Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Rapha’s ‘all‑weather weapon’
Shadows in the Spring
Spring is the cruelest season. As any European cyclist knows, the ever-changing weather can make a mockery of your clothing choices, leaving you wet, cold and miserable.
To solve the conundrum, Rapha developed the Shadow kit. Made of a revolutionary fabric that offers wet-weather protection while retaining breathable comfort and a close fit, it is an all-day do-all. Put the jersey and bibs on in the morning, and you’ll stay snug, whatever cruelties are conjured by the conditions.
This Sunday sees the final spring Monument, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a race with traditionally terrible weather. Find out below how Rapha arms its teams with Shadow, the greatest ‘all-weather weapon’ in the bunch, as well as four other climate-specific jerseys, all of which are available for purchase.
The sun and the snow
First worn as a prototype at the 2015 spring classics, the Shadow Jersey quickly became a favourite at Team Sky, who Rapha sponsored between 2013 and 2016. Last year, Wout Poels even made a 300km détour home after La Flèche Wallonne to pick up his Rapha Shadow Jersey to wear at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. On an apocalyptic day of all four seasons, the Dutchman won the race. “It [Shadow] allowed me to perform at my best, even in that tough weather,” Poels said afterwards.
Out of the darkness…
This Sunday, the women’s peloton will race Liège-Bastogne-Liège for the first time. It’s another step forward for the sport, and CANYON//SRAM’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will line up as one of the favourites. With rain and cold weather on the forecast, she’ll likely be wearing Rapha Shadow too. "Being able to wear a piece of kit that protects you from all of the worst weather like a jacket does, and which is as comfy and aerodynamic as a jersey, is amazing," she says.
…Into the light
Last Sunday, young British racer James Knox achieved a breakout result with second at the under-23 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Team WIGGINS 21-year-old nipped away on the third last climb of the day in a strong break of four, and was just pipped to the line in the velodrome finale. It was bittersweet for Knox: “Probably going to have to spend a bit of time working on my lunge after this... Within a whisker of winning what was a pretty carnage race.” There was no rest for the wickedly fast: by Tuesday, James was already lining up at the Tour of Croatia, a six-day, 1,000km race against the likes of Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali. On the rainy Stage 1, he wore Rapha Shadow.
Now available for men and women, you too can sport the world’s most advanced racewear. The Shadow fabric has been used to create a full set of kit, with jersey, bib shorts, arm and leg warmers as well as a winter hat (and even an off-bike blazer) offering complete coverage in changeable weather.
Stay on top of the weather
This season, Rapha offers five Pro Team short sleeve jerseys, each designed to perform in a variety of temperatures, from cold to extreme heat. Tailor your race outfit according to the weather you’ll be facing on the road.