Team Sky announced its new partnership with Castelli clothing at the Rouleur Classic event in London last evening, marking the end of its four-year contract with the British apparel brand – Rapha.
The deal is expected to carry on for a minimum of three years, after Sky parted with British brand Rapha at the end of the 2016 season.
The new kit maintains Sky’s now trademark black and blue color way, along with data driven graphics representing some of Team Sky’s victories over the past seven seasons. The classic Breton striped shirt served as inspiration for the kit, whilst each line depicts WorldTour (a blue line) and non-WorldTour (a white line) victories. The length of each line depicts the duration of the race victories, from one-day races through to full-width lines representing three-week Grand Tour victories.
The data lines showcased below the chest on the jersey showcase the wins of the 2017 Team Sky squad, with the exception of the lower full-width line paying homage to Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France win in 2012. The data lines of other Team Sky victories will be shown on the socks, bibshorts, mitts and caps of the team kit.
Team Sky team principal, Dave Brailsford, who was instrumental in the data driven design explained the idea behind the kit, “we wanted to find a way of celebrating the success we have had as a team, but also to make sure we keep our mind firmly on the future. As a team, we still have an enormous amount of goals we want to achieve.”
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The team will be the only WorldTour outfit wearing Castelli clothing and will race and train in the brand’s kit from January 2017.
Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “We’re really excited to be able to announce this partnership between Team Sky and Castelli.”
“Castelli will be more than a kit supplier, they will be an innovation partner. Castelli has a long history of breaking new ground when it comes to kit and design. We will continue to push hard to make sure our riders have the best clothing and equipment, and we’re already excited about some of the ideas Castelli are working on with us.”
Castelli will supply Team Sky’s race kit, which will feature a brand new design for the 2017 season. The jersey design contains a mix of British and Italian influences, and the graphic celebrates every victory from Team Sky’s first seven seasons.
The classic Breton shirt served as the inspiration but has been reimagined in a data pattern with each stripe on the jersey, short, mitts, socks and cap representing a specific Team Sky victory. The longest lines are the four Tour de France victories, with Chris Froome’s 2016 victory immediately below the Sky logo on the chest.
Brailsford added: “We spent a lot of time thinking about our new kit and what we wanted it to represent visually. We wanted to find a way of celebrating the success we have had as a team, but also to make sure we keep our mind firmly on the future. As a team we still have an enormous amount of goals we want to achieve and, through the design of our new kit, those will always be at the forefront of our thinking.
“We’ve maintained the design elements which our kits have become well known for, such as the blue line, but produced something ambitious and unique to Team Sky.
“We’re delighted with the results and we hope our fans will love it as much as the riders do.”
Andrea Peron, Castelli’s race performance director, said that the performance goals of Team Sky are a “natural fit” for Castelli.
He said: “Castelli and Team Sky share the same drive for results-driven innovation in everything we do. Team Sky has a structure and the resources to help us continuously give our athletes a performance advantage.
“Whether it’s aerodynamics, foul weather protection or solutions that let the riders train more comfortably, we’re looking at every opportunity for an advantage.”
Steve Smith, Castelli’s brand manager, said: “Team Sky’s relentless pursuit of results means that they expect the maximum from their technical partners. We’re looking forward to being pushed.
“But the Team Sky internal performance group will be an invaluable resource to help us make sure that every rider has an advantage every time he’s on the bike.”
The short dashes on the jersey represent one day race and stage victories, while the medium length lines represent multi day stage races, with the number of stages determining the length of the line.
WorldTour races are blue lines, while non WorldTour races are white. The front of the jersey is made up of victories by 2017 team members with the exception of Sir Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 Tour win which has a special place in Team Sky history.
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