1 Classic: Endura

These are high times for Endura, the Scottish clothing brand with WorldTour clientele. When Spanish grandees Movistar rolled into Esocia at the recent Tour of Britain, they presented their hosts with a very welcome gift. “The Tour of Britain doesn’t hit Scotland too often, so it was a pleasure to be able to welcome Movistar to Edinburgh,” Endura’s Martin Steele recalls. “Even better, as Juanjo Lobato was in the leader’s jersey at the time.” A ‘cross fanatic, Steele represents an interesting counterpoint to Lobato and his colleagues, and a window on life at Endura: one an elite athlete competing with one of the biggest teams in professional cycling, the other a passionate supporter of the sport’s grass roots, more likely to be found up to his ankles in mud on the Isle of Mull than at the sharp of end a bunch kick in a WorldTour race. They are united by a love of cycling and their clothing: Steele’s Velo Club Moulin colours and Lobato’s Movistar kit are made by the same people, in the same factory, using the same process. “Given the hectic schedule of the Tour, it wasn’t possible to show the team around the factory where their kit is made," Steele deadpans, "but next time they visit, we’ll get them at work on the sewing machines…” Ah, yes: another notable aspect of Endura is that the only thing regarded with total seriousness at their vast headquarters in Scotland is the clothing. [drupal {"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"13854","attributes":{"alt":"Racing cyclist, blue jersey with red, yellow, and red bands on torso, Spanish tricolore, viewed from behind, being pushed by helper, La Vuelta a Espana 2015, stage 20, Alejandro Valverde","class":"media-image","height":"459","style":"font-size: 0.923em; line-height: 1.5em; width: 689px; height: 459px;","title":"La Vuelta a Espana 2015, stage 20, Alejandro Valverde","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"689"}}] Movistar’s success on the road this season - and there has been plenty of it, with 32 victories, kicked off in Australia by Lobato (him again) - is owed at least in part to the efforts of the team in Livingston. The road isn’t the only area in which Endura and Movistar have tasted success this year. Alex Dowsett brought them an Hour Record, a reward for a skinsuit developed through 52 iterations after sessions in the Drag2Zero wind tunnel at the Mercedes F1 factory in Brackley. Dowsett has also delivered another national time trial title and a maiden GC victory at a professional stage race, winning Bayern Rundfhart in May. The Essex rider is one of three national time trial champions on Movistar’s books. Adriano Malori, second at this year’s world championships in Richmond, and Jonathan Castroviejo, fourth, race in skinsuits from Scotland, emblazoned with red, white and green tricolore, and the red and yellow of Spain respectively. Alejandro Valverde will hope to impose the challenge of a rainbow jersey on Endura’s design team. The world number one, seen most recently winning stage four of La Vuelta, has been a perennial contender for the World Championship, and after victories this season at La Fléche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, will again start among the favourites. Richmond is a long way from Livingston, and even Edinburgh, but Jim McFarlane’s team will be cheering their Spanish colleagues regardless. Buenos tiempos have reigned since the Livingston brand became Movistar’s supplier last year. Neither party can be expected to be in a hurry to alter the partnership. Endura will exhibit at the 1 Classic, an intimately curated show of road cycling’s most respected brands, to be held at Vinopolis, London Bridge, from November 19 to 21, 2015. To find out more, visit 1 Classic.
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