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Perform in the Storm

From fresh snow on the Stelvio to pouring rain in Spain, this was no normal racing season. As the final Grand Tour of 2020 concludes, we take an in-depth look at the technical wet-weather clothing that has helped the riders of EF Pro Cycling survive the last season storms.

Perform in the Storm - Rapha EF Pro Cycling Rain Jackets 2020

In an ordinary season, cycling’s Grand Tours tend to be characterised by fair weather and soaring temperatures. But this has been no ordinary season. If the French Alps in August felt a little autumnal, the first signs of winter were there for all to see by the time the Giro reached the Passo dello Stelvio in October. In all three of this season’s Grand Tours, wet-weather protection was of vital importance.

To ensure their riders can perform in all conditions, EF Pro Cycling use Rapha’s latest generation of lightweight, waterproof jackets, with the most popular choice being the Pro Team Lightweight GORE-TEX Jacket. Made with revolutionary, two-layer Shakedry fabric, the jacket has no face fabric, reducing weight, improving breathability and eliminating any chilling effect.

As the team heads into the off season, we have created two printed versions of the Pro Team Lightweight GORE-TEX Jacket, both are available now in limited numbers online and in Clubhouses around the world.

Pretty in Pink

Available exclusively online

For years, team edition waterproof jackets were black, and boring. But not anymore. Complete your collection of team kit with a team edition rain jacket and stand out next time you're caught in a storm.

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Flight Edition


Available only in Clubhouses

This limited edition is available only in Clubhouses and comes complete with a matching cap and box of sports gel from another of EF Pro Cycling’s technical partners, Maurten. Keep reading below to hear more about this upstart Swedish brand’s novel approach to nutrition in elite level cycling.

This limited edition is available only in Clubhouses and comes complete with a matching cap and box of sports gel from another of EF Pro Cycling’s technical partners, Maurten. Keep reading below to hear more about this upstart Swedish brand’s novel approach to nutrition in elite level cycling.

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GO FURTHER WITH GORE-TEX

Professional cyclists don’t get to choose which days they ride. No matter how cold it gets, however heavy the rain, they have to get out and train. Designed for the worst of the weather, these are our most protective jackets ever, combining military-grade active insulation with GORE-TEX’s most technical waterproof fabrics to ensure that training is never cancelled.

PRO TEAM LIGHTWEIGHT GORE-TEX JACKET

Full protection from the rain and wind in a storm, all packed down into half a pocket once it’s passed.

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PRO TEAM GORE-TEX INSULATED JACKET

Designed for rides that start and finish in the cold and wet, this is our most protective jacket ever.

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EXPLORE HOODED GORE-TEX PULLOVER

Designed for adventure, with a three-layer laminate for the same fully waterproof protection with added durability.

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MEETING MAURTEN

A relative newcomer to sports nutrition, Maurten has quickly established itself as a trusted partner for many of the world’s greatest athletes. From marathon runners to central midfielders, and now WorldTour cyclists, the Swedish brand’s pioneering use of hydrogel technology has helped change the perception of sickly sweet sports gels for those who use its products.

We caught up with Maurten’s Head of Nutrition, Tobias Christensson, to find out how his products are helping athletes around the world reach new heights. He began with an admission.

“Hydrogel is not a new phenomenon, nor is it Maurten’s invention. We borrowed this technology from the pharmaceutical industry where hydrogels are used to deliver drugs into the body. What we came up with was the idea to use hydrogels with carbohydrates to create a delivery system for carbohydrates that efficiently navigated the stomach.”

As simple as it seems, one of the greatest barriers to performance, even now, is an empty or upset stomach. “It’s pretty difficult to ingest the amount of carbohydrate that you need to match the energy output during exercise,” Tobias sighed, with the look of a man who has grappled with this issue many times.

“Sooner or later, an athlete will become empty and that will impede performance,” he continues. This is where the plethora of performance nutrition products available to today’s athletes comes in, along with another slight issue, a stomach issue…

As simple as it seems, one of the greatest barriers to performance, even now, is an empty or upset stomach. “It’s pretty difficult to ingest the amount of carbohydrate that you need to match the energy output during exercise,” Tobias sighed, with the look of a man who has grappled with this issue many times.

“Sooner or later, an athlete will become empty and that will impede performance,” he continues. This is where the plethora of performance nutrition products available to today’s athletes comes in, along with another slight issue, a stomach issue…

“The human body is not designed to digest foods during exercise,” Tobias explained. “During exercise, blood is supposed to be distributed to working muscles, not to the stomach. And also, when we exercise, there is a parallel stress function that reduces gut action.”

Reduced gut action and the diversion of blood to oxygen-deprived muscles are just two of many good reasons that mean humans tend to eat in restaurants rather than on their bikes. As Tobias put it, “The optimal conditions for digestion is when we are sitting down in a non-stressful environment - that is why people get bad stomachs when they exercise.”

Hydrogels help mitigate the ill effects of the typical sports gel by making it easier for an athlete’s body to digest carbohydrates. They do this by adapting technologies invented to aid the transportation of cancer drugs and other medical treatments, apt for a company founded by and named after a cancer researcher.

In fact, Maurten, who is also a keen amateur triathlete, has helped develop the products further. After being told to stop using sports gels by his dentist, the company founder challenged his team to come up with a way of reducing their products’ impact on dental health.

As a result, Maurten products contain no acids or preservatives and are all pH neutral, which reduces damage to tooth enamel and also helps prevent the onset of stomach upsets.

The proof of this is in the performances of Maurten-supported athletes, as Tobias explains. “We started off designing our products for marathon running, working closely with the legendary Etheopian distance runner Kenenisa Bekele as he aimed to become the first athlete to run a sub-two-hour marathon.

“Of course, Eliud Kiphchoge beat him to the mark but he has used Maurten products too. The athletic feats of these men was proof to me that humans can ingest large amounts of carbohydrates even at extremely high intensities. And while the demands of each sport are different, the fundamental principles of nutrition are the same across all endurance sports.”

And so it has proved. Maurten has been working with a selection of EF Pro Cycling riders since 2017. Having paid attention to the Swedish brand’s role in Nike’s Breaking2 project, they were convinced that the benefits of hydrogel technology could benefit their own riders.

And now you can use it to your own advantage. Available in Clubhouses now, our special edition Pro Team Lightweight GORE-TEX Jacket, complete with a special edition print, comes complete with a matched box of Maurten gels. Together, the two form a performance package that will allow you to perform in the storms this winter.

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