Rapha says that the limited edition collection “honours the era when professional cycling first looked to the future, embraced new technology, and transformed itself beyond all recognition.”
The range consists of three designs, the Coureur, Sonic and Futuro, with Rapha aiming to remind you of particular times in cycling when bikes were heavier, and racers didn't know what functional threshold power was. It was an innocent time (in terms of tech anyway) and many look back on those days as a heyday for panache.
“Inspired by the audacious riding style of the young upstart Claudio Chiapucci, the Coureur Jersey features design elements honouring the effervescent Italian’s infamous attack during the opening stage of the 1990 Tour. Complete with embroidered details, luxurious merino wool, and three button-secured pockets, the jersey honours a rider whose raw emotion flew in the face of a peloton preoccupied with technological progress.”
This jersey features a very classic look with its buttoned rear pockets and short front zip. You can complete your retro look with the matching cotton cap.
“As well as paying visits to futuristic attractions like Futuroscope, the Tour in the early 90s was defined by new technology, and an influx of new technological sponsors. The Sonic collection harks back to this era of innovation when traditional kit designs were completely overhauled with the advent of sublimation printing. Comprising a special edition jersey, bib shorts, socks and headband, the collection honours a period of racing when electric colours, and electrifying performances, were de rigueur.”
Obviously, no throwback would be complete without some garish colour combinations and the ubiquitous headband. A frosted tips haircut is optional.
“The 1990 peloton looked right at home framed by Futuroscope – a science-fiction theme park designed to showcase the best of modern technology. Hosting not only that year’s prologue, but a double-header Grand Départ featuring a 138-kilometre morning race and a 45-kilometre team time trial in the afternoon, pro cyclist Frans Maassen described it as “like something from space.” The Futuro collection takes inspiration from these futuristic surroundings with special edition design elements and a striking reflective treatment.”
A double-header opening day, but does this kit remind you of the start of a sci-fi age? Surely the soundtrack to this kit has to come from the likes of Blur or Oasis, or is that starting another argument?
I wasn’t around in the ‘80s and football was my big love in the '90s, so I’ll throw this over to you, our highly-fashionable readers. How do Rapha’s designs do in paying homage to the best jersey designs from years gone by? Would they make the grade in our Full Kit Ranker competition from earlier this year, or even challenge the La Vie Claire jersey that you voted the best of all time? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments as always; but in the meantime, if you're a Rapha Cycling Club member then the kit is available to you now, and the general sale begins on Friday 13th November.