By Luke Friend
Bioracer Speedwear has announced the launch of Bioracer UK, a limited company that will aim to bring a "seamless" journey to UK riders seeking custom cycling kit.
Bioracer UK will consist of a dedicated team that will serve its local audience.
While firmly established in Belgium for over three decades, Bioracer had garnered less attention in the UK. This changed when earlier this year Ineos Grenadiers announced that it will partner with Bioracer as kit supplier from 2022 onwards. Ineos had previously had a successful relationship with Italian brand Castelli.
Known as the ‘original custom kit’ brand, Bioracer makes tailored kits for cycling clubs, large and small. Working with the Belgian and Dutch National teams since the mid-90s, it’s produced tailored race wear for the likes of Wout van Aert, Philippe Gilbert, Tom Boonen and Tom Dumoulin. In the process it has helped riders to win a 1000 medals combined at the Worlds, the European Championships and the Olympics.
Deeply embedded in Belgian grassroots cycling, Bioracer manufacturers all its products in-house. This, it says, allows it to better meet the needs of its customers, helping to supply clubs with custom apparel quickly and at an affordable price.
“What’s unique about Bioracer is that we are one of the few, if not only, brands out there that have their own manufacturing facilities,” says Piet Renson, Head of Market and Business Development. “We don’t outsource to other third party suppliers as most brands do. We control the whole process from A to Z, which allows us to be so good in custom. You can’t do this well if you don’t have full control over production.”
Bioracer UK will offer the same custom kit experience, with apparel supplied from five factories based in mainland Europe. It hopes that by offering the same complete service, which also includes supporting cycling clubs with their online orders, Bioracer can begin to establish itself as an integral part of the vibrant British cycling club scene, as it has in Flanders and beyond for many years.
At the other end of this pyramid is its relationship with team Ineos. As it’s done in Belgium and the Netherlands through its work with the national teams, Bioracer UK will hope that a holistic approach that sees it relevant both on the World Tour and at a local club 10 will pay dividends.
But whether it's making kit for the Tom Pidcock or the next Pidcock in waiting, Bioracer’s aim is the same: to deliver custom race wear that makes you faster. To help achieve this it has been at the forefront of garment innovation since the late 80s, when founder and legendary Belgian racer Raymond Vanstraelen shifted his focus from custom bike fitting to custom cycling apparel. In more recent times it has invested in a dedicated innovation hub that it shares with, among others, Ridley. Bioracer UK will directly benefit from the same product development experience.
The new limited company has joined forces with Onimpex, who have distributed Bioracer Speedwear in the UK for the past twenty years.
“We’re thrilled to have been appointed by Bioracer’s Belgium HQ to join forces with Ken Jones and Chris Spencer of Onimpex to create Bioracer UK Ltd at the beginning of such an exciting new chapter in Bioracer’s 35 year journey of race proven heritage,” says Sam Davies, head of team operation at Bioracer UK. “It's a huge honour to be able to channel our industry relationships, network and experience into piloting bold new ideas for Bioracer in the UK at such a historic moment for the brand.”
Ineos Grenadiers have begun to release ‘sneak peeks’ of the new Bioracer team kit over its various online platforms. The full kit launch is due in December.
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