Retired sprinter Marcel Kittel and Scottish brand Endura have announced a new partnership that will see the German powerhouse form part if its 'clan', offering feedback from his experience in the pro ranks.
The Grand Tour stage winner joined the brand, alongside journalists, and several other famous faces from cycling's history for several days riding around Endura's stomping ground, in Scotland, last week.
Announcing the move, the 31-year-old said: "I'm looking forward to be [sic] able to give my experience as a former pro as feedback to create an even better riding experience."
In an interview, he told German magazine Der Spiegel he had “lost all motivation to keep torturing myself on a bike.”
Free from the confines of training for bunch sprints, he's been enjoying a range of disciplines and the brand say he'll be involved in development of product across the range - from road to gravel, mountain bike and leisure wear.
Discussing the move to working alongside the clothing brand, Kittel said: “I was looking to stay involved to reignite my passion for the sport and to also refocus on what I love about riding my bike. That's being outside in nature, having fun with friends and forgetting about what else is going on in the world for a few hours. No pressure, just fun."
Having met Endura's directors, he said: "I wasn't pushing to be involved with any cycling company because it was important that the choice of brand should be a ‘natural fit’ and based on shared values and ideas. [When I] got a good look at the company, I realised that this possible partnership felt very good and authentic.
The brand says it will work with Kittel to develop some of its race orientated kit, such as the Pro SL shorts, as well as more leisure orientated kit as he begins to explore cycling in a more relaxed setting.
Discussing emerging trends within the cycling world, he said: “There’s a lot going on in the sport right now. Indoor trainers and gravel are getting really big, there are the developments in e-cycling, and we are seeing women get more of the attention they deserve; I would be very happy if we see more change in that direction.”
Kittel joins a range of existing Endura 'clan' members - including 'Scottish legend and disruptor in chief' Graeme Obree plus mountain biking trio the Atherton siblings and Danny MacAskill.
Commenting in the new recruit, Endura's Director Pamela Barclay said: “Marcel Kittel is not quite the character you might expect from a top flight athlete. He projects a modesty, curiosity and warmth that is rare and that makes us particularly confident about our partnership.”
“We recognised early on that we share core values of integrity and authenticity and Marcel has been someone who has consistently spoken his mind - that matches our renegade approach to new ideas or developments. We are really looking forward to harnessing that enthusiasm for exploring novel areas and concept together as a fascinating rider with a wealth of insight and incredibly interesting projects ahead.”
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Cycling Weekly's Digital Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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