Capo Cipressa Jacket

Now, it might not seem the most appropriate time of year to bring to you ladies attention a super bit of kit i had on test this early springtime. Forgive me for that, in part I have not gotten round to penning my thought on the item for a good month or two due to being busy and well, just out riding, and secondly, admittedly I only wore the garment from March-late April, so its not been at the front of my mind, however I have finally found time to share my thoughts on a top-tech jacket that most wardrobes will have space to accommodate.

Admittedly Capo is a brand I didn’t have a massive amount of awareness of until last year or so. Known widely state-side and down under, their kit is minimally and stylishly designed, you wont find cluttered logos or hideous colour-schemes in their line-up, just a well executed understated style. Capo produce a host of club and team kits in the states, and unbeknownst to me I was actually already in possession of a very comfy pair of armwarmers from their via the excellent Elcyclista.

The jacket is an incredibly svelte number, crafted in a fabric Capo has termed ‘Shark’. Consisting of a thin but closely yarned fleece lining, backed by the exterior layer of a matted wetsuit-like windproofed lycra, the jacket is definitely on the ‘race-fit’ side of the fence, offering a really flattering profile when zipped up. Bonus points already! Think of it as the women-friendly equivalent of Rapha’s Pro-team jacket; a race-cut insulating outer layer designed simultaneously to afford a breathable and windproof front panel.

Reflective piping flocks the rear panel joints, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a high-vis piece, its stealthy and ninja-like with its completely black colour. Stylish attire indeed for the day, but this wont be ideal for commuting on darkened streets come evening time. Team with a high-vis gilet or such should this be the case would be my advice.

Two large pockets provide ample storage for ride food and phones/camera etc. No internal pump pocket or such, but they do keep their shape under load extremely well, and don’t sag in that unsightly way that other jerseys can be prone to. 
The jersey is an ideal 3 season outer layer, teamed with either 3/4 or tights and a thick baselayer in the winter. Retailing at around £150 (although I have seen these floating about in online sales recently) the jacket is a minimally-stylish staple thats manufacturing quality means it should last quite a few seasons. I teamed it happily with the rapha 3/4 bibs during an extensive test throughout late March/early April and it performed admirably giving ample protection from wind and drizzle. Id say look to employ the jacket ideally at temperatures below 12 degrees or so.
Capo will also be involved the the really cool Rêve grand tour project, which sees a group of 6 US based ladies take part in a punishing 3479KM ride shadowing the 2012 Tour de France route. Hopefully the weather will stay nice enough for the gang they wont be needing the Cipressa jacket 😉
Capo is available in the following places 

Winter Rider

On a quick blast to Richmond Park a couple of weeks ago I caught the wheel of Dr J > I thoroughly enjoyed the chilly but brisk lap we shared, catching up as we turned the pedals. Winter Jerseys at the ready (in 2010 navy obv), the icy air and sparsely decorated trees provided a beautiful backdrop to some hazily lit steady winter riding. Beats the turbo anyday! 

Winter Miles

Iv been pretty spoilt for weather and riding this past few weeks, with some really mild winter days making for some fabulous base mileage, pootling about before the intensity work begins in Feb! I had the pleasure of riding with Portland’s finest, mister Jeremy Dunn himself, as well as joining some cool people to rack up those important conversational paced rides…. long may the mildness continue, if I ever thought to myself id be riding in mitts in January id have thought that was barmy! Hope everyone is enjoying their January…

Nothing nicer than riding with a cycling newbie, biggup Jezza!
 Loving Prendas white oversocks, so PRO
 Suited, booted and not a cloud in the sky. Glorious!
 Portlands daddio of cool, J-Dunn himself. Was a pleasure to chase the tarmac with you man!
Putting in the base miles, couldn’t be happier right now!

A Vicious Introduction To Cross

Firstly apologies for the seemingly baron virtual space that is bianchista, I concede the updates have been thoroughly lacking these days, and can only offer the excuse that life seems to have ramped up to around 200% on the busyness scale, well that and im actually riding my bike/attending bike type things!
So without further ado, let me launch into today’s blogpost which will be a hearty congratulations to all the Vicious Velo crew for organising such a fantastic day of gnarly cross racing down at Herne Hill Velodrome. I had my first practical introduction a few weeks ago to the muddy & intense world of cross via the lovely Konrad Manning (more on my virgin knobby-tyred outing to come this week on the blog), but was yet to head down and actually watch a race… I mean, sure, iv streamed my fair share of begian uber-cross fests when the office is quiet, and im pretty au-fait with the riders and courses on the world cup (thanks in no part to an excellent cyclocross photobook by balint hamvas, in which you can read a review this week), but a rare Sunday off work meant a perfect opportunity to taste all things vicious at Herne Hill.

Boom was in residence on the airwaves, utilising the ‘Megamouth’ for epic heckles and commentary, the like of which may be shunned by the cycling establishment as it was literally 200% HILAR. Goading riders into grabbing curly wurlys and passing seat height judgements were amongst the best. Respect! 

Ben did a fab job designing the course, with crazy turns, a pretty gnarly looking wallride (I think I saw 3 people attempt it, of which two crashed and burned!). The technical sandpits became real leg-crampers towards the end of the race, and the section outside of the velodrome proved tight and pretty unforgiving.

Massive congrats to all who raced today, I was so impressed by the amount and variety of riders out on what was honestly a brutally cold day. You have so much respect in bianchistas book, I feel shattered after just turning up and shooting a few pics.

I managed to fire off pretty much a frame or two of every rider, but as you can imagine its a pretty mammoth job to get them all edited and uploaded. But keep an eye on my flickr towards the end of the week and il be adding them all into the Vicious Cross set.

Nice to meet Geoff too, who kept everyone going through the corners with his awesome drum skills, got to hand it to a man that’s willing to come out and play a session (gloveless) on a freezing December morning! Anyway, if you missed it, there’s always next year, this is Ben’s annual event, and it really is such a wicked atmosphere. I implore you to dig your wellies out, grab a camera, maybe a flask of tea and head down to your local cross race. It needs everyones support, and I don’t mean financially, just get down and cheers a few of the guys on, I know they will appreciate it…