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Dyneema Fabric Creates Groundbreaking Protective Cycling Jersey for Tour de France

Royal DSM, a global science-based company, announced that its Dyneema brand is driving the performance of Team Sunweb’s protective cycling jerseys in the 2020 Tour de France that begins Saturday and runs through Sept. 20.

Together with its partners Team Sunweb and Craft Sportswear, DSM has helped to deliver a jersey that, when combined with a protective base layer, offers cyclists effective abrasion protection at speeds up to 60 kilometers per hour, while also reducing the severity of open wounds at even higher speeds.

The company said that professional cycling places its participants in considerable danger, noting that in recent years, the Tour de France has averaged 1.5 crashes per stage, while crashes in one-day classics are even more frequent. Cycling jerseys can support riders by providing protection for a large portion of the body, while allowing for moisture transport to the surface and offering low thermal resistance.

However, cycling jerseys made with conventional materials offer limited protective performance, DSM said. To address these needs and allow for a safer riding experience, DSM collaborated with Craft Sportswear and Team Sunweb to develop a cycling jersey that offers increases in abrasion resistance without compromising the comfort or low weight that cyclists demand.

The new jersey is the latest protective cycling apparel solution, following the launch of protective bib shorts in 2015 and a protective base layer last year. The jersey will be worn for the first time by Team Sunweb in this year’s Tour de France.

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Dyneema has been used to protect workers in high-stake industries for more than 30 years, and the expansion into fabrics means professional and recreational cyclists can enjoy the intrinsic performance capabilities of Dyneema in their protective garments without sacrificing wearer comfort.

“Being 15 times stronger than steel on a weight for weight basis, Dyneema fiber offers an excellent solution to increasing the abrasion resistance of a fabric, reducing the severity of road rash in case of a crash, without compromising the rider weight or comfort,” said Piet Rooijakkers, head of research and development for Team Sunweb. “What’s more, the new jersey can form part of a modular protection solution where riders can easily take off or put on layers according to race and weather conditions. In this way, the new jersey will support our riders significantly in the Tour de France and beyond.”

Wilfrid Gambade, president of DSM Protective Materials, said the new cycling jersey with Dyneema will make a real difference to cyclists facing the dangers of professional competition, and help ensure the health of both people and the environment.

“The jersey is physical proof of the great achievements collaboration with expert partners can deliver,” Gambade said. “Moving forward, we will work with Craft and Team Sunweb to integrate bio-based Dyneema fibers into protective cycling jerseys, contributing even further to a safe and healthy world.”

In line with its commitment to protect people and the environment, DSM introduced the first bio-based HMPE (High Modulus Polyethylene fiber) in May. Bio-based Dyneema fiber offers the same performance as conventional Dyneema, with a carbon footprint that is 90 percent lower than generic HMPE. The continued partnership between DSM, Craft and Team Sunweb will not only provide innovative, lightweight solutions for cyclists, but also environmentally sustainable alternatives that contribute to a circular economy.