The Gavia and Stelvio are two of Europe's most celebrated climbs. They're also possibly the most difficult to manage, a pair of unruly granite hammers whose impacts fall outside of the immediate event, punishing race organizers almost as much as the riders. Case in point: the controversial 16th stage of 2014's Giro, which featured terrible weather and a confusing neutralization situation that may or may not have influenced Quintana's overall victory. In that stage, the up-and-coming talent Majka ended up losing 4:08 because of the confusion. But when inclement weather strikes, there's no confusion about what to wear. Majka's Tinkoff Saxo squad opts for Sportful's Fiandre Light WS Jacket to protect them from severe conditions from the Italy's Gavia to the cobblestones of Flanders.
The Fiandre Light WS Jacket is built around Gore's venerable Windstopper Lightstretch fabric, a combination of protection and fit that Sportful claims other professional teams opt to use clandestinely without the benefit of a sponsorship. It's the lightest Windstopper fabric in Sportful's line, which means that pros like Majka, who have tuned their bodies to perfection, won't be hampered by any extra grams when conditions warrant extra protection. It also means that aspirational riders ranging from Cat 1s to weekend singletrack recreationalists will enjoy a jacket that is lightweight, breathable, windproof, and waterproof courtesy a DWR treatment. The Fiandre Jacket won't make you climb like Majka, but you'll be as comfortable as the professionals in inclement conditions.
Sportful uses its exclusive NoRain Light fabric on the jacket's sides. NoRain Light consists of Thermodrytex Plus material treated with a nanotech water-repellent finish for a stretchy, soft, thermally insulating, lightweight, waterproof side panel the perfect complement to the Windstopper front and back. The combination means you stay dry and warm with enough ventilation to keep you from overheating. You may still sweat during climbs and intervals, but the superb breathability of both fabrics wicks the moisture so you won't freeze on the long base miles between hard efforts. This unique combination of protection and breathability, combined with the Fiandre Light Jacket's slim fit, recommend it for short, hard efforts like cyclocross racing in rain, snow, and cold.
The jacket's waterproof qualities are only outdone by its literal windproof-ness, but we feel that it's the finer details that really make this a pro-level piece of cycling kit. These details include a YKK Vislon waterproof zipper that parks in its own magnetic ""garage,"" three rear pockets with drain holes, reflective highlights, and Lycra bands at the wrist to keep the cuffs in place and firmly sealed against the elements. Add to this the jacket's exaggerated rear hem, and you've got all the bad weather protection you need even from your own rooster tail.
The Sportful Fiandre Light WS Jacket is available in seven sizes ranging from X-Small to XXX-Large in the colors Black, Cyan/black, and Yellow Fluo/black.