As 2015 gets rolling we look up the road to see what’s happening this year. 2014 was a momentous time for Rapha; a 10th birthday, a new London headquarters, more original products including the infamous Pantani Jersey, the long-awaited Climber’s Shoes, plus two beautiful new Cycle Clubs in Tokyo and Manchester. And this year looks like being no less momentous with more new products, a wealth of rides, events and plenty of incredible bike racing. Here’s a preview of what to look forward to in 2015.
The Rapha Cycling Club is now alive and pedaling and will be offering all kinds of rides, races, trips and events in 2015. An international network of like-minded, passionate road cyclists, the RCC welcomes riders of all abilities across the globe. Whether wishing to race, travel or simply ride with local members, it’s Rapha’s interpretation of the traditional cycling club; with a wealth of services, benefits and the finest club kit money can buy. Open to the public, we encourage you to sign up now »
The rate at which information can be shared and discovered continues to evolve. And cyclists are more in tune to data than most, uploading, tracking, and weighing seemingly infinite units. But as a company championing the romance of the sport, we’ve never paid much attention to the numbers… So this season Rapha are attempting to bring some beauty to all that data riders obsess over. Collaborating with a London-based design studio, ride information from an individual racer’s entire grand tour was interpreted to create a unique artwork that will feature in a capsule collection for spring 2015.
Outfitting the Elite
Linked to this project and the latest Pro Team apparel is a rider we’re very excited to be working with. It’s a first for Rapha to ‘sponsor’ such an individual, but as the season progresses we’ll be showcasing our most contemporary designs on the sinewy shoulders of one of Britain’s fastest young riding talents.
Blue Sky Thinking
The people that have really allowed us to push the performance of our products forward over the last two years will be competing again to be the best squad in the world. We’ve worked with the riders and staff to create a range of items that help them to be seen when they’re training solo or in small groups, when it’s imperative that you stand out. Using Sky blue and reflective fabrics across the range of products, this season sees some eye-catching and high-grade performance pieces for both the team and the riding public.
Undoubtedly a new year signals new Rapha products: The finest contemporary racing apparel, celebratory jerseys honouring infamous teams of the 1980s, brand new women’s products, some long-awaited accessories and of course new sock designs.
Cycle Clubs Abound
New Cycle Clubs will soon be appearing in both Europe and North America. And alongside them being the best places to watch live road racing, drink incredible coffee and enjoy local food, the Clubs will also be the official clubhouses for RCC Chapters worldwide. There will also pop-up Clubs in Mallorca, Singapore, Shanghai and the return of our Mobile CCs this year as well. There’s also some exciting developments in the far east with a permanent location in that region soon to be agreed.
The World’s biggest women’s global participation ride – the Women’s 100 – will be back this year bigger and better than ever. Building on the community of women riding with Rapha worldwide will be more female-only Prestige events (see below for more on that), and an expanded women’s ambassador collective named The Calling, all of which will be underpinned by a truly amazing selection of new products for female riders of all abilities and philosophies.
It’s been stated that 2015 is the year of the road trip. There’s the return of Tillie in the US, visiting the Tour of California and Prestige events, plus the infamous European MCC (the fabled horsebox) returning to the fray of spring classics and summer tours. There are also new mobile Cycle Clubs in Japan, and Australia. Rapha Travel continues to expand in 2015 with some incredible trips on the calendar including Retreats to Australia and Randonnees in California and Corsica.
The New World Champs
The 2015 UCI Road Cycling World Championships will be held in Richmond, the state capital of Virginia, in the United States of America. The U.S. is an important place for Rapha and the world of road racing and there’s probably no better a place for the race to occur. We’ll make sure we celebrate this event the right way, so keep an eye on what’s in store, including a special Prestige event and Rapha pop-up location (TBC).
The Rapha Prestige (formerly Rapha Gentlemen’s Races) are riding events for both men and women that happen throughout the world. 2015 will see some very special Prestige journeys in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and beyond. It’s part team-time-trial, part touring and part-travelogue on challenging terrain that promotes camaraderie, adventure, suffering and teamwork. (And a few beers at the finish too.)
In Print we Trust
From our earliest brochures to our latest publications, Rapha has always been committed to beautifully printed words and images. This continues in 2015 with the launch of a new publication. This bi-annual will capture road racing and its culture through a wide-angle lens. Offering compelling new stories alongside striking perspectives on familiar subjects, this will be a stimulating, formidable, and thought-provoking publication.
The hour record is suddenly big news again. Riding around in circles for an hour may seem rather dull but if you’re challenging for the world record against a slew of the planet’s greatest athletes, that’s a different matter. There are a few names on the list that may or may not be attempting it in 2015, including Sir Bradley Wiggins. If he does, we’ll be there to witness it.