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Like Ducks? You’ll Love Rapha’s Craziest Cycling Kit to Date

Rapha teamed up with the skate-streetwear brand Palace to create one of the most unique kits to come out of pro cycling.

a man riding a bike wearing a colorful outfit

Rapha has a history of making cyclists stand out at big races. If you plan on tuning in to the 2020 Giro d'Italia, running now through October 25 after a coronavirus-induced postponement, you'll see how. The brand's most distinctive kit to date, the result of a collaboration with the London-based skateboard brand Palace, will be on full display at every switchback and straightaway where an EF Pro Cycling rider pedals.

You'd expect Rapha to make heavy use of its trademark electric pink, which has become part of the brand's identity, for the Giro. After all, the Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian daily newspaper that founded the race back in 1909, is printed on pink paper and the race leader earns the honor of wearing the maglia rosa, a pink jersey.

a colorful race jersey
a cycling cap
a yellow and black bag
a white rain jacket
a white helmet
a black sock with yellow toe and heel

Even so, the Rapha-Palace collaboration abandons any such adherence to tradition. The collection, which includes a full race kit, helmet, Gore-Tex rain jacket and a musette plus an off-bike line consisting of sweatshirts, tees and a button-down, is perhaps best described, like the year 2020, as disruptive. The patterns are trippy and mind-bending; one of the recurring themes is Palace's cartoon duck. It evokes recent streetwear themes more so than anything coming from bike culture (though if you look closely, you will find a few subtle dashes of pink).

The look extends past apparel. EF Pro Cycling riders are also rocking similarly styled POC helmets and Cannondale bikes.

The race collection isn't just for the pros, either. Rapha produced "extremely limited" quantities of each item, which will be on sale on its website on October 9. Priority access will go to RCC members who joined on or before Sunday, October 4.

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