Endura is ending its sponsorship with Movistar, blaming the UCI for limiting and in some cases even banning technological advances in clothing used by top-level cyclists.
The brand, which is based in Livingston, Scotland, said on its website that it had “reached a fork in the road” and had “chosen to avoid the developmental dead end currently being enforced by the UCI.”
Endura has been the technical apparel supplier to Movistar since 2014, including for the past two years the Spanish outfit’s women’s team.
Throughout, the kit has been designed in collaboration with aerodynamics expert Simon Smart of Drag2Zero, including extensive wind tunnel testing at the Mercedes AMG-Petronas facility in Brackley, Northamptonshire.
Its kit has been worn to victory in races including the Vuelta a Espana and Giro d’Italia – with the most recent edition won by Richard Carapaz – and this season it made the rainbow jersey worn by Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde.
Endura also made the skinsuit that Alex Dowsett wore when setting a new UCI Hour Record in Manchester in 2014.
Outlining its decision to cease the partnership with Movistar today, the firm said: “The escalation route to the top level in road cycling see Continental and Pro Continental teams hit glass ceilings where access to higher level races is limited and so too the WorldTour where progress in technical apparel is limited by the governing body and the prize for innovation is seeing technological advances banned.
“Endura reached a fork in the road and have chosen to avoid the developmental dead end currently being enforced by the UCI.”
Endura has continued to work with Drag2Zero, last year launching its Endura D2Z range, which it claimed offered "the world’s most advanced aero clothing and helmet."
However, at the start of this year the UCI banned its Surface Silicone Topography (SST) technology, with the governing body’s decision presumably a factor behind today’s announcement by Endura.
Endura says that it will continue to focus on clothing for road cyclists as well as developing aerodynamic clothing for triathletes.
It said: “Advanced aerodynamics work continues with Simon Smart, focused on the triathlon world, where technological development is not so constrained and we can expect to see for new ranges to meet needs the hardcore roadies whether that’s on tarmac or gravel.
“That said, Endura will keep a watching brief over the WorldTour and don’t discount a return to the pro peloton in the future.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.