Rapha and Team Sky announce end to clothing partnership

Clothing company to stop making British team's kits at end of 2016

Chris Froome and other Team Sky riders will not be decked out in Rapha gear beyond 2016, after the clothing company and the British team announced an end to their partnership. 

Rapha has supplied the team's kits since the start of the 2013 season, enjoying the exposure of two Tour de France victories in that time, but they will part ways when the current four-year deal expires at the end of next year.

"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," said Rapha's founder and chief executive Simon Mottram in an open letter. 

"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."

Team Sky also took to Twitter to announce the end to the partnership, adding that the final Rapha-made Team Sky jersey, which riders will wear in the 2016 season, will be revealed soon. Before Rapha, Sky were supplied by Adidas since their inception in 2010. 

Despite the end to this high-profile partnership, Rapha is set to unveil "exciting developments" in the near future as it looks to continue its growth by seeking out new ventures, insisting it will still be involved with racing from 2017. 

"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," said Mottram.

"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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