Rapha celebrates Team Sky’s greatest victories with three special edition jerseys to be released day-by-day. Here, we pay homage to moments of panache and grit that transcended numbers and statistics. Chapeau G, Yogi, and Froomey.
Chris Froome, Tour de France Stage 15, 2013
« Attaque de Froome ! » was the cry from the French commentary booth as the Team Sky talisman left Nairo Quintana behind in what would be the decisive moment of the 2013 Tour de France. A finish atop Mont Ventoux on Bastille Day, during the 100th edition of the race, was an iconic moment crying out to be seized and Chris Froome did so wearing yellow. Having been set up for the attack by a sterling display of support riding from Peter Kennaugh and Richie Porte, this was one of Chris Froome – and Team Sky’s – greatest ever days, on the greatest stage.
"To win a stage like that, at the end of 242km of racing, with the crowds that were out on the road and the way the team delivered me to the climb – it was just a massive, massive victory… I tried to gap Quintana several times but he just wouldn’t budge from my wheel. I had actually almost surrendered the fact that I was going to have to tow him to the line."
Ventoux Attaque Jersey
Echoing the profile and colours of the ‘Giant of Provence’, the jersey has ‘VENTOUX ATTAQUE’ on the chest, marking the moment Chris Froome dropped Nairo Quintana to ride away for the win at the 2013 Tour.
Ian Stannard, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, 2015
When Ian ‘Yogi’ Stannard gazumped 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. Velo News wrote that Stannard had “outwitted an Etixx-Quickstep juggernaut”, but their team manager Patrick Lefevre lamented Stannard’s tactics rather than blaming his own riders’ failure to win. This one hurt: in out-hustling the mighty Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra and Stijn Vandenbergh, the Briton pulled the Belgian team’s proverbial bib shorts down and proved he was back to his best after a terrible back injury that ruined his 2014 season. To watch Stannard grind to the line ahead of Terpstra was to watch an old-school roadman making the hard yards count.
"Quick-Step took me to the end and I only had to race the last 4km! I just wanted to get a free ride for as long as I could. That was my idea. When they all started attacking me it wasn’t a great feeling. I paced myself back a little bit… and then I just took my chance."
Ghent Hustle Jersey
With the words ‘GHENT HUSTLE’ printed on the chest and a black, yellow and red Belgian flag colourway, this special edition jersey honours Ian Stannard’s second win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Geraint Thomas, Paris-Nice GC, 2016
Thrilling finales don’t come much better than Geraint Thomas’ last gasp Paris-Nice victory in Spring 2016. ‘Back from the brink’; a ‘remarkable comeback’ and ‘the cliffhanger on the corniche’ were how the cycling press reported it. The Welshman, 15 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador on GC but dropped by the Spaniard on the final climb of the race, recovered thirty seconds on a daring descent off the Col d’Èze before a team pursuit-esque chase into Nice. With sweet success always comes sour grapes, and Contador’s Tinkoff DS Sean Yates complained that motorbikes were pacing Thomas off the mountain. The Team Sky man won’t care: after almost 1,300km he won the overall by four glorious seconds.
"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."
Riviera Pursuit Jersey
A special edition jersey featuring colours inspired by the French Riviera and celebrating Geraint Thomas' win at Paris-Nice this year.