Words: Max Leonard | Date:
In 2011 a trio of Rapha riders decided to push their limits and enter one of road cycling’s most historic long-distance events: the Paris-Brest-Paris randonnée, in which cyclists from across the world battled to complete the 1,200km course unsupported in under 90 hours.
Their adventure was both the spur to create a new jersey designed for endurance riding and the perfect testing ground for such a garment. On the PBP and throughout the series of qualifying Brevets des Randonneurs rides – 200, 300, 400 and 600km around the UK, including the Bryan Chapman Memorial the length of Wales and back – they wore prototypes of what would become the Brevet Jersey. The long days in the saddle, tested the endurance of both rider and jersey.
Brevets are long distance cycling events run by international Audax associations. They are completely unsupported rides in which cyclists, armed only with a route sheet, must complete the course within a set time. They require early starts, late finishes and a ‘come-what-may’ attitude when it comes to weather, road conditions and unexpected mechanicals – and total self sufficiency as you find your way between control points to the cup of tea and cake waiting for you at the village hall finish.
On a wet weekend in Wales, or a 300km slog into a headwind on a there-and-back across the width of England, it’s a comfort to know that you can rely on highly functional kit, and the Brevet Jersey was designed to meet all these needs. Since its first outing in blue, with a complementary hi-vis, packable gilet, it has returned in new colourways and a long-sleeved version. This summer, a new purple and chartreuse combination is available, to keep you riding for longer in style.