How do you kit out a leading WorldTour pro for a season of training and racing?
Scottish brand Endura reveal what goes into Alejandro Valverde's kit bag
by Colin Henrys
Dressing for the variable weather conditions encountered throughout a typical year means you need a well-stocked cycling wardrobe, from jerseys and bib shorts in the summer, through essential spring and autumn accessories like arm/leg warmers and gilets, and not to mention full winter kit.
But when you are a pro, that problem is magnified even more – with such a variable calendar of racing through the year. Even with the clear and obvious benefits of having your kit supplied to you, you need to be well stocked for the season, covering all the weather conditions like to be encountered in training and racing.
So how do kit suppliers provide for their star riders during a season? Scottish brand Endura were among those celebrating Alejandro Valverde’s fourth consecutive La Fleche Wallonne victory on Wednesday, as official sponsors of his Movistar team.
Valverde, perhaps more than any other rider, epitomises the need for wide-ranging kit given his frequent ability to win races at all times of the year.
Already this season, the 36-year-old has started his season in Mallorca and won races in Murcia, Andalucia, Catalunya and the Basque Country before heading to Wallonnia.
Next he’ll turn his attention to honing his form for the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, before taking on the Race of the Falling Leaves, autumn’s Giro di Lombardia.
Endura supply each Movistar rider with a full quota of new kit at the start of the campaign, and again before each Grand Tour – a full kit allocation comprising 45 separate items of clothing, most of which are handmade at Endura HQ in Livingston.
Any kit damaged in crashes will also be replaced throughout the campaign, so what goes into Alejandro Valverde’s kit bag? Let’s take a closer look.
Valverde is 177cm tall and weighs 61kg, meaning he wears Endura’s standard small size in most of his clothing - though his 'standard' bib shorts and 'summer' bib shorts are an additional 25mm longer in leg length, at the rider's request. Along with those, Valverde is also allocated with winter bib shorts and windproof bib tights.
"Alejandro only requests extra leg length on his standard and summer bibshorts," says Michelle O’Connor, Endura’s head of garment technology. “All the rest of his kit is the standard variants, usually size small. He is one of the most easy-going riders on the team."
Endura say their relationship with Movistar paved the way for the Pro SL Bibshort II, which offers a pad in three widths, while the Scottish brand also worked with the team to design the Encapsulator - a time trial skin suit with integrated dossard pocket.
Endura supply each Movistar rider with nine jerseys and jackets in all. That includes four types of short sleeve jersey (standard, winter, summer and a water resistant Classics jersey, which they also get in a long sleeve version), two winter jackets (one double-fronted, one made from a windproof Roubaix fabric), and two waterproof jackets (one thermal, one regular).
Valverde wears all in size small, but opts for a medium size for his three gilets (race, winter and waterproof). The 36-year-old also takes a medium when it comes to his five types of gloves, covering everything from TT mitts to neoprene winter gloves. He also gets five variations of overshoes, again to cover all seasons and weather conditions.
Throw in accessories like caps, arm warmers and so on, and the pro rider has a wealth of kit at their disposal - but, with non-stop training and racing throughout the year, it's likely to get plenty of use.