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Quirk leaves Rapha to join group promoting Northwest Arkansas as a bike industry hub

Published February 12, 2018

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (BRAIN) — Brendan Quirk, the co-founder of Competitive Cyclist and most recently the North American president of Rapha, is joining the Runway Group as cycling program manager.

The Runway Group is a community focused business backed by the Walton family; Quirk will be responsible for positioning Northwest Arkansas "as a leading region nationwide for the incubation and recruitment of cycling-related brands, an innovator in cycling infrastructure, and a bucket-list destination for bike tourism."

Runway Group was co-founded by Tom and Steuart Walton.

"Tom and I are thrilled Brendan is joining the Runway Group," said Steuart Walton. The brothers also are the principals in RZC Investments, which acquired Rapha last year and which is an investor in Little Rock-based bike maker Allied Cycle Works. 

"(Quirk) will bring leadership and strategic thinking to our organization's cycling work across many formats, and we're thrilled to add another passionate cyclist to the Bentonville community," Steuart Walton said.

Competitive Cyclist was founded in Little Rock and was sold in 2011 to Utah-based Following the sale Quirk served as Backcountry's executive vice president of customer experience. He joined Rapha in 2015.

Quirk said, "Northwest Arkansas is setting an all-new standard for how cycling can meaningfully add to a community's quality of life," Quirk said. "The development of the Razorback Greenway allows residents of the whole region easy bike access to school or work or the grocery store. The Oz Trails network of mountain bike trails gives riders of all levels access to the sort of high–quality mountain biking you'll otherwise only find in Colorado or Utah. And the region is integrating cycling into the Physical Education curriculum in the schools to ensure all kids have access to bikes, regardless of income level. In Northwest Arkansas, the opportunity exists for cycling to touch everyone's lives."

"The nationwide cycling community is taking notice of the ambitious work underway here," Quirk said. "It's why events like the IMBA World Summit and the Outerbike expo are choosing to come to Northwest Arkansas instead of sticking to the Rockies or the West Coast."

"The folks working to build the cycling infrastructure and resources have already accomplished so much, and their momentum is superstrong. I'm thoroughly excited to join and help Northwest Arkansas achieve its goal of becoming the most desirable community in America for cyclists of all types, whether that means safely running errands on a bike, or trying to become a champion mountain bike racer."

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