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No Pink? No Problem.

When it comes to team kits at the Giro d’Italia, there’s one rule that cannot be broken. Luckily, for EF Education-Nippo, we’ve created another limited edition switch-out ensemble for this year’s Corsa Rosa, which includes every colour but one.

Throughout the month of May, there’s only one colour that dominates the professional peloton’s collective consciousness. Coloured pink as a nod to the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper which founded the race in 1909, the Giro’s maglia rosa is one of cycling's greatest prizes. And no other team’s trade colours can clash with the iconic leader’s jersey.

All of this means that EF Education-Nippo’s regular racewear is off limits in Italy. But no pink is no problem for this team. And since we can’t wear pink, we’ve decided to take as many other colours as possible and incorporate them into our latest limited edition ensemble.

For the next three weeks, all eight riders will be outfitted in this kaleidoscopic creation, designed to celebrate people from different backgrounds and nations coming together in pursuit of a common goal. From Italy to the world, look out for a splash of colour at the first Grand Tour of 2021. The EF Giro switch-out kit collection will be available to buy once the race rolls into Milan at the end of May.

The full on and off-bike EF Giro switch-out kit collection will be available to buy once the race rolls into Milan at the end of May.

EVERY SECOND COUNTS

At this year’s Giro, EF Education-Nippo’s ultimate aim is to get back into pink and take the maglia rosa all the way to Milan. But this being the Giro, the team and their GC leader Hugh Carthy will have to fight for every second – which is where our latest advance in aerodynamic technology comes in.

Designed over two years with input from the team as well as a raft of leading sports scientists and engineers, our latest TT aerosuit is our fastest ever and will be worn in Grand Tour competition for the first time at the Giro. With a saving of 12.4 watts at 55kph over the previous team issue package, it could make all the difference in the race’s two time trials.

In the search for the fastest possible fabric combinations, the Rapha design team tested over 100 materials at the UK Sport Science Institute at Loughborough University. Textured fabrics designed to reduce drag have been paired with airflow-assisting smooth fabrics to create an optimised fabric suite across the suit, socks, overshoes and mitts.

“This project was a great example of how design, specific fabric wind tunnel testing, modelling and wind tunnel testing of the rider and bike came together to find the optimum solution for the specific needs of the team. The results that we gathered at each stage allowed us to fine tune both the pattern and fabric choice to ensure that the skinsuit and sock package both compliment each other at the race specific air speeds."

“We configured the test environments in the wind tunnel to replicate the conditions found in grand tour time trial stages, which included multiple speed and wind angles. This attention to detail and specificity, which considerably increased the time required in the wind tunnel, provided detailed insight which differentiated between small differences in pattern and fabric. This approach was fundamental in identifying the optimal product choices.”

Dr Barney Wainwright - Senior Research Fellow, Leeds Beckett University; Practitioner in Cycling Aerodynamics & Biomechanics

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Over 40 versions of the suit have been tested over six sessions in the wind tunnel, with final adjustments made to seam placements, fabric tension, fit and garment construction techniques. With all the testing completed, all that remains now is to watch the timesheets and hope Hugh has what it takes to go all the way.