After four years working with Rapha, Team Sky announced its new partnership with Castelli clothing back in November, and at this year's Saddleback show, Castelli's UK distributor, we finally got our hands on the new kit and have details on UK and international pricing.
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Sky/Castelli 2017 Team Kit — pricing, details and availability
The Podio is the team’s everyday, short sleeve jersey and is what you will see the team spending the majority of its time wearing this season. It's priced at £80 / $102.99 / AU$129.99.
Sky will also be wearing the brand's legendary Gabba 3 jersey this season, coming in slightly over the normal retail price at £180 (US/Australian pricing N/A).
On truly foul days, the team will be donning the long sleeve Perfetto jersey, which in Castelli’s own words “is based on last year's Gabba LS and it is basically a stretchy long sleeved soft shell jersey”. Sounds cosy to us and is priced at £200 / $256/ AU$334.
The team will also have a choice of two vests this season: the more weatherproof Perfetto vest (£130 / $160 / AU$TBC) and the simply named Pro Light Wind Vest (£85 / $105 / AU$TBC).
If you don’t want to go full pro-kit but still want to pledge your allegiance to the #marginalgains cause, you can always indulge in a cheeky Sky branded cotton cap which comes in at £18 / $23.49 / $29.99.
If covering heads isn’t your thing and you’d like to ‘Sky’ up your other extremities, you could always go for a pair of classy Rossa Corsa socks at £17.00 / $19.49 / AU$24.99 or a pair of all-weather Scalda gloves at £60 (US/Australian pricing TBC).
The data-driven design continues at all levels, with the brand's much-loved Prosecco short sleeve baselayer — priced at £65 / $83.99 / AU$107.49.
Saddleback didn’t have the much talked about ultra-light climber’s jersey to hand, but it will retail at £85.00 (US/Australian pricing N/A).
Likewise, the team's matching Free Aero bib shorts come in at £140 (US/Australian pricing TBC).
Team Sky secures exclusive use of Castelli kit for three years
It has also been revealed that Team Sky’s exclusive contract with Castelli extends to the entirety of all WorldTour and ProContinental level cycling teams.
This means that no other team will have access to any developments Castelli and Team Sky develop over the next three years.
Team Sky wanted this exclusivity to run down to Continental level, but Castelli argued that those teams buy its products and don't get any tailored product development, so Team Sky allowed those deals to continue.
The original story about the design process behind the kit and collaboration between Sky and Castelli continues below.
After a four-year partnership with Rapha, Team Sky has announced a new partnership with Castelli clothing at the Rouleur Classic event in London. Beginning in 2017, the partnership is expected to last at least three years.
Retaining the iconic black and blue colours of previous Team Sky kits, the 2017 design features data driven graphics representing some of Team Sky’s victories over the past seven seasons. The classic Breton striped shirt served as inspiration for the kit, whilst each line depicts WorldTour (a blue line) and non-WorldTour (a white line) victories. The length of each line depicts the duration of the race victories, from one-day races through to full-width lines representing three-week Grand Tour victories.
The data lines showcased below the chest on the jersey showcase the wins of the 2017 Team Sky squad, with the exception of the lower full-width line paying homage to Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France win in 2012. The data lines of other Team Sky victories will be shown on the socks, bibshorts, mitts and caps of the team kit.
Team Sky team principal, Dave Brailsford, who was instrumental in the data driven design discusses the idea behind the kit, said: “We wanted to find a way of celebrating the success we have had as a team, but also to make sure we keep our mind firmly on the future. As a team, we still have an enormous amount of goals we want to achieve.”
The Italian influence
Italian brand Castelli trace their roots back to a Milanese tailor founded in 1876. With a rich sporting heritage, the brand has supported the Milan ballet, as well as football giants AC Milan and Juventus. Moving into cycling in the 1910s, Castelli has been worn by cycling heroes Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi. Maurizio Castelli introduced the Scorpion trademark in 1974 and was the first person in the brand to see clothing as performance equipment. Cyclingnews understands Castelli were picked by Team Sky from a range of potential suitors.
Speaking to Cyclingnews earlier this week by phone, Steve Smith, Castelli’s brand manager, said “it’s incredibly satisfying to be picked by Team Sky. We are always pushing our technical innovation and it’s really nice to get the recognition.” With a potential deal of more than twelve months on the table, Castelli has been working directly with Team Sky’s riders and staff to showcase its products throughout this time.
Smith adds “We’ve consistently been at the forefront of technical clothing progression in the pro peloton. We want to continue this, not only for the advantage of the Team Sky riders, but so that the innovation also reaches the general public.” It is expected that many of the new Team Sky X Castelli range will be available to buy in cycling retailers from January.
Brailsford adds, “They will be more than a kit supplier; they will be an innovation partner. Castelli has a long history of breaking new ground when it comes to kit and design.”
Team Sky’s Italian influence is prominent. The team also recently announced a four-year extension with Italian frame builders Pinarello, whilst also been equipped with Kask helmets and Fizik saddles. Team Sky is renowned for its demands for new product development with its partners. Castelli suggested that it has a number of new products in the pipeline, which will be a direct outcome of the partnership with Team Sky.
“Team Sky’s relentless pursuit of results means they expect the maximum from their technical partners. We’re looking forward to being pushed,” explained Smith. “But the Team Sky internal performance group will be an invaluable resource to help us make sure that every rider has an advantage.”
Each athlete will receive 64 different on-bike products as well as “training in how to dress like a pro.”