Rapha will call an end to nine years of sponsorship for the UK’s most consistently successful UCI Continental team, the London-based brand announced today.
Rapha joined forces with Condor Cycles to form the Rapha-Condor team in 2006, and the ‘Men in Black’ have gone on to achieve significant success at domestic level.
However, Rapha have decided to end their co-sponsorship of the team at the close of the 2014 season, and have pledged to pursue other means of supporting the UK racing scene. The brand is clothing supplier to Britain’s Team Sky in cycling’s elite UCI WorldTour.
Chief executive Simon Mottram said: “After eight years the cycling market and our business have changed and we have decided that having a UCI-registered Continental racing team is not the best way for Rapha to contribute to the UK racing scene.
“We are exploring other ways in which Rapha can usefully invest in UK racing. The soon-to-be announced Rapha Tempest festival is just one of those and further plans will be announced shortly.
“Road racing and riding in the UK have been transformed since Rapha and Condor started our partnership in 2006.
After eight years the cycling market and our business have changed and we have decided that having a UCI-registered Continental racing team is not the best way for Rapha to contribute to the UK racing scene – Simon Mottram, CEO, Rapha
“Both Rapha and Condor have grown and developed in that time as well. Our eight years together have been really important to Rapha, helping us become established as a legitimate fixture of the UK racing scene.”
He added: “We are happy to go out on a high, with 2014 being a year of celebration for Rapha, Condor, John Herety and all the riders and staff who have worked with us since 2006.”
Rapha have reiterated their commitment to the team for their final season however, with the squad bolstered to now include 14 riders, while they insist they will work with Condor and fellow co-sponsors JLT to ensure a ‘smooth transition into 2015’.
Since 2006, Rapha have achieved a number of notable victories – with Kristian House having been crowned national champion in 2009, and wining the Tour of Britain’s King of the Mountains jersey last year.
Mike Cuming earned their most recent high-profile success, defying the odds to win the Tour de Korea this year.
They are also reigning Revolution Series champions on the track – thanks to a string of impressive performances from Olympic champion Ed Clancy.
Dean Downing, Great Britain coach Chris Newton, and Scottish star James McCallum have all also pulled on the team’s black jerseys during their short history, while John Herety has managed the team since 2008.
Herety said: “Rapha have been an excellent sponsor for the team, as well as passionate supporters of our riders.
“We’ve enjoyed a lot of success in the distinctive black jerseys, and we will be working to take as many more wins as we can in 2014, before the team continues in a new guise into 2015.”
Condor Cycles have vowed to continue their sponsorship of the team into 2015, and CEO Grant Young stated: “It has been great working in partnership with Rapha over what will be nine years.
“The ‘men in black’ have achieved more success than Simon and I ever could have imagined when we started this project.
“I am of course sad that have Rapha have chosen to leave this partnership but understand that their commitments have evolved.”