Rapha and Team Sky

Goodbye, Team Sky

The best photos from 2013 to 2016

Up Ventoux and down the Peyresourde… Along the Champs-Élysées and through the Carrefour de l’Arbre… For four years, Team Sky has provided us with countless memorable moments. Here are some of our favourites.

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Eddy Boss

Paris–Roubaix, April 2013

During Rapha’s first year with Team Sky, Norwegian champion Edvald Boasson Hagen was one of the riders to enjoy success, winning four times. ‘Eddy Boss’ was also a favourite in the office at Rapha for the attention to detail he gave his kit and feedback on what worked and what didn’t. [Photo: Emily Maye]

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Cobble crusher

Paris–Roubaix, April 2013

Rapha was proud to make a British national champion’s kit for Ian Stannard in 2013, and the classics hardman put in some strong performances in the stripes, most notably at Milan-San Remo where he almost won from a heroic late solo breakaway. Here he is in full ‘cobble crusher’ mode at Paris-Roubaix. [Photo: Emily Maye]

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Ventoux Attaque

Tour de France, July 2013

“I glanced underneath my elbow and saw that his [Quintana’s] front wheel was dropping off a little. I thought ‘well that’s strange, let me give it a bit of a push and see what happens here’, and sure enough he popped.”

A Tour de France victory, crowned by Froome’s mastery of Mont Ventoux, was the highlight of a memorable first year together. Read the story of the ‘Ventoux Attaque’. [Photo: Graham Watson]

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The Tassie Terror

Tour Down Under, January 2014

With three wins up Old Willunga Hill on the trot, Richie Porte should be known as the ‘Tassie Terror’ for the fear he inflicts on his rivals at the Tour Down Under. Here he is racing to victory number one. [Photo: Kei Tsuji]

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Driving The Bus

Team training camp, early 2015

“When the skinny little climbers are off up the road attacking each other, us bigger riders join forces to make sure we make it to the finish line within the time limit. There are between 30 and 50 of us in the autobus, and some people consider me the ‘driver’.”

Bernie Eisel told us all about his role as the gruppetto ‘bus driver’ in an entertaining 2015 blog post. [Photo: George Marshall]

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Yogi Bears His Teeth

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, March 2015

When Ian ‘Yogi’ Stannard outfoxed the Etixx-Quickstep trio to win his second consecutive Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in March 2015, it was hailed as one of the best one-day victories in years. This one hurt the mighty Belgian team: in out-hustling Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra and Stijn Vandenbergh, the Briton pulled their proverbial bib shorts down and proved he was back to his best after a terrible back injury that ruined his 2014 season. Read Ian Stannard’s account of the day. [Photo: Graham Watson]

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Merci Wiggo

Paris–Roubaix, 2015

Sir Bradley Wiggins had us all dreaming of champagne showers in the Roubaix velodrome during his final years with the team, and he very nearly made it happen. The Kid from Kilburn’s ability to succeed at any discipline of cycling he puts his mind to is the mark of a great champion. [Photo: Angus Sung]

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Marginal gains

Mallorca track testing, Late 2015

The glory and glamour are always preceded by hard work in the shadows. Above, you can see a session from a velodrome track test that Rapha undertook with Team Sky and aerodynamic experts to develop the fastest time trial skinsuit in the peloton. [Photo: George Marshall]

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Solo stripes

Critérium du Dauphiné, June 2015

Panache is an overused word, but if one of Team Sky’s riders were to embody it, it would be Peter Kennaugh. The Manxman took a glorious solo win ahead of the chasing mob at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2015, one of several classy victories over the last four years. [Photo: Graham Watson]

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Henao, you’re a rockstar

Spain Country Jersey Photoshoot, August 2015

Another rider with style in spades, Sergio Henao was the star of Rapha’s Spain Country Jersey photoshoot in Bilbao (despite being Colombian…). The climber had just returned from winning a stage at the Tour of Poland, his first victory since an almost career-ending knee injury 18 months previous, and was all smiles. [Photo: George Marshall]

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Stan-hard

Paris–Roubaix, 2016

One of the greatest races in memory, the Paris-Roubaix 2016 podium featured a surprise but well-deserving winner; an ageing legend looking to be the all-time winner; and Ian Stannard, a man who has been banging the door down for years. Marshall Kappel’s photos of the Briton after the race demonstrate the brutality and agony of the Hell of the North quite perfectly. What a day. [Photo: Marshall Kappel]

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The Bos Abides

Giro d’Italia, May 2016

Ian Boswell is an office favourite at Rapha. Thoughtful and articulate, the young American doesn’t fit any stereotypical mould for a professional athlete. His Prepare.Execute Diaries from the 2016 Giro d’Italia were the proof in the pudding, and featured gems such as “I got a text from a friend saying ‘are you excited? nervous?’ and I was like ‘nah man, I’m sitting on my couch in my underwear watching The Big Lebowski and eating chocolate pudding!’” [Photo: Kei Tsuji]

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Speedway Silhouette

Tour of California, May 2016

Photographer Andy Bokanev had the best seat in the house as the Tour of California racers scorched down the infamous Corkscrew corner on the Laguna Seca racetrack. This excellent shot made his afternoon in the sun more than worth it. [Photo: Andy Bokanev]

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Riviera Pursuit

Paris–Nice, March 2016

“I had a 54 [tooth]-chainring on in the descent and I needed that… It was like a load of back-to-back team pursuits, and as the gap gradually came down I knew I had a chance. I went full gas all the way to the line and ended up taking the win.”

Geraint Thomas reminisces about one of the greatest ever finales to Paris-Nice, a performance that inspired another Rapha celebratory jersey. [Photo: Marshall Kappel]

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Dauphiné domination

Critérium du Dauphiné, June 2016

An emblematic image of the strongest squad in the race, leading from the front. While many in the sport lament such tactics, they have produced the right results for Team Sky over the years. [Photo: Marshall Kappel]

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The Road Captain

Paris–Roubaix, April 2016

A homegrown success story, Luke Rowe’s rise in stature – and strength – has been a steady one with Team Sky. Still improving, the Welshman seems to have the ability to win a Classic. He looks the part in Rapha kit too. [Photo: Marshall Kappel]

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Yellow mist

Tour de France, July 2016

The moments preceding this image, when Chris Froome took to running up the mountain, proved that when the fog of war combines with a burning desire to win, utter madness can ensue. The Team Sky leader should never have been in the position he found himself, and the whole debacle was one of the most bizarre and disappointing episodes in Tour history. [Photo: Marshall Kappel]

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Adieu et merci

Tour de France, July 2016

In a special one-off yellow Rapha kit, the Team Sky riders coast along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées after winning a third Tour de France in four years. Thanks for the memories. [Photo: Marshall Kappel]