Milan San-Remo, 2009, the 100th anniversary of the monument, a career-defining race, a chance to turn potential into stardom. After almost 300-kilometers, after controlling a rabid peloton, after cresting the Poggio and the Cipressa, Heinrich Haussler launched his sprint. Haussler was about to fulfill his enormous potential, but as he drove for the line the kilometers in his legs began to bite. His pace faltered and the Brit, Mark Cavendish, closed the gap, to beat him by the width of a tire after almost 7 hours of racing. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada
While Haussler turned that frustration into a magnificent stage win at that year’s Tour de France he wasn’t the only one motivated by the result that spring day in San Remo. Castelli, Haussler’s clothing supplier, wondered if something as simple as what he was wearing could have given him the tiny advantage he would have needed to win the race. With aero experience reaching back decades, Castelli already knew how to make fast clothing. What they wanted to do was create fast clothing that was workable over a 300-kilometer race. What they have created is called the San Remo Speedsuit and in the process they have essentially made the jersey and bibs obsolete for racers everywhere.
Castelli made a simple, but profound leap, by combining an aero jersey and a pair of Body Paint shorts they could save 10 to 15 watts over a typical bib and jersey combo. The aero jersey is stitched to the shorts, minus the bibs. The aero advantage is due mainly to the sides of the suit being stitched to the shorts, which eliminates the flapping of the side panels. A full zip is retained and overlapped, but not stitched, with the shorts at the front, allowing you access to your hydration control valve, if you catch our drift. On the back three mesh pockets keep the day’s necessities safe.
The San Remo Speedsuit’s first vctory? Paris-Roubaix, 2011, with Johan VanSummeren. A solo break with a hard charging Spartacus on his tail, it was a fitting win. We’re not ready to say the San Remo Speedsuit was responsible for his victory, but we aren’t prepared to say it wasn’t either. But it’s more than the aerodynamics that has us thinking the traditional bibs and jersey’s days are numbered. The Speedsuit is simply more comfortable, with no bib straps the suit’s tension is spread over your entire shoulders. The other benefit is the pockets. They don’t hang down or shift side to side, no matter how much you stuff them and when you climb unzipping the jersey completely won’t lead to it flapping in the breeze.
Being a Castelli garment you can be sure the fit, finish and materials are perfection while their Progetto X2 chamois provides cool, low profile, race-day comfort. Available as part of Castelli’s custom team program we imagine they will be running the presses day and night to keep up with orders. Why would you race in anything else? The Speedsuit is simply a better race garment than anything previously cut, stitched or sublimated. We emphasize race, because unless you are very trim, the effect is not pleasing to the eye. Bibs and jerseys will still rule the Grand Fondo.
Castelli San Remo Speed Suit
Price: $350.00 Custom: Varies