Rapha Condor and Sharp part ways after three and a half successful seasons - 03/12/12

The close of the 2012 season will mark the end of a three-and a-half-year partnership between Rapha Condor and Sharp as sponsors of the British UCI Continental team.

While Rapha Condor will continue to sponsor the UK based team, after being convinced of the value of the opportunities available in sponsoring the sport of professional cycling Sharp has stepped up its commitment to cycling sponsorship by backing the Garmin-Sharp team at World Tour level.

Rapha’s CEO, Simon Mottram, said of the partnership, “Sharp’s support over the last three and a half years helped us to develop a successful team and to reach the pinnacle of British domestic racing. We have really enjoyed working with them and although it is sad to part ways, seeing a multi-national company move up to supporting cycling at World Tour level is a very positive step for the sport and very satisfying.”

Grant Young of Condor also commented on the success of the partnership, “When I look back the Rapha Condor Sharp team achieved some fantastic victories as well as help raise money for Prostate Cancer. When Rapha Condor changed direction, Sharp supported our focus of developing young talent and I’m proud of what Sharp and Rapha Condor have accomplished.”

Paul Hide, Managing Director of Sharp in the UK echoed these sentiments when he said, “Our sponsorship of Rapha Condor Sharp has allowed us to put the Sharp brand in front of the kind of tech-savvy, design-conscious audience we want to engage with. Rapha and Condor have been the ideal partners to guide us in the sport, and we wish them every success in continuing their project to develop young talent. Sharp’s support of pro-cycling has now moved to UCI World Tour with Garmin Sharp. Like Rapha Condor, this is a team with an unwavering commitment to the best elements of cycling.”

Sharp was first announced as a sponsor of the team at the 2009 Tour of Britain

Sharp has been a committed and enthusiastic backer of the team, since coming on board, initially in 2009 under the ‘Sharp4Prostate’ charity banner, and then as a title sponsor for the 2010 season. The sponsorship boost from Sharp, immediately paid dividends for the team.

In 2010 and 2011 the men in black enjoyed two years of unprecedented success. The squad took major international victories including, overall victory at the Tour of South Africa, stage victories at the Tour of Japan, The Tour of Taiwan, The Vuelta Leon, the Ronde de L’Oise as well as a high profile victory in the King of the Mountains at the Tour of Britain for Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke capped an impressive two years for Rapha Condor Sharp with his King of the Mountains triumph at the Tour of Britain in 2011

Rapha Condor Sharp were also highly successful on the domestic scene, taking numerous individual rounds of the Premier Calendar as well as the overall victory in the series in 2010 with Chris Newton. The team also enjoyed a great amount of success in the burgeoning British criterium circuit, scoring a landslide victory in the 2011 Halfords Tour Series where the team won 5 of the 8 rounds, as well as the overall title. In the same season the team also took out the National Criterium title with Graham Briggs and the Elite Circuit Series through Dean Downing.

The team was dominant on the Criterium scene in 2011…

…winning the overall Tour Series trophy in commanding fashion

After two years of high profile success, at the end of their original two-year contract Sharp re-committed to backing the team for 2012 when the focus was switched away from race wins onto young rider development.

Sharp invested in documenting this development through their Inside-Out project. Which, throughout 2012 sought to follow and document the development of the young Rapha Condor Sharp riders. This work can still be viewed online www.inside-out.tv and is available from December 4th in a print edition from www.sharpdirect.co.uk, as well as in store at Condor Cycles and the Rapha Cycle Club.

Further announcements regarding Rapha Condor’s plans for 2013 will follow in the coming days.