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Rapha Pro Team Shadow range unveiled

Jordan Gibbons
5 Jan 2016

The new Pro Team Shadow range from Rapha offers foul weather performance in a breathable single layer fabric.

When it comes to bad weather clothing, it would be fair to say Castelli stole a march on everyone when the original Gabba came to the fore at the 2013 Milan-San Remo. Now, after a successful testing period in the Spring Classics, Rapha is ready to unveil its reply – the Pro Team Shadow jersey and bib shorts.

The Shadow range takes its name from the Shadow fabric used to construct the garments. ‘Shadow is a breathable, highly protective single layer made possible by a pioneering Italian-milled, stretch-woven fabric that contours to fit the position of a racing cyclist. Developed at the request of Team Sky for a garment to wear across various and changing race conditions,’ says Rapha.

Shadow fabric differs from most fabrics because instead of being knitted, as usual, it is stretch woven. The fabric then goes through a four-stage process to ensure maximum water-repellency: First, the yarn itself is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR); and then is woven into fabric. The third stage sees the fabric undergo a steam-pressure treatment that shrinks it by 50%. Finally, another DWR is applied.

Rapha Pro Team Shadow water repellent

‘What that produces is an extremely dense fabric,' says Graeme Raeburn, Rapha’s lead designer. ‘It wouldn’t be physically possible to actually weave yarns that close together and so, consequently, Shadow provides very high wind resistance and excellent water repellency. It also has a fantastic range of movement and fit and, that crucial difference, amazing breathability.’

The Shadow range was reported by Rapha earlier in the year but has only just been officially announced, having gained numerous fans within Team Sky during last years Spring Classics. ‘We wore this jersey on the worst weather days of the Classics last year and it was top notch throughout,’ says Luke Rowe. ‘Gent-Wevelgem was one of the windiest, most horrible races I've ever done, but the Shadow kit kept me in excellent shape at the front of the bunch.’ 

The Pro Team Shadow jersey is priced at £220 and the Pro Team Shadow bibshorts are price at £260. Both are available in Rapha Cycle Clubs and online at Rapha.cc.

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