Orbea Bicycles, along with its sister brand Orca Wetsuits, has announced the dissolution of its endorsement agreement with Craig Alexander, effective immediately, and by mutual agreement.
Alexander began with Orca in 2001, and commenced riding Orbea's bikes in 2005. The Orbea brand in particular had become closely attached to Alexander's rise as a premier long distance athlete. Alexander won the Hawaiian Ironman twice on Orbea's timed race machines, along with a 70.3 world title as well.
“We are saddened and very disappointed that Orbea’s and Orca’s association with Craig has come to an end,” said Tony Karklins of Orbea USA. “Craig was always the consummate professional in every way, and was a valued representative for our brands. We will miss him greatly, both as a friend and spokesperson, and wish him all the best in his quest to win an Ironman World Championship this weekend.”
“I enjoyed the time I was associated with Orbea and Orca," said Alexander in a written statement, "and I thank them for all they have done for me over the years.“
The split between Orbea and Alexander has been some weeks in coming. Alexander rode an unbadged Cervelo P4 while winning his second 70.3 Worlds, and is widely rumored to be aboard a Specialized.
Orbea—a mainstay in the industrial arm of the $15 billion Basqu-based Mondragon Corporation—has been hard at work on an ambitious new timed race design of its own. Information about this project should make its way onto Slowtwitch over the late Fall and early Winter.