Rapha’s latest limited-edition kit collection is inspired by the 1990 edition of the Tour de France.
That edition of the race saw the first three stages all set off from sci-fi inspired theme park Futuroscope in Poitiers, and was also the beginning of a tech revolution in cycling that saw teams and sponsors embrace carbon fibre frames, heart rate monitors, clipless pedals and aero bars.
But Rapha reckons that it was the advent of sublimation printing in the nineties that was the real hallmark of this period, allowing kit manufacturers to create bold and garish designs. And its new collection is inspired by the race and the jerseys worn by the riders of that 1990 Tour.
The design of the Coureur jersey and cap includes elements of the team jersey worn by Claudio Chiappucci on his Tour debut. Riding for Carrera, he finished stage one as part of a four-man break that put more than 10 minutes into the peloton and subsequently took the yellow jersey on stage 12. He ended the Tour second overall.
Rapha says that its new short-sleeved jersey is made from a polyester/wool mix and includes embroidered details, knitted Merino wool sleeves, hem and collar, and buttoned rear pockets, along with a quarter zip.
It’s priced at £140 and the matching cap (no helmets in 1990) costs £30 and socks £20.
Next up are the Sonic long-sleeved jersey, jacket, shorts, socks and headband for a head-to-toe 1990s look in bright, bold colours inspired by the kit worn by the Toshiba pro team.
The Sonic jersey costs £160. It’s mid-weight and comes with a full zip and retro logos. You can match it up with the £195 Sonic winter bib shorts, made of brushed fabric and with reflective Sonic logos, while the £20 Sonic socks complete the look.
Too wet or cold for a jersey? Rapha also has a limited-edition Sonic version of its Lightweight Shadow jacket. Priced at £200, it’s light and pocketable but provides wind- and water-resistance.
Finally, Rapha says that the Futuro collection is inspired by the futuristic surroundings of Futuroscope.
It’s headlined by the £85 Futuro Training Jersey that’s made from a mix of lightweight fabric at the front and a more substantial back fabric to add sun protection and help keep the pockets up. You get more 1990-inspired patterns, too, which incorporate iridescent and reflective elements.
There’s a long-sleeved jersey as well, priced at £95, available in either monochrome or coloured versions along with a gilet for £90.
If you’re a Rapha Cycling Club member, you’re in luck because you can order Rapha’s retro-inspired kit immediately. The rest of us will have to wait until Friday.