The EF Education pro team will take on Italy’s Grand Tour with a switch out team kit that is bound to turn heads; collection to also include matching casual wear, full quiver of Cannondale race bikes, helmets and eyewear from POC.
The EF’s Rapha x Palace kits were unveiled on Rapha’s Instagram stories, and the videos are a delight to watch. “Oh my god,” comes the voice of one rider, followed a few seconds later by a “What the fuck.” Laughter fills the room. “That’s unreal,” another rider says, pulling the jersey out of the box. It’s a flourish of trippy, mismatched prints and big logos—Palace’s illuminati-like triangle insignia in the top-right corner, its duck logo beckoning from the corner, his face promising nothing but good times and chill vibes, the team’s traditional EF beneath in blue.
At the end of the video, the time-trial helmets are revealed. They’re a comical, Halloween-mask version of the duck logo’s face. “We come in the peloton like quack quack quack,” one rider says. Everything clashes. It’s glorious.
EF said of the design on Instagram: “Cycling is a sport renowned for its unrivalled beauty, but often blighted by a blind adherence to tradition. From questioning the chaotic calendar to highlighting new heroes within the bunch, it is our aim to disrupt the status quo in the sport we love.” While it’s true that the kits will certainly be unique, the idea that they are somehow earth-shatteringly innovative or unprecedented falls a little flat.
Instead of mirroring the pink of the race’s maglia rosa, the switch out kit features a fearless design that might not be steeped in cycling history but will now form a part of it. Rapha and its designs regularly celebrate the sport and cycling history whilst Palace is disruptive, witty and always surprising; authentically straddling the worlds of high fashion, streetwear and core skate.
The result of the collaboration is a team kit quite unlike any other seen in the peloton so far. Embracing the breakaway attitude, Swedish protection pioneers POC will enhance the switch out look with bespoke helmets and eyewear, including a unique edition of the groundbreaking Tempor helmet.
Rapha and Palace have created something altogether different that is sure to stand out in the peloton. The team kit will include the Pro Team Aero Jersey and Pro Team Bib Shorts II as well as special edition socks, caps and musettes. All of these items will be available in very limited numbers, along with men’s and women’s versions of the ever-popular Pro Team Training Jersey, and women’s version of the Pro Team Bib Shorts and Pro Team Aero Jersey.
Off the bike, there is a range of team edition casual wear from Palace, which will be worn by the team at the Giro and available online alongside the limited edition team kit. The off-bike collection includes T-shirt, Long Sleeve T-shirt, Cap, Hoodie, Oxford Shirt and Palace GORE-TEX Jacket.
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