First spotted at the Abu Dhabi Tour and the Classics opening weekend, Team Sky have been seen wearing a new aero version of the Kask Protone helmet. At the Strade Bianche, which Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski won, Cyclingnews took some detailed shots of the new Kask helmet to be worn by the team in 2017. Sergio Henao is also wearing the new helmet as the team leader in Paris-Nice.
The original Kask Protone helmet was first seen at the 2014 Tour de France, with the production version of the helmet becoming available in May 2015. After nearly three seasons of use, Kask has updated the popular helmet with more frontal and rear coverage contributing to aerodynamics. The new frontal coverage will likely come at the cost of the current incarnation's excellent ventilation.
It is likely that the helmet has had a new aerodynamic shell added, similarly to the POC Octal Aero, which has the outer shell glued on, and the Lazer Z1 that can be used with a clip-on Aeroshell. To the rear of the new Kask helmet, further ventilation holes have been covered, although the larger rear vents remain. The Scott Cadence aero helmet has also been seen used in conjunction with aero plugs, which simply block the ventilation at the front of the helmet, improving aerodynamics.
Team Sky has been working with Kask since the team's inception in 2010. Last December, Team Sky and Kask announced a new partnership deal to run until at least the end of 2020. Speaking then, Kask's General Manager Diego Zambon stated: "At Kask, we always keep the pressure on our programme of research and development to create new designs with opportunities for performance improvement." The close working relationship between Kask and Team Sky's riders and staff directly resulted in the first Kask Protone model, the Bambino time trial model and this latest model.
Take a closer look at the new helmet in the gallery above.