UK cross-country star Oli Beckingsale has left long-term sponsors Giant to ride for Endura in 2011. The Scottish cycle clothing company, who already back the Endura Racing road squad, have signed track racer Chris Pritchard too.
“After putting so much investment into the road team we were keen to ensure that the Endura and Equipe [the company's premium road range] brand reach also extended into other cycling disciplines, so we were keen to back some athletes in mountain biking and track cycling," said the company's Jim McFarlane.
Beckingsale has been at the top of UK mountain biking for many years, winning numerous national cross-country and marathon titles, competing in three Olympic Games and winning silver at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In 2011 he'll use the same equipment as Endura's road squad – Look bikes, SRAM components and Continental tyres.
“I'm really happy to be riding for Endura for the next two years," he said. "It's a strong British company with a long history with mountain biking and will give me the product, support and flexibility to work towards my long-term goal of not just competing in the London Olympics but producing a result that I can be proud of."
McFarlane said the company had known Beckingsale for a long time. "Oli isn’t just fast, he's a very switched-on rider and the ideal guy for us to be working with on a separate focused range of performance cross-country kit that's the mountain bike equivalent of our Equipe range," he said.
Pritchard, who took the bronze medal in the Keirin at the 2010 National Track Championships and represented Scotland at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Dehli, will focus on the track, but will also take part in criterium races in the summer. He previously rode for Science in Sport.
"2010 was a great year for me, with the Commonwealth Games and my performances at the national track champs," said the Scot. “It’s great that a Scottish business like Endura has come in to held fund my progress, and I'm very excited to be using and help develop the excellent Equipe clothing range.”
Chris Pritchard will help develop new Endura track clothing as well as representing the company in the velodrome