Team Sky have revealed their new racing kit for 2016, with riders posting images of the new jersey and shorts on Twitter. The kit is produced by Rapha and is inspired by its Pro Team racewear series. The new design has a few changes to the black and blue version that has become synonymous with the Tour de France winning team. The lines across the chest are inspired by the Rapha Brevet range of clothing.
Team Sky claim the new shade of blue on the jersey stands out better against black, allowing riders to pick each other out more easily during races.
American rider Ian Boswell was the first rider to post image of the new kit. Wout Poels quickly followed, as did team leader Chris Froome, who joked about wanting to see the mesh version after his famous photo of his sunburn after training in the lightweight mesh skinsuit. Froome wrote on Twitter: Loving the new #TeamSky2016 @rapha kit design. Can't wait for the mesh version #PrepareExecute. British national champion Pete Kennaugh proudly showed off his unique white version of the kit.
Check out more 2016 team kits:
- Etixx QuickStep go for dark blue
- Tinkoff Saxo go black and white
- IAM Cycling switches to white
- Movistar beefs up its logo
This latest version of Team Sky’s race clothing will be the last produced by Rapha after the British-based brand announced it would end its sponsorship after the 2016 season. Rapha has supplied the team's kits since the start of the 2013 season, enjoying the exposure of two Tour de France victories in that time, but they will part ways when the current four-year deal expires.
"After reflection and discussion, both Rapha and Team Sky have decided not to renew our partnership beyond the current four-year deal, which concludes at the end of the 2016 season," said Rapha's founder and chief executive Simon Mottram in an open letter.
The Rapha logo is more prominent on the 2016 kit, with the company's logo on the shorts. The Sky logo dominates the chest, back, legs and shoulders of the jersey, with 21st Century Fox running down the side of the jersey. Technical sponsors Pinarello has its name on the upper chest, along with 21st Century Fox and the UCI WorldTour logo.
“The feedback we get from the riders, especially our new signings who have already tried it, is that it's the best performing kit in the peloton,” Rod Ellingworth, Team Sky's Coach and Performance Manager said. “They all say how smart they feel in it too. Working closely with Rapha ensures that we have the best fitting, fastest, and comfortable racewear out there."
On Thursday Team Sky were announced as the team of the year in the Cyclingnews 2015 reader poll. Many of the riders are currently training for the new season in Mallorca. Froome is at home in Monaco as his wife is about to give birth.