Rapha Reveals EF Education First Kit
The new visual identity of the EF Education First pro cycling team, designed to disrupt the appearance of the professional peloton, will launch at Tour Down Under and at sequenced events online and around the world on the 12th of January (in Australia). The kit marks Rapha’s return to the men’s WorldTour after a two-year hiatus and will follow a one-off Blackout kit worn by team members at the Australia and New Zealand Nationals on the 6th of January.
When Rapha first entered professional racing in the early 2000s, its pared down designs challenged the discordant kit of the time. Most WorldTour team kits now follow a similar level of good taste. So, when designing a new kit to return to the men’s WorldTour, the aim was to continue this progressive approach while building on the strong design heritage of both EF and the team’s history of bold kit.
In the two years following their success in men’s pro cycling, Rapha has also continued to innovate within their Pro Team range, working with athletes including women’s WorldTour team CANYON//SRAM, aerodynamicists and garment technology experts to keep pushing the boundaries in competitive cycling clothing. This work has culminated in the most technically advanced and visually striking kit in the peloton, to be worn by EF Education First riders in the coming season.
The distinctive bright pink and blue pattern of the kit is primarily functional, designed to be immediately recognisable by fans, team support staff and riders during the race. Pink is a well-known signifier of both EF and Rapha, is unique in the current pro peloton, and will ensure riders stay visible in the chaos of racing, whatever the format.
The kit is also representative of Rapha’s aim to make cycling more exciting for fans by disrupting the professional sport and bringing a new approach to team sponsorship. Rapha’s modern, fresh design speaks to EF Education First’s new approach to cycling and content, which aims to draw a new audience through storytelling and the alternative races that some of the team will ride in 2019.
The design was inspired by the free spirit of the team and its riders, and their individual characters and styles. It is complemented by an extensive range of fan and off-bike clothing, created to inspire renewed camaraderie between supporters and the team.
Speaking from London, Simon Mottram said: “We love this sport but know it has to change. With our partnership with EF and this new kit design we hope to bring more excitement to racing and encourage more fans to follow the greatest sport in the world.”
Speaking from Boston, EF Education First CEO, North America, Edwards Hult said:
“We love the new 2019 team kit Rapha designed. It’s bold and it will stand out in the peloton and beyond – especially as the EF Education First team embarks on a unique racing season. At EF, we believe that good things happen when people step outside their comfort zones and try something new. Our athletes do it all the time, and it’s great to have a kit that celebrates them and that innovative spirit.”
We got the team’s unedited reactions as they saw the kit for the first time at training camp in December:
Lawson Craddock: “I love it. That’s something that’s never been seen in the peloton before. My wife is going to love this – we’re going to be seen from outer space. It’s complicated but it’s very simple too. It’s the attention to detail – it’s very carefully thought out from top to bottom.”
Taylor Phinney: “Fo’ sho’ dude, nobody looks this cool. I’ve always wanted to be part of a team where I felt good in kit.”
Nate Brown: “I think this will be the best looking kit out there. We’re gonna look slick. The way it blends in together is perfect, you guys did an excellent job. We’ll stand out.”
See more here at the Rapha website: www.rapha.cc/category/ef
A new partnership to change the sport of cycling
In October, EF and Rapha announced a groundbreaking media and kit partnership to revolutionise the way professional cycling is presented, with the aim of drawing a new audience for the sport. Rapha will bring their creative credentials to EF Pro Cycling, and together they will focus on profiling inspirational and charismatic riders and showcasing their stories. Together, Rapha and EF will celebrate the team’s characters and heroes, and will explore not only the traditional heart of cycling in the Grand Tours and Classics but also bring new formats and disciplines into focus. A number of the team’s racers will ride a mixed calendar of events in the 2019 season, including the WorldTour schedule and also criteriums, ultra-endurance races and renowned mixed-terrain events. It is Rapha and EF’s aim that together, these new ways of presenting the sport will draw a new and wider audience, resulting in its growth and increased global visibility.
About EF Education First
EF Education First is an international education company that focuses on language, academics and cultural experience. Founded in 1965, EF has more than 580 offices and schools in over 50 countries. Moved by the powerful way cycling unites people of diverse backgrounds in a peaceful, fun, and friendly way to achieve extraordinary athletic feats, EF entered professional cycling in 2018 to help spread its mission of “opening the world through education.”
Rapha was established in 2004 to address a need for stylish, high performance cycling clothing. It now provides products for every cyclist and continues to push the boundaries of innovation in cyclewear. Alongside this, Rapha has cultivated a global community of passionate riders who come together as members of the Rapha Cycling Club (RCC), the largest club of its kind in the world. Rapha’s retail model and unique brand values come to life in its many rides and events and global network of Clubhouses that combine retail, cafés and cycling culture all under the same roof.