“A lot has happened in the area of cycling clothing the last few years – both in terms of aerodynamics, comfort and insulation. It’s exciting to work with Sportful as so much research and development in collaboration with the riders goes into every single product”, says Michael Rogers and continues.
“With my background as a avid time trialist, I’ve always put much focus on aerodynamics – also in the road races. So during the Giro, I tested Sportful’s new Road Suit on many of the stages including stage 11 to Savona, where I managed to take the win. I’m impressed by the combination of comfort and aerodynamic performance that it gave me. It really benefits the kind of rider, who’s often exposed to wind riding at high speed in the front of the peloton or in the breakaways, explains Rogers after having raced in the new garments during the Giro.
365 days of weather in one stage
The Giro features extraordinarily tough weather. The conditions are treacherous especially in the Alps even though the race is being held in May. Hot and sunny valleys, decreasing temperatures during the climb with rain and snow on top followed by bitter cold descents make it difficult to wear the optimum clothing at all time – a challenge that Sportful has spent many resources on trying to overcome.
Andrea Peron is the Race Performance Director at Sportful. As a former pro with a great understanding of the needs of the riders, he’s the right man to design and improve the cycling clothes both for WorldTour riders and recreational athletes.
“If you take stage 16 to Val Martello, the riders actually experienced 365 days of weather conditions in a single stage. So they needed light clothing in the valleys and on the climbs but a lot of insulation and warmth coming down again, where the chill factor from descending exposed them to blistering cold conditions, says Andrea Peron, who has been one of the leading figures in creating the new Fiandre rain jacket and Ultra Light jersey, that together satisfy the two opposing categories of extreme weather.
“We have created a collection of elite clothing that serves all weather and race situations with as few different items as possible. As a cyclist you can’t take your entire wardrobe with you on your ride and the pros can’t change all the time during a race. So each item has to have a wide range of usability. In a perfect world, we could design one single outfit that could provide all the qualities that a rider need. But that’s simply not possible, explains Andrea Peron, who acts as the direct link between the riders of Tinkoff-Saxo and the Dolomite-based manufacturer.
Few items – big diversity
With feedback from our riders, Sportful has created the groundbreaking garments. Among them the mentioned Fiandre – meaning Flanders – rain jacket that gives the riders the insulation of a soft-shell, keeps the rider dry and stays as aerodynamic as possible. On many of the stages with changing weather conditions, our race staff wondered why they didn’t experience the usual heavy traffic of riders coming to the team cars to deliver their jackets as soon as they had finished the descent.
“Our new Fiandre rain jacket is a huge step forward in comparison to the traditional rain jackets. Not only has Sportful developed a material that keeps you dry and warm throughout the stage, they intelligently reduced the jackets volume, significantly decreasing your aerodynamic drag”, concludes Michael Rogers.
To find out more about our collaboration with Sportful – click here.