Rapha invests in LeBlanq, joining Specialized as new official partners for 2022

Rapha has invested in LeBlanq and will be its exclusive apparel partner going forward, with further investment confirmed from Simon Mottram, Simon Kimble and Tim Ashton.

LeBlanq, a luxury cycling trip organiser, has also signed Specialized as the brand’s official bike partner for 2022 and renewed partnerships from its launch 2021 season with brands including Laurent-Perrier, Michelin, Aston Martin, Cold Bath Brewing, Sigma Sports and Veloforte.

“To have secured investment from three industry leaders in cycling and events early in our development, is a clear indicator of the uniqueness of our proposition and the confidence in the market,” said Justin Clarke, LeBlanq founder.

“As the founder and former CEO of Rapha, the brand that helped transform cycling from a humble sport into an experiential, lifestyle choice, we’re delighted to be working with Simon Mottram, the man responsible for the sport’s elevated repositioning in the market.

“Investment from Simon Kimble, the exec chairman and founder of Clarion Events, and Tim Ashton, the founder and creative director of Antidote, one of the UK’s leading creative agencies, is further endorsement that our brand sits as an experiential disrupter at the top end of the market.”

Founded by famed chef Ashley Palmer -Watts, formerly of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Group, and ex-professional cyclist Justin Clarke, LeBlanq combines high-end cycling getaways with top-tier gastronomy, in the UK and Europe.

The brand also offers access to cycling royalty, including the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, and Sir Chris Hoy, with prices starting from £1,995.

Ashton said: “I’ve watched LeBlanq from the beginning and, where others have tried and failed, this is the brand that has every component in place to offer something exceptional, for which there is strong consumer demand.

“Working with the best luxury hotels, each in stunning destinations, and alongside the world’s leading riders and chefs, LeBlanq breaks are set apart from anything else available on the market and I am delighted to be involved”.

As brand partners, Rapha has signed as official apparel partner and will be designing a limited edition kit for LeBlanq guests, while Specialized has signed as LeBlanq’s official bike partner, providing a fleet of brand new Aethos bikes for guests to trial at every experience.

Read more: Jonathan Hum joins VanMoof as global chief marketing officer

In addition, as part of the partnership with Rapha, LeBlanq has collaborated with the Rapha Cycling Club on a unique trip to Norway in September, hosted by World Champion Thor Hushovd, with Scandinavian open flame master Niklas Ekstedt as lead chef. Rapha Cycling Club members have exclusive first access to places for this trip.

Find out more at leblanq.com.

In other news...

How can brands and retailers overcome the curse of content?

Nick Barthram, founder and strategy partner at brand consultancy Firehaus, explores how brands and retailers can avoid stagnating through their online content