News Flash! Rapha Announces Functionally Elegant and Poignantly Beautiful 2013 Team Sky Kit

01.7.2013 | 8:39 am

The Indescribably Beautiful Island of Mallorca (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – “Rapha and Team Sky are proud to present the first Team Sky clothing products of the 2013 season,” according to Rapha’s Communications Director, Chris DiStefano. 

“In fact,” continued DiStefano, “‘proud’ is a trite, crass understatement of how we feel about these, the most beautiful and comfortable and perfect bike clothing that has ever been draped across the back of some almost preternaturally fortunate (but, lest we denigrate the utter perfection of the Rapha brand, let us append ‘yet still unworthy’ to ‘fortunate’) — rider.”

His eyes misting over, DiStefano proceeded to describe the indescribable: The Team Sky Rapha product line.

“How do I even begin?” asked DiStefano, rhetorically, seeing as he had in fact prepared a 148-slide presentation (using Apple Keynote, naturally, because PowerPoint is gauche).


“Well,” said the Rapha representative, struggling to be heard over the chorus of angels, “perhaps we could start with the Team Sky Pro category, which is the very pinnacle of haute couture for the discriminating professional cyclist.”

“The jersey – if something of this quality can be called a mere jersey – is made of a special fabric that is lighter than the breeze at the dawn of a summer morning.”

“It is so aerodynamic that if you climb upon your bicycle, yet do not pedal, you will nevertheless begin to move forward — wind direction and incline status notwithstanding.”

Continued DiStefano, “Every size fits every person perfectly, because it would otherwise be a travesty for both the wearer and the Rapha brand, and we will not have our good name besmirched by having an ill-fitting jersey with its name upon it appear anywhere, ever. Full stop.”

DiStefano paused to cast a melancholy-yet-stoic look off into space. Photographers took many photos, all of which are now posted in the better museums across Europe.

“Beyond this, the jersey imbues the rider both with the appearance of confidence and with actual confidence itself. But not that smarmy confidence you see affected by the faux-beurgeoise. Non. Your confidence will be of the sort that is terse, yet affable.”

“When wearing this jersey,” said DiStefano, self-assuredly, “you will think winning thoughts, and those around you will not be able to help but think winning thoughts about you.”

“And, of course,” confided DiStefano, “they are two orders of magnitude more beautiful than any man-made object heretofore observed in this or any previous generation.”

“Finally,” said DiStefano, before moving along to slide 2, “This jersey completely obliterates any untoward odor the wearer may produce, replacing it with the fragrance of cinnamon, vanilla, and motor oil.”

“Let’s move on to the Team Sky Pro Bib Shorts,” said DiStefano, at which point he — voice brimming with pride and emotion never before so richly expressed in the history of humanity — talked about the never-before-heard-of features in these beautiful and tasteful clothes, ranging from its slimming properties to the fact that the wearer finds that he never needs to fart while wearing the shorts (the female version of the shorts lacks this property since women don’t ever fart anyway) to the ability of the shorts to anticipate that you are about to begin sweating and accelerate its wicking properties accordingly.

DiStefano then described the Team Sky Long Sleeve Pro jersey, the Team SkyPro Base Layer, the Team SkyWiggo Pro Base Layer (sublime!), the Team Sky Pro Race Cape, the Team Sky Pro Bib Shorts, the Team Sky Women’s Pro Bib Shorts, the Team Sky Merino Drawstring Hat, the Team Sky Cap, the Team Sky Pro Socks, and the gloves, adorably known as “Team Sky Pro Mitts.”


Replica Clothing – For When Only The Nearly Best Will Do

“And that’s just the pro-level gear,” enthused DiStefano. “Which leads us, naturally and elegantly, to the Team Sky Replica clothing we are announcing.

The assembled press corp, which had hoped it was time for a no-doubt excellent lunch, sat back down, reverently.

DiStefano went on to describe how Rapha Team Sky replica clothing is both the best cycling clothing that money can buy, yet is not quite good enough for the pro category. Said DiStefano, “Is there anything better? No! Is it good enough for our “pro” category? No! Is it good enough for you? Ha! Better should you ask whether you are good enough for it, because I assure you that you are not!”

“And yet,” said DiStefano, his voice softening, “We condescend to let you purchase it, because we believe that even proles like yourselves should have something to strive for.”

More. Infinitely More.

Now — nine hours and nearly a third of the way through his presentation — DiStefano reluctantly acknowledged that the hour was growing late and he would pick up the following day, unless everyone was as captivated as he by the glorious bounty that was the 2013 Rapha / Team Sky collection.

“No, please don’t stop!” shouted all in attendance, completely enraptured (many weeping) by the hundreds — if not thousands — of unbearably tasteful articles of clothing emblazoned with the Sky logo. “We wish this revelation of clothing items to never end!”

Gratified by his audience’s appreciation of what was, after all, the crowning glory of human achievement, DiStefano continued on. 

“The Team Sky bounty from Rapha does not end there!” said DiStefano, to deafening, protracted applause, leaving him to describe the Team Sky Supporter, Team Sky Womens, Team Sky Kids, and Team Sky Accessories clothing lines.

“In all, the number of products in this line of clothing is as close to an irrational number as it can be, and still be a positive integer,” said DiStefano. “I would tell you more about how many items this actually comes to, but — alas — the human numbering system is not as elegant and perfectly formed as each and every Rapha product, and thus I cannot express it.”

“This does not mean, however,” continued DiStefano, his face brightening, “That you cannot attempt to purchase each and every one of these products. In fact, if you do not, I feel very, very sorry for you, because of the huge and dark hole in your life that would otherwise be filled with Rapha loveliness.”

More Features Than You Deserve

As exquisitely conceived and well-appointed as the 2013 Team Sky Rapha clothing line is, it is not how you feel or ride that is the main benefit of Rapha wear. 

No. Not even close.

The real benefit you will immediately notice is how you will be observed and photographed as you wear your Rapha Team Sky clothing, as well as how those around you behave. 

When you write about your adventures, you will write things like this:

“I glowered purposefully ahead, my mind just becoming aware of for the attack my gut had known about for all too long,”

Or this:

“I gazed abstractedly into my third espresso, my ennui a startling counterpoint to the stark rage I had shown in the saddle not an hour earlier.”

In other words, it’ll be like you’ve turned into Bill Strickland or something: understated, wistful, and introspective, yet still piercingly insightful. As if you’ve just spent the afternoon sharing meaningful conversation and playing chess with a wizened old man, an espresso never far from your grasp.

To accompany those very Rapha-like words that will surround your life, you’ll suddenly discover that photographs of you gain a starkly palpable beauty. 

Here are typical photographs taken in Mallorca of Team Sky in their new Rapha gear, along with captions describing the poignant truths within: 

“Shall I ride? Or shall I weep? Cannot I do both? To ride is to both give the world beauty and to take that beauty in; still, my soul aches. I am grateful I have such clothes as these to soothe my troubled heart.”

“Is this my body? Or is my body me? Which is to say, is there more to me than this finely-tuned organism? If not, what reason is there for me to keep it warm with this beautiful and tasteful jacket? Am I more than an animal if I pursue comfort? I do not care! This jacket is AWESOME!

My body is as relaxed as a panther at rest, while my eyes betray the coming storm.

“I do not see the world in color.”
“Nor do I, and the field to our right is barren.” 
“We are so fortunate to be wearing Rapha. It is the only good in this world . . . and perhaps the next.”

Most gloves, in the absence of hands, are lifeless. Husks. Shells. The opposite is true for Rapha gloves. Mitts too.

Rapha Sky EbH 2
Whence my happiness? My winnings? My adorable espresso? None of these. My happiness stems from my Rapha clothing and nothing else. 

Some Team Sky Rapha clothing is available now, and more will be available in the coming months, should Rapha choose to grace you with it.


  1. Comment by Marilla | 01.7.2013 | 9:13 am

    You’re on a roll today!

  2. Comment by Santi M. | 01.7.2013 | 9:22 am

    Bravo Fatty, bravo.

  3. Comment by Mike C | 01.7.2013 | 9:30 am

    This part “it’ll be like you’ve turned into Bill Strickland or something” had me laughing out loud in my office. If I were drinking coffee, it surely would have burst through my nose!

    Thanks, Fatty, I haven’t laughed like that in a while.

  4. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.7.2013 | 9:34 am

    Having to go to work. So will read this there. Welcome back ‘our’ friend, Happy New Year!
    Pointed out to Wife#1 the gaucheness of PowerPoint. She says she’ll make a slide presentation for YOU….not sure how she meant that?

  5. Comment by ScottR | 01.7.2013 | 9:45 am

    Excellent signoff line as well – glad you chose to grace us with the new post :-)

  6. Comment by Andrew | 01.7.2013 | 9:58 am

    You’re back!

  7. Comment by Nic Grillo | 01.7.2013 | 10:03 am

    Stoked to see the FCFN service making headlines again! Keep up the good work!

    BTW Fatty, I finally got around to picking up a mountain bike. Went with the Rumblefish over the SF 100, because like Rocky, I do enjoy flying off boulders! I always thought you were embellishing on the joys of foresty singletrack. After a few rides, I now think that my road bike is going gather a bit of dust!

  8. Comment by roan | 01.7.2013 | 10:23 am

    The Team Sky Rapha Kit, yawn…but will it protect against road rash ?

    Hey, I’m still using hotmail…beyond so gauche ! senders usually ask me to burn their emails after reading.

  9. Comment by zeeeter | 01.7.2013 | 10:29 am

    . . . even better in orange. Or Pink . . . .

  10. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 01.7.2013 | 10:50 am

    It better be good. It’s darn expensive! Of course, if I get a kit I should be able to go sub 8 hours at Leaville next summer. Humm…..Goes forward regardless…..Humm….

  11. Comment by blair | 01.7.2013 | 10:52 am

    does this blog also come in black?

  12. Comment by AKChick | 01.7.2013 | 10:57 am

    OMW! The photo captions are PRICELESS! My two favorites:

    “Shall I ride? Or shall I weep? Cannot I do both? To ride is to both give the world beauty and to take that beauty in; still, my soul aches. I am grateful I have such clothes as these to soothe my troubled heart.”

    “My body is as relaxed as a panther at rest, while my eyes betray the coming storm.”

    LOVE IT! :) Thanks for the post!

  13. Comment by D. | 01.7.2013 | 11:11 am

    Walking a fine line here: your stuff ain’t exactly cheap over at T6. ($75 and $100+, meaning ~$200 for basic kit.) And you write about it endlessly in many race reports.

    Touch of jealousy?

    Rapha is too lifestyle-pushed for me ,like your rub — and expensive, of course — but that video with Alex Stieda they did won me back a bit. Rapha guys do actually ride, as much as they are wannabe hipsters some of the other times.

    I reject the notion that I can only make fun of subjects for which I cannot in turn also be made fun of. – FC

  14. Comment by Justin | 01.7.2013 | 11:15 am

    Slow clap…

    …To which I respond with an even slower clap. – FC

  15. Comment by rich | 01.7.2013 | 11:27 am

    welcome back Fatty! Happy New Year!

    Thankyouverymuch. It’s great to be back. – FC

  16. Comment by Wife#1 | 01.7.2013 | 11:38 am

    *wiping tears from eyes*

    Oh bluebird of happiness, you’re home!

  17. Comment by Joe Platzner | 01.7.2013 | 11:49 am

    Best. Post. Ever.

  18. Comment by Alfonso | 01.7.2013 | 12:26 pm

    This one hit pretty close to home. Hilarious. More!

  19. Comment by Trailer Park Cyclist | 01.7.2013 | 12:58 pm

    I’m with AKChick, those captions were truly exquisite. Who wrote that part?

    When you wear Rapha clothing, each photograph of you is automatically captioned as part of the photo’s metadata. I’m not sure of the exact technology used, but I believe the shot is quickly relayed to Bill Strickland, who introspects as long as necessary and then writes the caption for you. – FC

  20. Comment by Brian in Va | 01.7.2013 | 1:00 pm

    The lady on the plane next to me thinks I’ve lost my mind, I was laughing so hard. Well done, sir! A totally FC worthy post!

    Thanks! – FC

  21. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.7.2013 | 2:14 pm

    Wait! Wait! I think I sense an ASSOS vs. RHAPHA smackdown coming.

  22. Comment by Jenni | 01.7.2013 | 2:31 pm

    I just started reading Strickland. If I may apply some Strickland-esque captioning, “Wearing Rapha will cause you to soar up the most interminable hills like a leaf in an updraft.”

    Nine hours and a third of way through the presentation made me laugh out loud…ha!! Good stuff…

  23. Comment by Saso | 01.7.2013 | 2:57 pm

    Plain jealousy as Rapha clothes cannot be worn by anyone with a nickname including the word “fat”.

    That’s actually quite literally true. I’ve tried to put them on, and they simply will not go on. Not so much because they don’t fit (remember, they fit everyone perfectly) as because they will not allow themselves to be seen on a balding paunchy middle-age guy with — as you noted — a nickname of “Fatty.” I despair. – FC

  24. Comment by Jeremy | 01.7.2013 | 3:17 pm

    My soul weeps, though my face shines in its expression of mirth, at the beauty and poignance of this post. Surely, is it not more wonderful and powerful than the migration of monarch butterflies?

  25. Comment by Wife#1 | 01.7.2013 | 3:40 pm

    @Saso, your comment makes me now want to defile Rapha clothing by putting it on my body. Hmmm… I feel reasonably certain I could fit one of the jerseys onto my wrist at least, possibly even up onto the forearm if I suck everything in. I have lost weight after all.

    It would, at the very least, make for a photo which needs no caption, thus leaving Fatty free for more important endeavors. :-)

  26. Comment by Rick Tillery | 01.7.2013 | 5:26 pm

    Such beautiful and emotion evoking prose as was ever typed…

  27. Comment by Beth | 01.7.2013 | 5:33 pm

    The word “ennui” has appeared in a bicycling article and, well, I can die now.

  28. Comment by leroy | 01.7.2013 | 5:42 pm

    Well now this is odd.

    Rapha doesn’t have a link to Team Sky Canine clothing.

    And yet my dog borrowed my credit card for four new kits.

    He claims he’s saving me money because after the professional courtesy discount he gets, it’s cheaper than Bike Nashbar.

    I dunno. I’m still trying to figure out the bill he gave me for something called “resort wear.”

  29. Comment by ridein | 01.7.2013 | 5:44 pm

    In a word: Ridiculous
    You could buy a new bike or some great wheels at these prices.
    for a Rapha summer kit, total over $1000
    or a flexible mix and match Rapha winter kit total cost at almost $2300.

  30. Comment by ComedyTragedy | 01.7.2013 | 6:27 pm

    Fatty already knows that women don’t sweat, belch or fart – therefor they have to bitch or they would explode.

  31. Comment by Jenni | 01.7.2013 | 7:06 pm

    I actually purchased a Rapha jersey once. It came, as a factory defect, reading Rapna (where the top of the “h” had not been sewn on). Classy.

  32. Comment by ClydesdalePilot | 01.7.2013 | 7:13 pm

    Bravo, sir. Bravo.

  33. Comment by Liz M. | 01.7.2013 | 8:36 pm

    Yay! Fake News Service is back! When I saw the pictures earlier today of the team trying out the new kits in Mallorca, I was actually more envious of the palm trees in the background than the sublime fashion. How sad for me, being so unable to appreciate all the finer things in life.

    P.S. I see that counter you quietly put there on the right column, Fatty.

  34. Comment by Anonymous | 01.7.2013 | 10:16 pm

    Well done Fat man. I guess Rapha doesn’t think women could possibly be PRO enough to warrant their Pro gear. Ugh. But they must have figured out that women aren’t stupid enough to pay $210 for a Pro jersey.

  35. Comment by buckythedonkey | 01.8.2013 | 2:29 am

    Very funny article. There’s a marvellous Rapha parody site here:

    You should try one of their jackets this winter. They’re rather good and, contrary to a previous comment, Rapha caters for Clydesdales (their XXL fits me: 6′2″ and big boned) unlike some brands.

    This London Lad is rather proud that a British success story (Rapha) is clothing another British success story (British Cycling a.k.a. Sky Pro Racing) featuring the biggest British success story in sport (Wiggo) following the most successful British sporting year ever (2012).

    Happy New Year!

  36. Comment by jon (a clyde from Chi-town) | 01.8.2013 | 9:09 am

    Alright, as I sit here in my Assos bibs (without a shirt and in an athletic stance) I must acknowledge I am something of a clotheshorse really appreciate the quality and thought that their clever marketing team assures me goes into each garment. I may even own a piece or two picked up on sale…

    Yet, even I am somewhat surprised at the almost religious ferver that permeates the merger of Sky and Rapha (they would argue it is more than religious as religion is based on faith, and these products are tangible and here for the BUYING… IF YOU ARE WORTHY.)

    And, FC, I totally thought you were being facetious when you mentioned a children’s line… So, on a lark, I checked it out…. No way… WAY! Truth kicks fictions ass once again.

    On a separate note, to join the sycophants, glad to see your return to the stage – BTW, you successfully articulated the UNBELIEVABLE benefits of the Rapha kit, what could I expect if I was brave enough to don full FC gear???

  37. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.8.2013 | 9:50 am

    @jon(a clyde from chi-town)

    With Rapha, you just get the angels singing. Since Fatty is from Utah, you get the WHOLE CHROIR! (think Tabernacle)!

  38. Comment by Barton | 01.8.2013 | 12:08 pm

    this was priceless. Last time I was in London, I went to the Rapha Bike Cafe, just to check it out, grab a cuppa, whatevs. I did not stay for the cuppa. There store should come with a sign similar to your news services statement that “Every size fits every person perfectly,” because if you didn’t fit their clothes, you weren’t not acknowledged as a Person in the store.

    Still, some gorgeous wool cycling clothing I would have enjoyed owning – if I didn’t have a mortgage.

  39. Comment by GJMAlcyon | 01.8.2013 | 1:25 pm

    I almost spit my corned beef sandwich through my nose, I was laughing so hard. Ow. And yuck.

  40. Comment by Beth Logan | 01.8.2013 | 5:19 pm

    Maybe a warning….put down the food before reading your posts?

    You are very funny. But I’m not telling your readers anything they don’t know much better than me.

    We sent you an email –will you dig it out of your spam folder? Love to connect with you.

    Beth at Moab Skinny Tire Festival

  41. Comment by anthony | 01.8.2013 | 7:09 pm

    Amazing, simply fantastic, still laughing as I type this. I will have to admit that Rapha does make the best looking kits out there. I still don’t get why anyone would want a replica kit. To me its the same thing if i showed up to a flag football game in a full steelers replica uni.

  42. Comment by Zach | 01.8.2013 | 8:13 pm

    Nailed it!

  43. Comment by BamaJim | 01.8.2013 | 9:42 pm

    Very funny! Like others, I enjoyed the Bill Strickland reference. I do wonder if he is insightful enough to enjoy the joke as well.

  44. Comment by Hamish | 01.9.2013 | 7:17 am

    Love your work. Could you please confirm if any yak leather is used in the kit, beyond what is already used in the shoes?

  45. Comment by Elizabeth | 01.9.2013 | 8:16 am

    Poetry, sheer poetry. Wait, you didn’t write this on a FRIDAY, did you???????

  46. Pingback by Team Sky now to wear Rapha - Page 9 | 01.9.2013 | 4:02 pm

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  47. Comment by lotus49 | 01.11.2013 | 1:48 pm

    I’m glad you didn’t stop writing your Blogger Fatty, I only discovered it last month and it would have been a shame if you had stopped straight afterwards.

    I enjoyed the Rapha post. I am also always amused how pretentious people with more money than sense always play the jealousy card in response to being told they are being taken for a suckered.

  48. Comment by Bill Strickland | 01.11.2013 | 4:46 pm

    Fatty writes me better than I write me.

    Can we keep this just between all of us?

  49. Comment by xoffender | 01.12.2013 | 12:19 am

    just found this site.
    funny post!

  50. Comment by Gerard | 01.29.2013 | 10:15 am

    Well. You’re a total twat aren’t you!


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