For the second year in a row Peter Sagan and his team-mates lined up at the UCI Road World Championships wearing the Slovakian national cycling team skinsuit developed by Santini according to their specific needs. The garment provides a perfect compromise between the need to deliver breathability and comfort in the sweltering heat of Qatar, while at the same time highly aerodynamic to withstand Doha’s strong, gusting winds.

There’s an old saying that if it isn’t broke don’t fix it, and the same could be said for the Slovakian National Cycling Team which, after the success at the Worlds in Richmond in 2015, decided to wear an updated version of the skinsuit at the start-line in Doha this year. The original design choice that was made a year ago in the US and influenced by various factors that proved even more relevant at the Road World Championships in Qatar. The two key elements, which wielded a huge influence on the week of racing in the Doha desert, were the wind and the blisteringly high temperatures. The high temperatures in particular worried both athletes and coaches alike, to the extent that Santini, the official supplier to the Slovakian team, suggested creating an evolution of the skinsuit with which Sagan dominated the Richmond event last year.

In order to meet the specific needs of each area of the body, Santini uses a “Body Mapping” technique. This process assists in deciding which fabrics are best suited for the various sections of the body. The upper part of the skinsuit is made from Spider micromesh, which is extremely breathable to compensate for the scorching heat of Doha. The lower part of the suit incorporates two fabrics: anti-slip Vergelle is used for the groin area to maintain saddle position while in the thigh areas Grip400 fabric was used which eliminates the need for an elastic to keep the suit in place above the knees. The resulting skinsuit is naturally aerodynamic and effortlessly hugs the body like a second skin.

“We aimed to create a garment that balances the need for breathability in high temperatures while at the same time extremely aerodynamic” said Santini CEO Monica Santini who heads the family firm. “Seeing Peter Sagan raise his arms in victory for the second year in a row was a great reward for all the hard work done together with Team Slovakia”. Painstaking thought also went into the detailing of the Slovakian team skinsuit: The chamois is the C3, developed internally by the Santini research team, and uses Carving Technology which involves sculpting two overlapping foam sections to reduce overall volume and build up layers without any need for stitching or gluing. A double opening zipper is available for when nature calls during competition. Lastly, there are two back pockets large enough to hold gels or bars but doesn’t impact comfort or air flow.

The skinsuit is available for purchase as part of the Santini Custom Collection as well as the UCI Rainbow Collection.

photo credit SWpix/Bettini