Team Sky links up with Rapha for 2013

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Rapha will be the official clothing provider to Team Sky from the start of the 2013 season.

As part of a four-year deal, the London-based company will provide the leading squad with on-bike and off-bike kit, as well as riding and fan wear for leisure cyclists and fans.

Rapha will replaces Adidas as official clothing provider. This partnership will have no effect on British Cycling's ongoing deal with the German-born clothing giant.

Rapha was founded in 2004 by Simon Mottram. Quickly developing a powerful brand image, it has become known as a high-quality cycling clothing and accessory make.

However, this signals a move in a new direction for the British company, who haven't previously had such a strong association with international top-tier racing.

"Team Sky has achieved this year's level of success because of a strong and steady vision to find improvement at every level to help our riders win," team principal Dave Brailsford said in a Sky press release on Thursday morning.

"I see Rapha joining us next year as another step in that direction. They share our ambition and vision for cycling."

Rapha has backed a leading British squad, now Rapha-Condor-Sharp, since 2008. It won't be affected by the company's forthcoming partnership with Team Sky.