Friday saw the launch of Rapha's Autumn/Winter collection, which included the latest manifestations of some of their perennial favourites, as well increasing their range to reflect the growing popularity of cyclocross as a winter cycling discipline.
The onus, much like their Spring/Summer 2014 range, is on colour and the Hardshell Jacket is now available in a choice of four: the classic black, the bright chartreuse, a dark smokey blue and a stylish, vibrant orange (below). This is a jacket for riding in severe winter conditions - windproof, rainproof and warm - equally at home on a demanding club run or in the city. The chartreuse and orange will definitely appeal to those who want to be as visible on the road as possible in wintery conditions, though all the jackets include reflective detailing.
Rapha have updated their Winter Jersey, improving the windproof lining on the front of the jacket and introducing new colours, including the purple below. Like the Hardshell jacket, this is a jersey that ensures rider comfort in more extreme winter conditions, though if you are looking for a jersey to ease you into the cooler months, then perhaps the Long Sleeve Jersey is the one to go for - again coming in a good choice of vibrant colours: orange, purple and blue.
The women's collection also includes new additions and updates. The long sleeve Souplesse Jersey takes its lead from its summer short sleeve sibling - providing a high performance, lightweight jersey for autumn riding in a good selection of colours, including the rich red below, and all four options feature the distinctive vertical stripe down the back of the jersey. Also in the Souplesse range and new for Autumn/Winter comes the Souplesse Jacket - a wonderfully striking deep winter top in contrasting colours on the body and sleeves.
Of course, this being Rapha, there has to be a strong historical context within the collection and the Long Sleeve Country Jerseys duly deliver. They celebrate the careers of three pioneering cyclists: Martín ‘Cochise’ Rodriguez of Columbia, who rode in Europe in the 1960's, Kisso Kawamuro, who in 1926 became the first Japanese rider to compete in the Tour de France and finally, Ottavio Bottechia of Italy, who secured the second of his two Tour de France victories in 1925, but died two year later, having been found mortally injured on the roadside near his home in northern Italy - how he met his fate remains a mystery. The striking blue jersey that honours the great Italian, features Rapha's renowned attention to detail, and like the two other jerseys in the range, picks out the flag of his county in the band around the chest.
If Cyclocross is your thing, then you'll be pleased to see that Rapha have extended their range for this winter, introducing an 'Argyle' inspired pattern across the entire range to ensure it stands apart from the more road orientated garments. The Long Sleeve Cross Jersey is a little more subtle in its incorporation of the Argyle pattern, confining it to the Rapha band on the right arm (see below), but if you really want to catch the eye amid the mud and grime of the cyclocross circuit this winter then go for the vibrant Super Cross s/s Jersey, which when paired with the Pro Cross Socks will ensure you top the sartorial podium on the day! The Cross range also accommodates your legion of fans, with a cap, umbrella and scarf just some of the items that also feature the distinctive Argyle patterning. What next, a matching cowbell?!
Check out rapha.cc for more details and prices on all the garments above and for more information on their entire range for Autumn and Winter cycling.
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