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"Northwest Arkansas’ growing reputation as a hub for cycling and mountain biking is adding a feather in its cap.

London-based cycling company Rapha is moving its North American headquarters from Portland, Ore., to Bentonville. The move is expected to be completed by March 1 this year.

Rapha’s North American division has been based in Portland since 2008. Rapha is a global brand for cycling gear and apparel, founded in 2004 by Simon Mottram in the United Kingdom.

In a statement, the company said the following about its interest in Northwest Arkansas.

“Since our inception in 2004, we have pursued an innovative, direct to customer business model that’s fueled by our values, supports our mission to make cycling the most popular sport in the world. Portland was a natural home for Rapha as the brand started to expand across North America and the office and Portland-based staff have helped inform and define the brand over the last 10 years.   

“Over the next few years the Rapha brand will evolve into new markets and we need to make sure that our office location supports our future strategic aims. After careful consideration, it’s clear that basing the Rapha North American office in Bentonville will serve these aims effectively.  

The proximity to the emerging OzTrails [mountain biking] network, the incredibly fast-growing gravel landscape and the continuing emergence of Northwest Arkansas as a cradle for all kinds of cycling development will help to foster this direction and the impact that Rapha North America can have in the US and beyond.”

An email to a company spokesman asking about the number of employees in Rapha’s North American division was not immediately returned. It’s also unclear where the company’s Bentonville office will be. This story will be updated if that information is received."

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