Team Sky and Rapha announce end to partnership

Rapha will end its partnership with Team Sky at the end of the 2016 season, four years after replacing Adidas as the team's kit provider

Chris Froome and his teammates celebrate during Stage 21 of the 2015 Tour de France
(Image credit: Watson)

High-end clothing brand Rapha has announced that it will not be renewing its partnership with Team Sky after the 2016 season - bringing an end to a four-year partnership.

Rapha chief executive, Simon Mottram, announced in an open letter that the decision was taken by both the company and the WorldTour team, with Rapha looking to support racing in new territories in 2017.

"After reflection and discussion, both Rapha and Team Sky have decided not to renew our partnership beyond the current four-year deal, which concludes at the end of the 2016 season," Mottram wrote.

"For the next year Rapha will focus on the research and development projects that are already in progress with the team. With several special new products due to be released in 2016, we now look forward to an exciting final season with Team Sky and celebrating the partnership in style."

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The partnership began at the end of 2012, when the British brand replaced Adidas as the clothing manufacturer of Team Sky, and has seen two Tour de France victories in the past three seasons.

Rapha announced another year of increased revenue for the year ending February 2015, but its focus on growth and worldwide expansion saw profits fall.

"Going forward Rapha will continue to find partnerships that serve and connect with our customers wherever they are from, and across the many levels and disciplines of this beautiful sport," Mottram continued.

"The success of our Cycle Clubs and the RCC (Rapha Cycling Club) gives us the confidence to keep moving forwards, to try new ventures and trust our instincts.

"From 2017 we will continue to support racing in many ways, especially locally, but we will also focus on new geographies, partnerships and categories. We will be announcing news on these exciting developments soon."

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.