This season Down Under, Rapha Australia is providing select events with bespoke race numbers. Being Rapha dossards they aren’t your average kind of race number, using a distinctive palette and printing riders names as well as the number. They aren’t your average piece of Tyvek, either. Hopefully the more races you enter, the more Rapha numbers you collect. The images show the dossards’ first outing at last weekend’s Tour of Bright.
A poignant memento for road riders, the act of pinning race numbers to a jersey has been in place since circa 1893. We know the importance of pre-race rituals and, like the contemplative application of embro or the wrapping of fresh bar tape, pinning the number to a jersey is a major part of the preparation for battle. On race day everyone knows, as they stare at those digits, it’s all in the number.