The Innovation Race

A limited edition collection honouring the era when professional cycling first looked to the future, embraced new technology, and transformed itself beyond all recognition.

10 November 2020
Rapha - The Innovation Race Cycling Jerseys 2020

With new names, new technology, and new ideas being expressed at supersonic speed, the 1990 edition of the Tour was a vision of the future. Blasting off from France’s science-fiction theme park in Poitiers, the riders of the peloton rode bikes which, complete with newly developed aero handlebars, aptly resembled rockets from another universe. Our latest special edition collections honour a time when emerging technology dominated, and loud jerseys with fluorescent colours and vibrant company logos became the accepted aesthetic, way ahead of their time.


As well as paying visits to futuristic attractions like Futuroscope, the Tour in the early 90s was defined by new technology, and an influx of new technological sponsors. The Sonic collection harks back to this era of innovation when traditional kit designs were completely overhauled with the advent of sublimation printing. Comprising a special edition jersey, bib shorts, socks and headband, the collection honours a period of racing when electric colours, and electrifying performances, were de rigueur.


The 1990 peloton looked right at home framed by Futuroscope – a science-fiction theme park designed to showcase the best of modern technology. Hosting not only that year’s prologue, but a double-header Grand Départ featuring a 138-kilometre morning race and a 45-kilometre team time trial in the afternoon, pro cyclist Frans Maassen described it as “like something from space.” The Futuro collection takes inspiration from these futuristic surroundings with special edition design elements and a striking reflective treatment.