In a year of lockdown and social distancing, riding together – online, on the road, or otherwise – has never been more important. On September 6, 2020, the Rapha’s Women’s 100 returns with a rallying cry to female cyclists around the world: Rapha riders might be riding solo, but they’re never alone.
Now in its eighth year, the Women’s 100 challenges female riders around the world to come together to ride 100 kilometers. Usually, Rapha undertakes this challenge in groups, sharing the road and the burden as the kilometers tick over en route to our end goal of a completing a 100-mile century.
This year has not been normal. While some of us are able to ride outside in groups once again, many of us, by choice or necessity, are still riding solo. But all is not lost. To conjure the collective spirit of the Women’s 100, Rapha has enlisted ultra-endurance cyclist, writer and all-round riding inspiration Emily Chappell to introduce a simple concept she uses to keep herself riding, no matter what. The ‘Invisible Peloton’ is the group of friends, family, or fellow cyclists, past and present, real and fictitious, that Rapha reached out to in order to help get them through the hardest miles on the bike.
“The Invisible Peloton was born of that desperation you feel when you reach the bottom of the tank, realize you still have much further to go, and start frantically grasping at anything that might possibly keep you going, just a bit longer. You don’t have any strength left of your own, so you start borrowing other people’s,” said Emily Chappell.
Emily features as a protagonist and an ambassador of the Women’s 100 campaign alongside four other wildly inspiring women who stand tall in support of diversity and inclusion within cycling communities and beyond. Kadeena Cox is a British athlete, Paralympic medalist and para-cycling track World Champion. Lyndsey Fraine is a producer suffering from endometriosis who finds relief in cycling and is devoted to building awareness around the disease. Jools Walker is an author, presenter and blogger leading the revolution to make cycling socially inclusive. Shuhena Islam is a lawyer and cycling advocate continuously encouraging Muslim women and people of color to get on a bike.
To further the feeling of unity and achievement, Rapha partnered with Strava enabling riders to measure kilometers ridden and celebrate reaching their goal of 100 kilometers by connecting with thousands of women participating in the official Rapha Women’s 100 Strava challenge.
Rapha will be equipping all riders taking part with route recommendations available on rapha.cc and via the British brand’s regional teams and Clubhouses.
In the run up to the event on September 6th, Rapha will be supporting those preparing for it with training rides on Zwift and virtual workshops. Additionally, guided group rides will be hosted where it is physically possible, depending on the pandemic restrictions.
WOMEN’S 100 COLLECTION
Designed to symbolize the strong sense of community which defines the Women’s 100, Rapha’s latest limited edition kit incorporates several elements that come together as one. From the bold, exploded ‘W’ logo to the gradient color fill comprised of repeated ‘100’ motifs, it celebrates an event that has become far more than the sum of its participants.
WOMEN’S 100 PRO TEAM AERO JERSEY
For those who wish to tackle the challenge at a faster pace, this limited edition Aero Jersey incorporates a raft of technical features to help you go the distance as quickly as possible.
The jersey is made with a trio of textured fabrics, cut into carefully positioned panels that combine to minimize drag and maximize speed. Leading edges feature smooth fabrics to aid airflow away from the rider’s frontal area, while the back panel uses a sleek fabric with a directional nap – smooth one way, rough the other – to reduce turbulence. The third fabric with seashell-shaped indentations, features across the shoulders with a bonded seam strategically placed to further aid airflow. The sleeves are cut long, extending to just above the elbow. Bonded tape extends down the back panel to support the three pockets, which are lined with mesh to prevent overheating. The collar stays low to avoid irritation around the neck while the full-length zip features an easy-glide puller and an integrated placket to protect your bibs. The hem incorporates a sturdy, elasticated gripper for stability at speed.
WOMEN’S 100 CORE JERSEY
Featuring a design inspired by the thousands of people who join, this limited edition Core Jersey is part of a capsule collection that celebrates women’s cycling.
The Core Jersey is soft against the skin and breathable for consistent comfort in warm weather. Close without being restrictive, the jersey features raglan sleeves for complete freedom of movement in on-bike positions. Three rear pockets keep your ride essentials close at hand, while a discreet zipped pocket provides a safe place for smaller valuables. A silicone gripper around the rear hem keeps the jersey in place. The collar and cuffs are finished with a ribbed trim for a subtle contrast complete with signature Rapha detailing across the armband. For immediate airflow, the high-grip zip puller makes unfastening the jersey easy when on the move. Wherever you ride the Women’s 100, show your support for those riding alongside you in this limited edition jersey.
WOMEN’S 100 CORE BIB SHORTS
The Core Bib Shorts are part of a collection designed specifically for the event and are built for all-day comfort in a range of conditions.
Durable and dependable on any ride, the Core Bib Shorts are made with a dense-knit fabric for a close, comfortable fit, with carefully positioned flatlock seams throughout to avoid chafing. The uppers are made with a high-stretch material machined precisely with a rear cut- out to accommodate riders of any height. The women’s specific chamois pad is built for all-day comfort, incorporates dual-density foam for optimal support and comes in a range of widths depending on your size. Wide silicone leg grippers keep the shorts in place. Wherever you plan on attending the Women’s 100, show your support for those riding alongside you with this limited edition bib short.
WOMEN’S 100 SOCKS
Based on Rapha’s Pro Team Socks, they are made with the same mix of nylon and elastane for comfort against the skin. An elasticated arch brace and high-stretch cuff help to keep the socks in place even during tougher efforts while the super light top section aids airflow. The reinforced toe and heel boxes provide durability so you can continue your support for women’s cycling ride after ride.
WOMEN’S 100 CAP
Constructed with a fabric that is quick-drying and highly breathable, the cap is made for comfort in a wide range of weather conditions sitting neatly under your helmet. The elasticated tape makes for a secure fit and has an antibacterial treatment to keep it fresh during sustained use. Easily stowed in a jersey pocket, the cap is the ideal accessory for showing your support before, during and after the Women’s 100.
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