Tour de France: Gobik, Pogakar's secret under the yellow jersey is a company from Murcia

Since this year, Yecla’s youth cycling clothing company prepares the United Arab Emirates of the Tour leader. “Each runner has his own skill, we make clothes to measure”. Alberto Contador has another claim

Pogakar, grabbing the jersey at the portrait finish line on Wednesday.Christophe AnnaAP
  • classification this is the tour

On Wednesday, at the Pyrenean summit of the Col du Portet, the dictator’s second of three stage victories (for now), the Tour de France, Tadej Pogakar, a gesture of anger, an open mouth, he clutches his yellow jersey as if it were a footballer showing off his jacket. Below his neck, white undershirts and five capital letters can be seen, a name that is unknown to most, though already familiar to the thousands of amateur cyclists who pedal the Spanish roads every weekend. For the past few years almost all groups have been wearing gobiks. Still the best in the world.

They tell us he was ready, but no, it was Tadej’s instinct. Of course, there’s been a huge iteration of it, he says of the textile company, amazed by the effect. Since gobik, Pogakar skins, has its origins in a town in Murcia and on the initiative of two young people who saw the opportunity of cycling more than a decade ago.

Yecla in the north of the region bordering Alicante and Albacete, 35,000 inhabitants, has a vast tradition in the furniture and related industry: upholstery, mattresses … but the construction crisis came first and the Ikea phenomenon later, a stick for a stick people. , and had to re-invent myself. they had nothing to do with two wheels Alberto Garca and Jose Ramon Orton, both yekla, beyond their passion for the game. One was developing a product for a motorcycle helmet company and the other was an architect. Gobik was born. Eleven years later, it has a workforce of 170 employees, with an average age of less than 30, all at the parent plant in Yekla. At a weekly rate of production of over 13,000 garments, close to a million per year. and growing.

Matxin Connection

Because Gobi already sees the cycling clothing elite as his relationship with UAE team Emirates, which began early in the season, the winner of the previous Tour and – barring the catastrophe – he had an advantage in about six minutes. was. Jonas Winggaard, second, in the absence of today’s clock in St. Emilion – of the present. A settlement for several years for which the presence of Joxian Fernández Matsin as director made things easier. A crossroads, a hit for the national company, but also a responsibility. We haven’t launched until we’ve felt ready. Because it is a one liner. The requirements of a team are very specific. Clothes are made to measure for each runner. retail. Because everyone has their own preferences, their psyche: They ask you for more or less short sleeves, shorts, leotards… they are extremely thin and vary in size. This is a huge task, moreover, they only develop over the course of the season, as they differ in weight, describes Alberto Ayala, Gobik’s head of communications and marketing.

It’s their interruption at the World Tour, the only Spanish company out there running side by side with market dominance. With the British Rafa (Education First), great references at the amateur level, the Italians Castelli (Inos Grenadiers), Sportful (Bora Hansgrohe) and Al (Movistar, Gruppa), Swiss Assos (Quebecca), French Acoi ( Cofidis )… Since Legendary Etxeondo (Kaas, Reynolds, Banesto, Euscaltel and, finally, Sunweb) left the World Tour wheel, with no other company in that elite ‘Made in Spain’.

It was a dream to groom the tour leader, an ambition of Alberto and Jose Ramón, who is now the company’s CEO. But despite the momentum to achieve this, several intermediate steps have been taken. Because initially, his business was (and still is) making custom cycling clothing for clubs, companies, and events. First from Murcia, then from all over Spain. Settling there, five years ago he launched his first fashion collection and slowly he was sponsoring professional MTB teams. Carlos Coloma After winning bronze medal in RO).

On December 31, 2018, his first focus of the coup came when he recruited alberto counter as an ambassador. New Year’s Eve marks a turning point in its international strategy. They entered the Italian market with Ivn Basso and now, an unstoppable expansion, they already prepare other professional road teams such as the Eolo Kometa and Burgos Alimenta Women’s and many more mountain bike teams, in addition to the UAE. Its third ambassador is Juan Antonio Flecha.

Their secret, as they try to tear them apart, still resides in their manual touch. Despite the fact that there is a lot of machinery involved, the artisan factor is important. And that is human resources. For UAE, for which they have doubled their product design and development team in the past year, they have had to include, at the request of the team, Eight New Clothing That Aren’t in Your Catalog, which must be subjected to intensive quality and performance tests prior to launch. Everything from the Yekla factory (design, printing, pattern making, clothing, logistics…), although its international expansion is already a fact (they have physical stores on five continents), which would have had a direct impact on Pogakar’s skin. is. And many more teams are already knocking on the door.