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Rapha Rides Siracusa
Sicily took its time to earn a place in the annals of Italian cycling. Ignored for the first 17 editions of the Giro, the island first featured in the great race in 1930. In 1949, a chapter of the epic duel between the incomparable Fausto Coppi and his arch rival, Gino Bartali, was written across its threadbare fields and tumbledown farm buildings. The landscape may have changed little in the intervening years, yet of the generations of riders that followed none have lived up to the feats of Il Campionissimo, the rider whom, more than any other, helped establish the stylish and mercurial reputation of Italian cycling.
Earlier this year, a team of Rapha riders took to the hills around the ancient town of Siracusa, in the south east of Sicily, to test Rapha’s latest Spring Summer collection. In high summer, the temperature here regularly exceeds 90F – even in spring it can touch 60F. Rapha products are designed to perform whatever the weather, whatever the ride. From the toughest training run to the heaviest city downpour, from technical roadwear to sophisticated tailoring. Rapha’s online emporium includes accessories, publications and events, as well as an exclusive archive of inspirational stories and films; from tales of the golden age of European cycling, to the Rapha Continental, a compelling journal of modern road riding in North America.
Photography by Ben Ingham