some special edition T-Shirts, such as the yellow No.1 number plate, “Union Jack’d”, “Va Va Froome” and more. The £15 / US$25 shirts are also available in kids sizes.

The slogan

For those hankering for top-shelf pro gear, Rapha has the Team Sky Climber’s Jersey (£150 / US$225), a hyperlight, nearly see-through mesh jersey that comes with a “must wear sunscreen” warning. To match there is the £190 / US$290 Team Sky Pro Lightweight Bib Shorts with coldblack fabric and black mesh straps that aren’t as obvious as white straps under the Climber’s Jersey.

Less technical replica jerseys — also in kids sizes — are also available, albeit considerably cheaper.

Check out rapha.cc for more.

Amateur riders can buy the same gear that the pros use for a premium, or replica gear for a lower cost: amateur riders can buy the same gear that the pros use for a premium, or replica gear for a lower cost

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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