We've found this Team Ineos team-issue Castelli Sanremo 4.0 Speed Suit for sale on eBay, which was once destined for none other than 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, as his name and the Welsh flag printed on it testify.
Thomas is the current British time trial champion, and so wears a white skinsuit with red and blue bands for individual time trials. But for road stages, when he's feeling particularly fast – or wants to be – he'll reach for his Castelli Sanremo 4.0 Speed Suit, like the one pictured here. He's a size medium, it would seem, in case you were wondering.
Of course, Team Ineos are about to don changed colours for this year's Tour de France, when they become the Ineos Grenadiers to promote their main sponsor's new 4x4 vehicle, but this item has to be a consideration for any serious Team Ineos and/or Geraint Thomas fans out there.
Although plenty of riders had experimented with using skinsuits for an aero advantage during road stages in the past, Castelli are widely credited as the 'inventors' of the idea of a more usable skinsuit for the road, with rear pockets just like a standard jersey, and a full front zip with a jersey-like hem at the bottom to help make bathroom breaks that much easier, while the rest of the 'top' was joined to the shorts section like a regular skinsuit.
The then Castelli-supplied Garmin-Cervélo team put that first iteration of the Speed Suit to good use on the back – and legs – of Belgian Johan Vansummeren, who used the new, slippery road-(and cobble-)going skinsuit to win the 2011 Paris-Roubaix.
Since then, other clothing suppliers have sat down at their sewing machines to come up with something similar, and all-in-one garments are becoming increasingly popular within the pro peloton, particularly with sprinters looking for that extra aero advantage, while still having somewhere to stash their sandwiches.
Thomas remains a popular figure, both with fans and within the peloton. From his 'humble' beginnings as a two-time Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion on the track, Thomas blossomed into an accomplished roadman, taking victories that include the 2014 Commonwealth Games road race, the overall titles at both the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Volta ao Algarve, and the overall 2016 Paris-Nice title, while proving his worth as one of Chris Froome's right-hand men in the mountains for Team Sky at the Tour de France.
Despite him winning the Critérium du Dauphiné in June 2018, it was nevertheless somewhat of a surprise to watch Thomas emerge from Froome's shadow at that July's Tour de France, proving himself to be the team's strongest rider in the mountains that year, and subsequently sewing up the yellow jersey in Paris, finishing 1:51 ahead of Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin and 2:24 in front of third-placed Froome.
Froome is, of course, yet to win another Tour since 2017, but his recently announced move to Israel Start-Up Nation will take him away from Team Ineos after more than 10 years under manager Dave Brailsford in search of joining the exclusive five-time winner's club – which he could even join this year while still with Ineos.
Bernal, though, is likely to start this year's rescheduled Tour in Nice on August 29 as the favourite, while Thomas' consistency in the last two years suggests that he'll be waiting in the wings. Whatever happens, you can be certain that Thomas, Bernal and Froome – providing he's selected – will each be looking to their Castelli Speed Suit for an advantage over their rivals on certain stages, albeit in the rumoured dark-blue colours of their rechristened Ineos Grenadiers squad.
The US-based seller is asking $399.99 (£305) for the speed suit, and reminds potential buyers that this size medium intended for normally svelte professional athletes may not correspond with the kind of medium they might be expecting…
We're constantly on the lookout for unique and rare cycling relics on eBay. If you have any suggestions or leads, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'eBay Finds' in the subject line.
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