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Team NetApp and Endura Racing to merge at end of the season

Endura hitches itself to German team to move up to UCI Professional Continental status

Scotland-based Endura Racing has confirmed that it is to merge with the German UCI Professional Continental team NetApp at the end of the season.

Last month, it was reported that Endura, sponsored by the eponymous cycle clothing brand, had been aiming to secure Professional Continental status in its own right but was unable to raise the required sponsorship.

That meant that merging with an existing second flight team was the only way the outfit, managed by former British road race champion and now regular TV pundit Brian Smith, could move up from its present UCI Continental classification.

The new team will be known as Team NetApp-Endura, with both sponsors having signed up for a two-year period through to the end of 2014.

Eight riders from Endura will be moving across to the merged team, which will have a total complement of 20 including new signings and an unspecified number of NetApp riders.

The Endura riders making the switch, according to French website Velochrono, are ex-Team Sky man Russell Downing, fellow Britons Scott Thwaites, Erick Rowsell and Jonny McEvoy, Spain’s Iker Camaño, the German rider Paul Voss, the Australian Zak Dempster and possibly French rider Alexandre Blain.

One current Endura rider who won’t be part of the new set-up, however, is Jonathan Tiernan Locke, whose high profile victories in several races this season have attracted the attention of some of the sport’s biggest teams, with Team Sky rumoured to be favourite to sign him. Endura have already confirmed he will be leaving.

Jim McFarlane, Director of Endura, commented: “
Our Continental Team, Endura Racing, is now one of the top ranked teams in the European Tour and this progress is the product of continuous commitment and hard work.

“Team NetApp and Endura Racing share the same ambition of progressing to the highest levels of sporting success and our commitment to Team NetApp - Endura means that we will be present at some of the biggest races on the planet.

“Perhaps more importantly, we will be giving some of our existing riders the chance to ride at the highest level whilst continuing to work with them, and the whole team, on product development and testing.”

Team NetApp is now racing in its third season and participated in its first Grand Tour this year when it competed in the Giro d’Italia. Team manager 

Ralph Denk said: “
We have undergone a sporting development that is virtually unprecedented. In three years we have managed to develop young riders into significant performers at the Giro d’Italia.

“With ten victories so far, the Team races its best season ever. I am delighted that NetApp continues to support this.

 That we have been able to resign NetApp and secure Endura as a key new partner is a milestone in the history of our team.

“NetApp’s commitment to the team’s success has been fundamental to our achievements and bringing Endura onboard as an ambitious brand that deserves to be presented at the most important races in the world. I am convinced that together we will be even more successful.”

Endura Racing currently use Giant frames, while NetApp’s bikes are supplied by Austria’s Simplon. It has already been announced that the merged team will be switching to the US-owned Fuji brand for the next two seasons.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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bikeandy61 | 11 years ago

Good luck to all the members of what will be a new team and all the best for those from both sides who will miss out. Hopefully with this years cycling successes the profile of the Halfords Tour Series and ToB the job hunt will not be too onerous. But having said that finances in the UK and world wide still remain very tight.

But as said, good luck to all.  4

STATO | 11 years ago

I never understand it when teams are said to 'merge' when what they probably mean is the sponsor has shifted over to another team and taken some of its staff (riders) with it. A team is more than riders and i can imagine a lot of coaches, mechanics and other Soigneurs are all out of a job.

notfastenough | 11 years ago

Can't help but feel for the Endura (and Netapp) riders who won't make the new merged team. However, overall this is good news, I was following Netapp at the Giro just because I was rooting for the underdog to prove themselves, and this will put more British riders on the map.

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