Simon Yates wears £2,750 Vorteq skinsuit to win Giro d'Italia time trial
Bespoke skinsuit possibly the most expensive piece of apparel ever used in competition
Simon Yates used a highly-specialised, custom Vorteq skinsuit to take a dramatic win on stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia in Budapest, edging out race leader Mathieu van der Poel and former world champion Tom Dumoulin.
Yates’ skinsuit was branded as Ale, the official clothing partner for BikeExchange-Jayco, but is visibly recognisable as a Vorteq product, while the British brand is also listed as a technical partner of the team. Cyclingnews has also been separately informed that the skinsuit was a Vorteq design.
Yates had the fastest time at the intermediate checkpoint in the stage 2 race against the clock, and then completed the 9.2km course five seconds quicker than Dumoulin to take the hot seat. Van der Poel flew round the course and finished three seconds down to retain the overall lead, while Yates moved up to second with sizeable gains over his key rivals.
British sports performance brand Vorteq has provided custom skinsuits to multiple high-profile riders such as Alex Dowsett for his Hour Record attempt late last year. Dowsett also wore the brand's £600 overshoes at the 2021 edition of this same race. The brand offers extremely in-depth bespoke custom designs for aerodynamic cycling equipment, and its £2,750 skinsuits stand out as the flagship offering.
Alongside the skinsuit itself, the company offers custom fitting R&D programs beginning at £5,750. These programs include a "3D scan and custom clothing pattern" alongside two hours of wind-tunnel time at the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub, for which the brand "guarantees" performance gains over any existing set-up.
Custom and single-use skinsuits are no new addition to WorldTour racing, with many riders typically using custom-designed skinsuits for an edge over their competitors. Chris Froome stirred controversy several years ago with a dimpled ‘vortex generator’ skinsuit that treaded closely to the UCI’s equipment rules.
Endura's D2Z Encapsulator suit was also subsequently banned, leading Endura to pull its sponsorship from Movistar.
Vorteq’s skinsuit does stand out, though, for its price. Endura’s custom-built skinsuit, for instance previously raised eyebrows with a price tag of £450, conscious that the tight fit and thin material typically means a short shelf-life.
At £2,750, the Vorteq is quite possibly one of the most expensive pieces of performance cycling apparel ever used in competition.
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Peter Stuart has been editor of Cyclingnews since March 2022, overseeing editorial output across all of Cyclingnews' digital touchpoints.
Before joining Cyclingnews, Peter was the digital editor of Rouleur magazine. Starting life as a freelance feature writer, with bylines in The Times and The Telegraph, he first entered cycling journalism in 2012, joining Cyclist magazine as staff writer. Peter has a background as an international rower, representing Great Britain at Under-23 level and at the Junior Rowing World Championships.