Why Rapha and Palace created Tour de France Crocs for real riders

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The EF Education-EasyPost team has a look that many others envy, at the Tour de France. (Photo: Rapha)
The EF Education-EasyPost team has a look that many others envy, at the Tour de France. (Photo: Rapha)
  • To be distinctive in the Tour de France peloton, you require very bold riding kit.
  • Rapha is one of the world’s most esteemed cycling fashion brands. And its latest collaboration has brightened-up the Tour de France.
  • But the Rapha limited-edition switch-out kit, also serves an awareness function. Relating to the women’s Tour de France.

In cycling apparel, function and fashion are equals.

Textile mills might develop advanced fabrics, capable of wicking moisture, taming weather and keeping riders at their optimal comfort temperature - but looks matter.

Riders are shy to admit it, but appearance is a thing in cycling. Despite all its vanguard athleticism and the demand for lightweight garments, to enhance training or racing miles, style matters.

Tour de France
Typically Rapha, the collection has everything you could possibly need, even off the bike. As a spectator. (Photo: Rapha/Benedict Brink)

Rapha does it again

In the world of cycling apparel, no brand is more fashionable than Rapha. The London brand has built an enviable reputation with targeted marketing, exclusive club events and evolving product.

To many riders, Rapha gear is somewhere between elitist and excellent taste. But even Rapha occasionally requires assistance to enhance its standing in the unpredictable world of dynamic fashion.

Tour de France
The Palace design influence extends to EF Education-EasyPost team bikes. This is the Cannondale SuperSix that won stage ten. (Photo: @manualforspeed)

Why bright kit matters for a pro team

During the Tour de France, pro teams rely on bold designs to garner attention and optimize the broadcast exposure value, for their sponsors.

To be noticeable, you need to be different.

Rapha is an apparel partner to the EF Education-EasyPost team, which has one of the Tour de France’s strongest climbers, Magnus Cort Nielsen, on its roster. 

Tour de France
Fans of Rapha, Palace or the EF Education-EasyPost team, can purchase a range of leisurewear items, with the ‘switch-out’ look. (Photo: Rapha/Benedict Brink)

The best kit at this year's Tour?

EF Education-EasyPost has been achieving great results on the Tour de France, including a fantastic stage ten win for Cort Nielsen. But it helps having the peloton’s coolest riding kit, too, when hoping to harvest maximum marketing exposure.

Tour de France followers and even non-cycling fans of the event will no doubt have noticed the EF Education-EasyPost team kit. It results from a collaboration between Rapha and skateboarding fashion brand Palace, known for its limited-edition fashion collaborations with the likes of Adidas, Reebok, Polo Ralph Lauren and Arc’teryx.

Tour de France
Magnus Cort Nielsen is a favourite for the Tour de France’s polka dot climber’s jersey. And he loves the outrageous Rapha/Palace kit. (Photo: EF Education-EasyPost)

The femmes aspect 

The EF Education-EasyPost team kit looks outrageous and wonderfully distinctive within the peloton. It also serves as an awareness campaign for the event that starts on 24 July, as the Tour de France finishes.

For the first time in more than three decades, there will be a women’s Tour de France. Covering 1029km, routing from the Eiffel Tower to La Planche des Belles Filles.

Tour de France
This new Rapha-Palace collaboration is all about redirecting the conversation, to the women’s Tour de France. (Photo: Rapha/Benedict Brink)

Celebrating the twin Tour de France 

Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of the EF Education-EasyPost team, says the Rapha kit celebrates women in the sport.

"It’s wild, it’s bold, and it’s an exciting time for the cycling world and long overdue. It’s an honour for our team to race in this kit in advance of the women’s Tour de France. Both races are incredible, and we’ll fight to keep this kit and its celebratory message at the front of the race this July," says Vaughter.

Tour de France
Yes. Of course you need EF Education-EasyPost team Crocs, with Rapha and Palace branding. (Photo: Rapha/Benedict Brink)

You need Crocs off the bike

If the iconic Palace dragon and Rapha’s proven rider design take your fancy, the switch-out kit range will become available. In limited numbers.

The range will detail performance jerseys, riding gear, and casual wear such as technical cargo skirts, shirts, pants, pullovers and shorts.

But nothing is quite as magnificent for leisure walking after that 100km weekend training ride, like the Rapha-Palace limited edition Crocs. 

The EF Education-EasyPost team mechanic is South African, but we are yet to confirm if he is using these limited edition Crocs…

 

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