Rapha Prestige

The Origins of
The Rapha Prestige

In 2008, a new kind of organised ride was born. With the aim of bringing out the camaraderie and suffering of road riding, the first Rapha Gentlemen’s Races in North America invited teams to take part in rough-and-ready time trials over long distances, with long days, gravel roads and finding your own way as foundations.

In 2014, the Gentlemen’s Race became Rapha Prestige. No less challenging than its predecessor, the new moniker described a more accessible series of events that stayed true to its roots in gentlemanly behaviour: teams must ride, and finish, these gruelling challenges together.

Word quickly spread about these amateur team events with no timing chips or race numbers, and how they offered something more than what you might get at other mass-participation rides. Each Prestige also provided riders with a cap, musette, and route card, featuring a unique graphic print informed by the area the route passes through – special souvenirs for those that earned them on the challenging rides.

The series grew in popularity, and new far-flung destinations were chosen as hosts for further adventures on roads less travelled. Collected below are highlights from the Prestige rides that took place in 2015:

 

2015 Highlights

Prestige Oslo

“Freezing cold gales and rain blasting the participants throughout. At the end, 30 minutes passed before they were able to open their zippers.”

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Prestige Limburg

“Spare parts and supplies were shared and no one was left behind. Towards the end a small peloton even formed, which rolled up the final climb of the Vijlenerberg to finish together.”

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Prestige Peak District

“When the tank is close to empty and you feel like quitting, knowing that you’re part of a team can be fuel enough to keep the legs turning.”

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Women’s Prestige Dolomites

“As we reached the top of the climb, we were greeted by a group of burly German motorcyclists. They stopped and stared, and the word ‘respect’ fell out of their mouths.”

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Prestige Los Angeles

“A llama wandered through the party and stopped near the finish line while teams rode in, offering a gap-toothed grin for their arrival.”

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Prestige Midwest

“Most teams lost a rider due to the heat. After the end of a long day like that there’s a feeling of getting through something rather than beating it.”

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Prestige New England

“All I am thinking about right now is how good that whiskey will taste when we get there”

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Prestige Launceston

“Back home in the warmth, team allegiances were discarded over pizza and Tasmanian pilsner as riders revelled in recounting their exploits (or lack thereof).”

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Prestige Penang

“The suffering is quickly forgotten when off the road and sitting down, beer in hand.”

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Read about the 2015 Prestige Designs »

View the 2016 Rapha Prestige »