Movistar, whose former rider Rui Costa rode a Pinarello to world championship success in Florence in September, may have moved to Canyon as bike sponsor, but the Italian brand still has a high-profile home in the WorldTour, Team Sky having confirmed in August this year a new three-year contract with the Italian brand following earlier speculation of switching to another supplier.
Pinarello have supplied Team Sky with bikes since they founded in 2010, and the extension to that deal sees them partnering until 2016. That will be their seventh season together. Given Team Sky’s success in the past two seasons with two successive victories at the Tour de France, Pinarello was delighted to be able to remain Sky’s sponsor.
They've notched up quite a haul of wins, with 136 wins on Pinarello bikes including 27 time trials and 12 national championships. It’s without doubt the most successful partnership in cycling at the moment, and looks set to continue in a similar fashion for many years to come.
Sky and Pinarello got their announcement in early, but this time of year typically sees a buzz of activity as existing contracts between teams and bike manufacturers are extended or come to an end, and new deals are done behind closed doors.
Most new annoucements will happen on 1st January. While we don’t have official confirmation, it does appear that Pinarello won’t be supporting Movistar next season. A leaked photo of a Canyon bike painted in Movistar livery popped up on Facebook this week, suggesting that the German brand is increasing its involvement in the WorldTour with two team deals.
Sky will continue then to race the Dogma 56.1 Think 2, introduced at the 2012 Tour de France but properly rolled out for the 2013 season, which Chris Froome won the Tour on. Given the length of the contract and the typical shelf life of top-end bikes, it’s likely we’ll see Team Sky aboard the Dogma’s replacement, or even a completely new model, before the contract expires. Could a Pinarello aero road bike be on the cards?
Clearly delighted at the announcement, Fausto Pinarello said in August: "I want to thank everyone on the team – from the riders to mechanics and all the staff – for the great support that they have given us during the last four years. And a special thanks to Sir Dave Brailsford, the strongest leader in the peloton. It’s my honor to be a Team Sky partner and I am sure that together we’ll make the best bikes in the world."
Sir Dave Brailsford added:"Over the last four years our relationship with Pinarello has been a true partnership, one which we are delighted to be extending. Not only do they share the same desire for excellence, but from Fausto right through the company they are an absolute joy to work with. There is a lot more we want to achieve as a team and we go forward knowing we have the best partner to do that in Pinarello."
You can read more about Team Sky’s Pinarello bikes in this article.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.