Sanremo Speedsuit – The cutting edge of racing innovation
Professional and amateur riders have been reaping the aero benefits of the Sanremo Speedsuit for more than six years, and they call it the best kit ever made for road racing. Your body is responsible for about 75 percent of the air drag you face when cycling, so it makes sense to ensure that you’re as aero as possible.
The Sanremo Speedsuit was inspired by the Sanremo finish line back in 2009. Heinrich Haussler had just been beaten by 3cm by Mark Cavendish on the finish line in Sanremo. So we started looking for ways to make up 3cm over 300km. Along the way we invented the first true Aero suit for road racing. We’ve refined it year after year and finally in 2017 Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky brings it to victory at its namesake race.
A little bit of aerodynamic savings over a long period of time can result in
that extra last crucial bit of energy when pushing for the line and glory.
The Sanremo Speedsuit debuted at the 2011 Sanremo, but the race didn’t go well for Team Garmin-Cervélo. The first professional win in the speed suit came three weeks later, when Johan Vansummeren rode to victory in Paris-Roubaix after attacking 15 km from the finish and holding off a charging Fabian Cancellara. Based on our wind-tunnel testing, we can say that the Sanremo Speedsuit played a critical role when Vansummeren broke away from the lead group to ride solo into the legendary Roubaix velodrome in 2011.
Let’s look at the numbers: Wearing the Speedsuit, Vansummeren attacked with 15 km to go. With the aero savings of 15 watts at 40 km/h, assuming he rode at 400 watts, the suit would have given him an extra 0.59 kph and saved him roughly 12 seconds over that distance – which could indeed have been the difference. Vansummeren won by 19 seconds. Without the Sanremo Speedsuit, his margin would have been only seven seconds, and who knows what would have been possible had Cancellara gotten that close…
Johan Vansummeren blazes to victory in the queen of the classics, Paris-Roubaix, in 2011.
About six years ago, the Sanremo Speedsuit was the fastest option out there for road racing, offering significant time savings through aerodynamics: 15 watts at 40 km/h. But then in 2014, we developed a faster back/shoulder construction technique with the Aero Race 5.0 jersey, so we updated the Sanremo 3.2 Speedsuit and produced a savings of 24 watts compared to a standard cycling jersey. That savings, of 24 watts at 40 km/h, equates to roughly 90 seconds saved over a 60-minute effort.
ONE-PIECE AERO ROAD SUIT THAT OFFERS SPEED ADVANTAGES
WITH GREATER COMFORT
The Sanremo Speedsuit features a unique one-piece design that combines the aerodynamic advantages of a skinsuit with the practicality and comfort of a regular jersey and shorts.
Skinsuits are aero, but you lose a lot of practicality. There are no pockets, you can forget toilet stops, and getting into a skinsuit is never easy. With the Sanremo 3.2 Speedsuit, we aimed to combine the aero benefits of a skinsuit with the practicality of separate shorts and a jersey. We achieved it by basically stitching together our most aerodynamic jersey and short, the Aero Race 5.1 jersey and the Free Aero Race bibshort, and removing the bib straps, so you get the very close fit of a skinsuit but with pockets and a full-length zip.
The top half features the Velocity Dry and 3D fabrics, which dry nearly instantly and help dissipate heat. The short portion is formed from a single piece of seamless fabric for a naturally supportive fit. The short feels like it’s hugging you perfectly in any position. This smooth fit is combined with dimples engineered into the fabric to induce flow separation and reduce aerodynamic drag. Inside, the ventilated skin-care layer of our Progetto X2 Air seat pad helps keep you cool, while the two-layer design and multi-density padding ensure excellent comfort no matter how long your epic Sunday ride is.
Copies of the Sanremo are commonly seen in the pro peloton today, but with our continued advancements the Castelli suit remains the fastest.
The Sanremo Speedsuit debuted at Milano-Sanremo in 2011.
Here are some important race and emotional solo victory moments.
The Italian national team wears the Sanremo Speedsuit at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen.
Sep Vanmarcke wins Omloop Het Niuewsblad in 2012.
Davide Formolo solos to Giro d’Italia stage four victory, 2015.
Ben King wins stage 2 of the Tour of California after a long breakaway, 2016.
Michał Kwiatkowski’s magical solo win at Strade Bianche is Team Sky’s 250th victory.
Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas claims a fine solo victory on stage two of Tirreno-Adriatico, beating the chasing peloton by nine seconds.
Michal Kwiatkowski won a photo-finish sprint on the Via Roma in Milan-SanRemo.
Photo: TDWsport and Gruberimages.pro