When Movistar Team's fearsome triumvirate of Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde lined up for the start of Le Tour in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île on 7th July they might have had 3,350 kilometres ahead of them, but they had the full weight of Endura's accrued expertise from 25 years of speed behind them. From the advanced aerodynamics of their time trial suits to innovative multi-width pads in their bibshorts, the entire squad will enjoy tailor-made comfort as they aim for glory in Paris.
Endura are no strangers to the world’s biggest bike race, they were the first apparel brand to be a title sponsor when Team NetApp-Endura were selected as a wildcard team in 2014 and improbably the little known Scottish brand had two teams on the startline.
It is with Movistar Team, however, that Endura entered the WorldTour in style, winning a Grand Tour in the first year of the partnership as Colombian phenom Nairo Quintana rode into Milan clad in the maglia rosa after an epic Giro d’Italia. Success after success has followed since, with Monuments and Classics and national titles being added to the formidable palmares of Eusebio Unzué’s teams during the five years of working together.
How does a Scottish cycle clothing company, sometimes best known for their bombproof MTB wear find their way to road cycling’s top table? By going the extra kilometre in pursuit of unorthodox and inventive developments. Endura don’t just respond to the demands of one of the most storied teams in the history of professional cycling, they have been keen to offer up new technologies to give them every possible advantage.
Perhaps the most famous example is the output of Endura’s work with Simon Smart of Drag2Zero. Not only have key riders spent time in Drag2Zero’s wind tunnel facility at Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 honing their time trial positions, but massive gains have been made in developing bleeding edge aerodynamic garments for those days when every second counts. Employing game changing developments such as Surface Silicone Technology, handmade to a secret formula in their engineering lab in Scotland, make kit so fast that when Movistar Team’s riders are wearing the jerseys or skinsuits of a race leader they’re riding with a measureable if iconic disadvantage.
The partnership between Endura and Movistar team is beneficial to riders who aren’t riding in the WorldTour too. Movistar Team’s riders enjoy the benefits of super-fast skinsuits and tailormade comfort, but Endura’s Product Development team in Scotland can call upon the feedback received from the hundreds of thousands of kilometres that the riders spend riding in Endura kit.
One of the clearest examples of this expert input into Endura’s development cycle is the Pro SL Lite Jersey. One of the first test garments produced for a stealthy test by Pablo Lastras at a warm weather training camp, the performance of our cutting edge jersey, which made full use of the latest technologies was literally the deal clincher. Such was the performance of the unbadged jersey that Endura’s WorldTour credentials were proven after just a single climb.