The 2011 Endura Racing team was unveiled on Friday to the UK press, media and special guests assembled at the Design Museum in central London – delivering a message of intent for success on the international stage.
Now in their second season, the UK-based squad launch follows a winter of product and team development, and the acquisition of new international rider talent to bolster the Endura Racing set-up. The 16-man team will embark on a programme that mixes the UK calendar with high-ranking international races, against some of the very best pro tour teams and riders.
Photo by Joolze Dymond
This year will once again see the team using LOOK bikes, equipped with Sram components, Zipp wheels, Continental tyres, Fizik saddles and Tacx ergo trainers. Other team partners are Science in Sport (nutrition), BONT (shoes), Pedros (bike maintenance) and Qoleum (rider care products).
The 2011 build-up also brought news of a broadened support and investment from Endura into the MTB and track disciplines. Recent news releases highlighted new signings Oli Beckingsale and Chris Pritchard, two riders on very different programmes, but with the same intention of racing success and exposure for Endura.
After my recent interest in a Scottish champion’s jersey, I was looking out for Evan Oliphant’s kit but there wasn’t a band of saltires around his middle, like with Ross Creber last year. However, with the tribute to the Scottish RR championship being a non-UCI accredited ‘ceremonial’ detail, we wouldn’t see this for continental races anyway. We might still see it for domestic races such as the Premier Calendar series.
My other thought about the lauched was a mixed feeling: I’m glad to see a team with such overtly Scottish backing and it gives road race fans in Scotland a pro team to really get behind. But there are far fewer Scottish riders on the squad this year. However Endura is well aware of its identity and Scots riders Evan Oliphant and Callum Wilkinson were first up for Q&As at the launch.
The squad has stepped up a level for the second year in a row and the continental contingent is strong: 2010 season signings Alex Blain, Jack Bauer, Iker Camano were joined by new signings Paul Voss, Rene Mandri, Maarten de Jonge, Alexander Wetterhall and Jack Anderson. These 8 riders boast a wealth of Grand Tour finishes and National champions jerseys. From four-time Tour de France finisher Camano and Vuelta rider Voss to NZ National RR champ Bauer and Swedish TT champ Wetterhall.
My prime interest is the Scottish angle, so what of former Endura Racing riders? James McCallum has joined Rapha, Ross Creber CyclePremier-Metaltek and Davie Lines and Gary Hand are rider-coaches with the Pedal Power-Endura development squad.
More to come on Endura Racing in the next few days.