Team Sky riders tested the new technology at last spring's classic races.

Team Sky riders tested the new technology at last spring's classic races (click to enlarge).​

In the spirit of battling Old Man Winter, UK-based high end apparel maker Rapha has released new racewear for foul weather road cycling: the Pro Team Shadow Jersey and Pro Team Shadow Bib Shorts.

According to Rapha, 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. It was developed at the request of Team Sky for a garment to wear across various and changing race conditions.

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.

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 (click to enlarge).​

Rapha says Shadow fabric is stretch-woven, rather than knitted, and goes through a four-stage production process. 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.

"What that produces is an extremely dense fabric," explains 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."

The primary idea is that Pro Team Shadow offers all-day protection in wide-ranging comfort, meaning Team Sky riders do not have to go back to the team car to pick up or drop off jackets.

"We wore this jersey on the worst weather days of the Classics last year and it was top notch throughout," said Team Sky rider 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 jersey features Vizlon zip with chunky, ergonomic puller for ease of use, three rear cargo pockets with drill holes to let rain out, and a brushed inner and mesh fabric on collar for comfort.

The jersey features Vizlon zip with chunky, ergonomic puller for ease of use, three rear cargo pockets with drill holes to let rain out, and a brushed inner and mesh fabric on collar for comfort (click to enlarge).​

Pro Team Shadow Jersey

  • $320
  • XS-XXL
  • Black
  • Made in Italy
  • Vizlon zip with chunky, ergonomic puller for ease of use
  • Three rear cargo pockets with drill holes to let rain out
  • Brushed inner and mesh fabric on collar for comfort
  • Taped seams on shoulders for extra water resistance
  • ¾ length sleeves for added weather protection
  • Reflective rear tab
  • Fabric 53% Polyamide / 47% Elastane

The bib shorts have the same leg length, fit and chamois pad as Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts, looped bib straps and Pro Team gripper on hems to keep the shorts in position, and twin-pockets built into mesh bib loops.

The bib shorts have the same leg length, fit and chamois pad as Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts, looped bib straps and Pro Team gripper on hems to keep the shorts in position, and twin-pockets built into mesh bib loops (click to enlarge).​

Pro Team Shadow Shorts

  • $385
  • XS-XXL
  • Black
  • Made in Italy
  • Same leg length, fit and chamois pad as Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts
  • Looped bib straps and Pro Team gripper on hems keeps the shorts in position
  • Twin-pocket built into mesh bib loops
  • Inner fabric is brushed for on-skin comfort
  • Reflective tab on legs
  • Fabric Main: 53% Polyamide / 47% Elastane; Mesh: 92% Polyester / 8% Elastane

For more information visit www.rapha.cc.