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That’s the rumour, and here’s our artist's impressions of what it might look like… maybe

Rapha are providing the kit for Team Sky next year – as we first told you waaaay back in August – and a little birdy has told us that none other than Sir Paul Smith is doing the designs.

When we say ‘a little birdy’ we actually mean Raleigh. And when we say ‘Raleigh’ we actually mean him off of the road.cc forum.

And how would Raleigh know? Well, there’s the interesting thing: Paul Smith told him so. Oh yes! Paul Smith himself.

Right, let’s start at the beginning. Raleigh is still at school… and it sounds like a right posh ’un to us because it’s the sort of place that has Paul Smith in to do a talk (we just had the nit nurse and some bloke telling us about the dangers of glue sniffing).

Anyway, while Paul Smith was enjoying a spot of lunch our man Raleigh, with a Paxman-like interrogation technique, got the truth out of him.

“I knew that he'd previously designed for Rapha, so I asked whether he'd done any kit for Sky next year, and he categorically said a big yes, “says Raleigh. “He seemed really excited about it, and his eyes genuinely lit up.”

Told you. Straight for the jugular. Textbook stuff from Raleigh. See, he’s a switched on kind of guy. On the ball. Clued up. Paul Smith has indeed worked with Rapha quite a bit – it's an obvious fit seeing as a lot of Rapha clothing is essentially Paul Smith PE kit. Plus, Paul Smith has been involved with the Rapha Condor Sharp cycling team. Plus, if there’s one thing everyone knows about Paul Smith – the man rather than the brand – it’s that he had dreams of being a pro cyclist when he was growing up. Plus... actually, that might be all the pluses. Be that as it may, everything slots into place.

So, Raleigh got a full and frank admission. He’ll go far, that boy.

What does the Team Sky kit look like? Well, we don't know that, to be honest. Rapha are keeping schtum. Their sponsorship contract starts on 1 January and, even though the road season is long finished, Team Sky are still sponsored by Adidas until then. Rapha have confirmed that they’re taking over… and that’s all. They're not saying any more, still less showing any kit, until January. Fair enough, but where’s the fun in that?

Here at road.cc we weren't going to let a little thing like the absence of pictures stand in our way. If Rapha wouldn't show us the designs, they left us with very little choice... we had to make up our own. Here’s what we reckon the jerseys will look like, based on stuff that’s floating around in our heads…

That design at the top of the page, that’s yer classic Paul Smith signature stripes. Shirts, scarves, socks, wallets… there’s a stripy version of pretty much everything Paul Smith makes. Maybe that’ll be extended over to the Team Sky jerseys.

The only thing is, it’s very Paul Smith and not very Rapha, so we really can’t see this one happening. Cool design though. We’d buy one. But Team Sky won’t be wearing this next year.

This one is purple, it has dots on, there’s a pink keyline along the edges of the chest band: it’s ticking all sorts of Rapha boxes. There’s even a story about an epic ride sewn inside one of the rear pockets (not shown). It’ll probably be made from Sportwool, the wool having come from sheep that graze on Alpe d’Huez or from Bernard Hainault’s private flock.

There’s a major problem, though. What if someone like Chris Froome takes the King of the Mountains white/red polka dot jersey in next year’s Tour de France? That’s going to wreak havoc on the visuals. Team Sky will look like a train wreck, and for that reason we’re out. Next!

Now we’re talking. It’s simple. It’s classic with a twist. It’s very Paul Smith and very Rapha. You have a band on the left arm, you have Team Sky blue in a keyline along the edges of the chest band, it follows all the Rapha brand guidelines, and it’s the type of jersey that’ll sell masses of replicas.

This is definitely the jersey that Team Sky will be wearing next year. Don’t forget that you saw it first on road.cc. And if it's not, blame Raleigh.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

48 comments

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 4 years ago
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If you're not happy with our Rapha/Paul Smith designs, why not create your own? get your creative juices flowing. Socks for the best one!

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Casbon86 [5 posts] 4 years ago
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oh my days? Is this a bit of tongue in cheek. that's a few minutes of my life i'm not getting back. see what your doing there, getting a few hits to the site, implanting a bit of SEO, fair play, slow news day?

a freelance designer probably did it with their in-house team. That is why their designs are popular, why would they need to get a third party in and farm all the praise away from their brand and on to Sir Paul?

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Mat Brett [628 posts] 4 years ago
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Casbon86 wrote:

Is this a bit of tongue in cheek?

Well done, Casbon86. No flies on you.

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nevman [18 posts] 4 years ago
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Have you asked the Paul Smith team?I did,last year and was told they had no plans to make any cycling specific kit.My guess is they still dont otherwise we would have heard from someone NOT at school.

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Steven_L [45 posts] 4 years ago
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OH MY GOD. I would sell my children for the Paul Smith signature stripe top. Dear Paul Smith, please make this top happen, even if not for Sky. (oh, and drop the price of your Red Ear jeans - they're great but £180 for jeans is ridiculous).

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 4 years ago
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nevman wrote:

Have you asked the Paul Smith team?I did,last year and was told they had no plans to make any cycling specific kit.My guess is they still dont otherwise we would have heard from someone NOT at school.

my guess is that if we as a website phoned up the 'paul smith team' we'd get the corporate response, whereas if someone at a school actually asked paul smith they'd likely get an honest answer. what you're suggesting is that he intentionally lied to raleigh, and pretended to be excited about the thing he'd lied about. seems to me it's more probable that he is involved, and excited to be so. but hey, i'm a glass-half-full kind of a guy

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Some Fella [890 posts] 4 years ago
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If we know Rapha if we know Rapha they will inevitably have a whole 'lifestyle' range to go with their Sky deal.
As not to encourage us proles to diminish the integrity of the brand they will almost certainly get Paul Smith to design this and get him to make it out of Panda skin and dodo eggs and charge the price of terrace house in Burnley for it.
The Rapha disciples will lap it up.
I doubt JD Sports will be selling it.

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andyspaceman [249 posts] 4 years ago
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Now, that purple one that you reckon is 'the one', is all a bit too Condor-Mackeson of old.

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Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 4 years ago
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Some Fella wrote:

If we know Rapha if we know Rapha they will inevitably have a whole 'lifestyle' range to go with their Sky deal.

They've already said there will be a complementary off-bike range. Not sure about panda skin though, I was hoping for unicorn at least...

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andyp [1473 posts] 4 years ago
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Some of us already have stripey Paul Smith cycling jerseys, of course. This is so Bontrager 24/12 2005...

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Nick T [970 posts] 4 years ago
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You could just get a ShuttVR top right now and squint a bit.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 4 years ago
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It is a bit late now if the designs aren't already done.

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Stumps [3415 posts] 4 years ago
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As long as its not stella mcartney doing the design  31

I think a pale shade of blue with a nice big mod badge in the middle.

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Steven_L [45 posts] 4 years ago
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andyp wrote:

Some of us already have stripey Paul Smith cycling jerseys, of course. This is so Bontrager 24/12 2005...

I bet you're the type of person who goes on holiday to Elvenerife  22

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andyp [1473 posts] 4 years ago
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where?

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botoxking [31 posts] 4 years ago
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'There’s even a story about an epic ride sewn inside one of the rear pockets (not shown). It’ll probably be made from Sportwool, the wool having come from sheep that graze on Alpe d’Huez or from Bernard Hinault’s private flock.'

Thank you - made me laugh out loud in the office!

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campbellmac [1 post] 4 years ago
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Should have a larger collar to match Wiggos jacket.

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Yennings [237 posts] 4 years ago
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The comments under this article are priceless.

Nothing about this story is hugely surprising. I just wonder how much leeway there is for creative design when the main purpose of a team jersey is to get maximum media exposure for the brand?

Makes more sense for Paul to help out with the spin-off 'lifestyle' range IMO.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 4 years ago
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and he calls himself a designer ...

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Tony Farrelly [2871 posts] 4 years ago
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Karbon Kev wrote:

and he calls himself a designer ...

Lots of people call him a designer… his design powers are so great that by just getting Oli to channel him we've come up with a top that Steven_L would sell his children for. That's pretty full-on design talent in my book. Makes me proud to be British!

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Tony Farrelly [2871 posts] 4 years ago
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Okay, anyone willing to sell off members of their family if we got him to do one of these… or maybe we could do our own signature stripes Oli seems to be good at this

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stuke [335 posts] 4 years ago
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tony_farrelly wrote:

Okay, anyone willing to sell off members of their family if we got him to do one of these… or maybe we could do our own signature stripes Oli seems to be good at this

yep, they're going to draw straws when I get home to see which one of them is going on ebay  4

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Nick T [970 posts] 4 years ago
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It's not a million miles away from the Rapha Pro Team Cross jersey really.

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WolfieSmith [1327 posts] 4 years ago
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I say. What Ho and pip pip to Raleigh. I hope you've given the young buck extra money for the tuck shop? Maybe he could start working for you in the holidays and get exclusives from the Team Sky bus.

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new-to-cycling [47 posts] 4 years ago
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I really hope they do something dignified. I mean I always thought Sky had the coolest kit in the peloton and I sure hope that isn't ruined now

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Blackhound [447 posts] 4 years ago
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Would expect a bit more pink, not to clash with Lampre though.
I also own one of the PS striped jerseys from 2005 Bonty 24/12 - if anybody wants to buy it. Only worn a couple of times.
And, I already have a blue with white hooped Rapha jersey from years ago. Cost me £20 in a sample sale. Maybe I will be on trend. For once!

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Mat Brett [628 posts] 4 years ago
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Blackhound wrote:

I also own one of the PS striped jerseys from 2005 Bonty 24/12

Yeah, I did that event too but never went and picked up my jersey. Wonder if it's too late to ask them to mail it on.

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robert_obrien [118 posts] 4 years ago
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2005 what Bonty what? Can I have a diagram?

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andyp [1473 posts] 4 years ago
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You can't have a diagram, they were all unique. Have a photo of mine.

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andyp [1473 posts] 4 years ago
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I tried to buy the shed, actually, too.  1 Would have rocked in my garden.

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