Scottish cycle apparel specialist Endura has confirmed that Marcel Kittel, a leading sprinter of his generation and a multiple Grand Tour stage winner, has signed as an athlete ambassador.
In a release Endura gives some background to the new partnership with the former pro rider…
Kittel always assumed he’d go back into a WorldTour team, but then he had time to reflect. His priority has shifted since retiring from pro cycling in August 2019, from time in the saddle to enjoying new beginnings at home, his relationship with cycling is enjoying a brand new beginning of its own. Because now Kittel gets to pick any discipline he fancies, a fact clearly echoed by his diverse bike collection of road, gravel and mountain bikes.
“I didn’t want to leave pro cycling behind and just do something completely different, to not have any relationship with the sport at all,” Kittel explained. “You need to know that I´m proud of my career and still love riding my bike.
“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.
“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. So, when I met Pam and Jim [founders of Endura] and got a good look at the company, I realised that this possible partnership felt very good and authentic. It´s great to be part of Endura now and I´m looking forward to being with them to focus on good, innovative products while having fun on the bike.”
Endura notes that, with a palmarès like Kittel’s, it goes without saying that his experience will be highly valued in the continued improvement of Endura’s professional cycling lines like the Pro SL range. But he’s also looking forward to broadening his interests across the range to fit his new, more ‘everyday’ lifestyle – from commutes to café rides – not only to aid new and existing product development, but to support growth within cycling beyond racing, too.
“There’s a lot going on in the sport right now,” Kittel continued. “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.”
This year Endura has stepped back from WorldTour team sponsorship to focus on ‘exceptional individualistic HardCore Roadies and a more focused pursuit of delivering the substance of advantage that allows them to ride harder longer.’
“Marcel Kittel is not quite the character you might expect from a topflight athlete,” said Pamela Barclay, Director at Endura. “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.”