This is an article I wrote on a collaboration between Rapha x Palace x Cannondale x Poc at the Giro d'Italia 2020. This articles delves into the unique design and the impact this collaboration has on the world of cycling. It also takes a look at whiteness in cycling and the ways this collection fights that stereotype. Enjoy!
The Giro d'Italia or Tour of Italy is an annual multi-stage bicycle race that primarily takes place in Italy, while also starting in, or passing through, other countries. For this years Giro, WorldTour team, EF Pro Cycling didn't want their normal pink jerseys to be confused with the Magalia Rosa - the pink jersey worn by the overall leader of the general classification. Insert Palace Skateboards, for a very unique collaboration between Rapha, Palace, POC, and Cannondale.
For better or for worse, cycling is a sport rich in tradition. Rapha is on a mission to disrupt that status quo, and the new collaboration with Palace is sure to do just that.
On the bodies of the riders, the kit is already setting the internet on fire, which means of course that it's working. The idea was to collaborate with "a company that is alien to cycling’s aesthetic, oblivious to its origins, and untrained in its traditions."
Unveiled at the team presentation, the new kit features the Pro Team Aero Jersey and Pro Team Bib Shorts II, as well as special edition socks, caps water bottles, and musettes. There will also be a Pro Team Training Jersey, and a women's version of the Pro Team Bib Shorts and Jersey. Off the bike, there's also a collection of casual wear which includes a short and long sleeve t-shirt, cap, hoodie, oxford shirt, and a Palace GORE-TEX Jacket - all of which will be available to the public in extremely limited quantities. Details on pricing and availability are still unknown.
The National Champion of Ecuador jersey worn by Jonathan Caicedo, still features the colors of the Ecuadorian flag but takes cues from the streetwear brand.
This years edition of the Giro features a variety of stages, and three time trials. The riders will be seen upon each of Cannondale's elite race bikes: the Supersix Evo, the SystemSix, and the SuperSlice TT bike. The frames have been completed with bright logos and unique graphics that integrate the Rapha x Palace collab.
The Swedish protection specialists POC will enhance the new look with special edition helmets and eyewear. The team's time trial helmets which were worn on Stage 1 of the Giro are no different in style and uniqueness. These specific helmets will also feature on the stage 14 time trial and the final stage 21 time trial in Milan.
Team boss Jonathan Vaughters tweeted an image of the team’s POC Tempor TT helmets for the race, which are adorned with a cartoon duck on the top.
link here: https://twitter.com/Vaughters/status/1311794036114690048
Everything from the jerseys worn by the riders to the team bus have been redesigned for the Italian Grand Tour. Drawing influence from skate culture and video games with a flamboyant color palette. This collaboration is sure to raise eyebrows and draw mixed opinions from the Peleton and far beyond. But, in a world fraught with turmoil and unpredictability, the stern world of cycling, a sport deeply rooted in history, whiteness, and tradition, could take a few notes from this collaboration to try and expand their reach to more riders and show that the sport of cycling is for everyone.
Checkout these links on whiteness in cycling.
https://www.cyclingweekly.com/cycling-weekly/why-is-cycling-so-white-and-how-can-the-sport-increase-diversity-459036
https://theconversation.com/the-unbearable-whiteness-of-cycling-76256
There are plenty of great articles on whiteness in cycling that are not linked here. I encourage anyone who reads this article to do more research for themselves and take a look in the mirror and ask yourself how you are contributing to whiteness in cycling and what you can do about it. Do the research but also remember that to educate yourself is a privilege.
All team kit photos c. S J Hockett / @dragcoefficient
Published by Xander Cuizon Tice
10.4.2020
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