New Pissei skinsuit that Ayuso wore to beat Ganna is 'fastest ever' – Italian brand releases details

UAE Team Emirates' Italian clothing sponsor Pissei reveals how its new fastest skinsuit is designed to give Tadej Pogačar the edge when he goes head to very big head with his Danish nemesis this year

The towering new Giro time trial helmets of Visma-Lease a Bike have been stealing all the headlines this week, but it’s a different and much more discreet piece of tech that’s been stealing the stage wins for Team UAE Emirates – most notably the team time trial at Paris-Nice, the stage-one individual time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico – in which Juan Ayuso beat Filippo Ganna by one second – and a clean sweep of the podium in the UAE Tour ITT.

This year the UAE riders have been using a new skinsuit from Pissei, which the Italian clothing sponsor says is the fastest they’ve ever made. Pissei tested the final version at the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub wind tunnel and earlier versions over the last year and a half at Valencia velodrome with Tadej Pogačar and other UAE riders – and with UAE Team ADQ for the women’s version – trialling different constructions and fabrics.

UAE Team Emirates in the Paris-Nice TTT

As is wind-tunnel proven to be the case with skinsuits, it’s the static upper part that makes the difference – since the legs are moving and it’s difficult to find gains in that area – so Pissei says the lower part was designed for rider comfort with two panels and one central seam hidden out of the airflow.

For the upper part, Pissei used its Primapelle jersey construction with no shoulder stitching, making the long-sleeved jersey section out of a single piece of fabric with just two seams on the sides.

Isaac del Toro at the Tirreno TT

Ultrasonic welding instead of sewing was used to join panels, while the bottoms of the sleeves and legs are raw cut with no stitching, cuffs or elastic bands.

Additionally, The Pissei suit has a compatible aero base layer developed specifically for it. Since the UCI banned textured aero fabrics after Team Sky’s 2018 Vortex skinsuit with its raised dimples, skinsuit designers exploit a loophole that doesn’t explicitly ban a textured base layer worn underneath an untextured skinsuit – so the sports bra-like garment with sleeves that time triallists and pursuiters now wear does exactly the same job, if not an even better one as Pissei claims: “As we were progressing in our tests, numbers were proving that the best results come from the coupling of a special aero base layer with an upper part crafted with a plain fabric able to accentuate the base layer effect. That’s why we concentrated on this option and we improved the construction of the suit, removing every unnecessary sewing.”

Mikkel Bjerg warming up before the Tirreno-Adriatico TT

Some versions of the Pissei base layer look very minimal, consisting of only ribbed sleeves joined together by a strip of bib-like mesh behind the neck, as worn by Juan Ayuso when he won the Tirreno-Adriatico opening TT. This also appears to create a smoother leading edge at the front of the shoulders. There appears to be a version covering more of the shoulders, as worn by Mikkel Bjerg at Tirreno, as well as both long and short-sleeved versions of the base layer, which Pissei says the rider chooses but would not share any more details.

Pissei says it will not share the actual numbers from testing either, but points to “the impressive podiums of the recently started 2024 racing season, proving how the synergy between our R&D and UAE Team Emirates staff and riders bear fruit.”

The skinsuit is made in Italy at Pissei’s custom lab and is available for customisation for teams via its custom service – pricing has not been disclosed.

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