Team Rapha-FOCUS Inspired Gift Guide

This past weekend was the final weekend of USGP racing in Bend, Oregon. The race moved from the venue in Portland where it lived for the last few years to the former National Championship course in Bend, Oregon. As far as Team Rapha-FOCUS is concerned we could not have asked for a better weekend. Jeremy Powers won both days and along the way clinched the overall. Zach McDonald did the same with the U23 category and rode himself straight into the win as well. Both Chris Jones and Julie Krasniak had awesome weekends as well — Chris pulled in an 8th and a 4th respectively while Julie was 4th on both days.

On these racing weekends we are fortunate enough to spend a good amount of time with these exceptional athletes. The talk this past weekend ranged from cooking and eating for cycling to training and training — believe it or not there are some deep roots of cycling on this team — and back to training and then over to shopping. So, this week, in leiu of your usual race report (see Iowa and Los Angeles for that) we decided to look to our athletes to help determine how to plan for the Cyclocross Racing Cyclist in your life (or in some cases for yourself) when you are shopping this holiday season. We asked each of the riders what were some of their favorite Rapha products that they use throughout the cyclocross season aside from their Rapha-FOCUS team kit.

CHRIS JONES [Rapha Winter Hat & Hooded Top]

The Rapha Winter Hat
This had fits well under a helmet, the short brim works great in inclement weather, and it stows well if the weather turns warm. “The Winter Hat. Best winter cap ever. I keep one in every United Health Care team car for those ‘damn this weather sucks’ moments.”

Hooded Top
Jones claims that he can’t go anywhere with out it and he’s right. From airports in Iowa, Kentucky, Los Angeles and even Redmond, Oregon he can be spotted sporting the grey version. It’s Merino base and windproof front makes it a great piece to either layer underneath a heavier jacket or wear on its own. The Hooded Top also has the distinct benefit of allowing for repeated use when traveling without holding odor associated with its synthetic counterparts.

JULIE KRASNIAK [Winter Collar & Women’s Rain Jacket]

Winter Collar
Even when the weather could be considered just slightly cool Julie can be seen with a Winter Collar. In fact, thinking back, it has been more rare to see her warming up without one. Maybe it is the Euro-Pro in her? An old wives tale from France? Or possibly just a practicality that we fail to posses here in the states. (Of course she can also be seen on the product page for the Winter Collar, so maybe that has something to do with it?)

Women’s Rain Jacket
On another note- rumor has it that the Women’s Rain Jacket in the Navy Color will soon be in stock. That way you too can brave the elements or come and stand next to the Rapha-FOCUS team van and have your picture taken.

ZACH MCDONALD [Rapha Jeans & Rapha Backpack]

Rapha Jeans it is hard not to look at Zach’s choices and not think of him as a college student. However, he did come straight to the USGP from a Law final and leave directly after the races on Sunday to head back to Washington University to take an Accounting exam. But, the Rapha Jeans and the Rapha Backpack do make for fantastic traveling partners as well as go great on campus.

JEREMY POWERS [Long Sleeve Jersey]

Jeremy likes his things that are hard to get, like USGP wins, or top ten’s at World Cup races. “Limited Edition” so to speak. Which is why you may see him in Behind the Barriers sporting a cream colored Long Sleeve Jersey which has been out of stock for over a year now. That, however, does not stop the requests from coming in. So, if you want to be like Jeremy Powers (and after those commanding wins this weekend – don’t we all?) you are going to have to do it in a similar fashion with either the Red, Blue or Grey colored Jersey.

So, there you have it. What these guys and gal like to wear on and off the bike by the way of Rapha. A huge congratulations should also be offered up at the same time. With these guys not only looking great but being great representatives for the sport there is not much more we could ask for by the way of a sponsor. But to have all four of them come together and put up some of the best results in the country all in one weekend deserves a pat on the back.