Riders on some of this year's biggest UK sportives - including the Dragon Ride, Tour de Yorkshire Ride and L'Etape UK - can look forward to exclusive new event jerseys from Rapha, following the brand's partnership with event organisers Human Race.
The two companies have just unveiled the first fruits of their colaboration, an eye-catching jersey for this May's Tour de Yorkshire Ride:
Taking place in Leeds on 5th May, the Tour de Yorkshire Ride allows cycling fans to ride the same roads as the stars of world cycling in the Tour de Yorkshire stage race. It's one of several high-profile UK sportives managed by Human Race, alongside the ever-popular Dragon Ride and L'Etape UK, the UK's official sportive of the Tour de France.
The move isn't entirely unexpected: in recent years Rapha have produced the official jerseys for L'Etape du Tour, the flagship event in the ASO's sportive calendar. It's also a taste of what we might expect from Rapha's new custom service. Launching this year, Rapha Custom will allow cycling clubs and event organisers to create their own bespoke kit designs, which will then be produced by Rapha.
In a statement announcing the partnership with Rapha, Human Race said:
"Rapha was founded by Simon Mottram in London in 2004, and their vision is to make cycling the most popular sport in the world. This perfectly matches up with Human Race who are owned by ASO, organisers of the Tour de France, the biggest cycling race in the world. Human Race puts on some of the UK's most popular sportives, including the legendary Vitus Dragon Ride, Tour de Yorkshire Ride and L'Etape UK by the Tour de France.
"Riders at each of the Human Race sportives can look forward to exclusive event-specific Rapha jerseys, Rapha pop-ups, memorable activations on each of the courses and special support for Rapha Cycling Club members. Before the events, Rapha will share training tips from the highest echelons of the pro peloton and host masterclasses with experts in London and Manchester to help riders prepare their minds, bodies and bikes for the challenges to come."
Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race and a keen cyclist himself, said: "We are excited to be working with Rapha. Like us they love cycling and are driven by a mission to take cycling in the UK and around the world to the next level."
Francois Convercey, Global Marketing Director at Rapha, said: "We're thrilled to partner with Human Race and their flagship events in the UK. We have built a long-lasting relationship with ASO over the past years at the L'Etape du Tour in France, and are eager to develop a similarly fruitful partnership in the UK, the home of Rapha.
"This is the first time Rapha will be involved with mass-participation sportives in the UK and our goal is to elevate the rider experience - to inspire and empower every cyclist to realise their goals, no matter how ambitious or humble."
Entries for the Tour de Yorkshire Ride on 5th May are open now, with a choice of three distances ranging from 50km - 123km. For more details and to enter, visit letour.yorkshire.com/tour-de-yorkshire-ride/.