ROLLING WITH RAPHA: With its in-store cafés and cycle club, Rapha is all about catering to its customer community, and now it’s getting into the media — and entertainment — business with plans to launch Rapha Race Radio on YouTube.
The upscale brand is promising to take viewers and listeners roadside to the world’s biggest races, “sending a team out to follow the professional sport in the most unprofessional way possible, and capture the insanity of professional cycling.”
Rapha Race Radio, which is free on the Rapha YouTube channel, will also involve local cycling fans. The brand said its correspondents plan to “drink with the Belgians at Flanders, take a shower in Roubaix and paint the mountain roads. We’ll show you the best and the worst of the sport, taking you beyond the existing coverage to celebrate moments of heroism and panache, criticize the ills and excess — and ignore everything in between.”
The company has drafted former professional racer and Eurosport commentator Juan Antonio Flecha to opine on the races.
“With Rapha Race Radio, we want to inject a little fun into the coverage of pro cycling,” said Harry Dowdney, producer and presenter of Rapha Race Radio. “It’s incredible, and we want to show everyone why.”
Rapha said it will start its regular dispatches next week at the Tour of Flanders, known as the De Ronde, an annual cycling race held in Belgium. It plans to have made 20 episodes by the end of the season.
The radio project is part of the newly formed Rapha Media. The company said it is planning a mix of programming and writing that covers every aspect of life on the bike, from the culture and community “to the characters and moments that color professional racing.”
Earlier this month, Rapha Media said it was planning to release three documentary films this year as part of its Outskirts series, which aims to chronicle “epic journeys on iconic roads around the world.”
The series will be created by Thereabouts, and the first one follows Angus Morton, a professional racer, and three friends as they ride Route 66 in the United States, from end to end.