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Rapha unveils new team kit inspired by hazard tape

Rapha team kit for Canyon - Sram 2016
Jordan Gibbons
18 Dec 2015

Rapha is supplying the kit for Canyon – Sram for 2016, finding inspiration in an unlikely place.

Many cycling teams have kit that is inspired by their sponsors, just look at Astana, Katusha and Carrera jeans. But for every instance in which the sponsors are an inspiration there are plenty more that they are not. The Mapei-Colnago kit of the ‘90s does nothing to remind me of concrete nor does the Etixx-Quickstep kit make me think of laminate flooring. The 2016 women’s team Canyon - Sram is inspired neither by Canyon, or Sram but by hazard tape.

‘We wanted to create a design that wasn’t gender specific, just a strong visual that had energy,’ says Rapha designer, Ultan Coyle. ‘I’ve long been drawn to the warning tape you see used on building sites and along the street; specifically when there are multiple layers wrapped around scaffolding poles or broken lamp posts to highlight potential dangers. I liked the idea of wrapping the body in the tape to suggest an athletic threat or danger to add attitude.’

There is more to this new kit than just a dash of colour. Until recently Rapha only produced the ProTeam range for men, with a smaller souplesse range for women. The new kit for Canyon – SRAM has expanded on this range significantly and, due to the amount of R&D time required, we assume a full range will be available for consumers in the future. Although Rapha has experience with clothing professional teams before, designing racing kit for women has provided new challenges, which it appears to have overcome judging by the reactions from the team.

‘I think when you put this kit on you’re ready for business, all the pieces fit really well, it’s aero, fits in all the right places and the fabrics are soft on your body,’ says racer Tiffany Cromwell.

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