Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trek World Racing Team Launch

With new bikes, new kit and 2 new team members in Emily Batty (CAN) and Neko Mulally (USA), the Trek World Racing team camp which concluded Sunday in Arizona, set the tone for the upcoming season. In pursuit of key goals that revolve around the World Championships in September and the summer long World Cup season, the 7 rider team will also be supporting other key events throughout the year, in particular this weekend's Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, the Swiss Racer Cup Series, the new US Pro Gravity Tour, Crankworx and other selected events.

Fresh from their two stage victories in South Africa at the Absa Cape Epic, Swiss brothers Mathias and Lukas Flueckiger joined their new team mate Emily Batty for the first time in Arizona and enjoyed their time out riding the trails on their new Top Fuels. The new bike (pictured below) has a very distinct appearance and is once again loaded with the performance technology needed for podium results. Both Mathias and Emily have the Under 23 World Title as shared major goals for 2010, while Lukas wants to finish top 5 overall in the World Cup, something he narrowly missed doing in 2009.
Lukas: "For me having two World Cup podiums last year was a great start on this new team for me, but we have learned a lot and the engineers have done some great work over winter and we're excited by the developments we have seen at camp, so I would really like to get my first World Cup win this year."

Emily: "I have been so impressed and amazed at the team set up, this is a such a dream come true for me and I know I will have the greatest support as I set out for the 2010 race season. I'm excited about racing in the new colors this weekend at Monterey".

Mathias: "I'm really looking forward to Champery, at the middle of the season. That's for 2 reasons. One is because that's where Luk and I made history as brothers on the podium last year, in front of our family and friends...but also because from Champery onwards, I become a full time racer having completed my studies and other work!"
On the gravity side, last year's trio of Tracy Moseley (GBR), Justin Leov (NZL) and Andrew Neethling (RSA) are joined by US phenom Neko Mulally for 2010, as the team aims for the number 1 ranking in teams classification. Riders are once again aboard the Session 88 (pictured below) with its race proven geometry and class leading weight.

Tracy: "It's been a pretty harsh winter in the UK this past few months, but I've been working as hard as ever. It was nice to be in the sun in Arizona and now I'm looking forward to repeating my win at Sea Otter from last year, as well as doing the Dual Slalom. The World Cup promises to be the most competitive for a long time in Women's DH, with a new World Champ in Emmeline, Sabrina (Jonnier) always a tough competitor and the return of Rachel (Atherton) to the mix. Can't wait!"

Justin: "I've been working hard in the off-season, but I'm all about racing. Getting back with the team at camp and seeing all the new gear just gets me amped for the race season ahead. Looking forward to hitting the tracks again and hopefully some more podiums this year."

Andrew: "Out training with the boys in Arizona and I feel as fresh as ever and I'm ready to take on a new season. I’m ripped and raring to go!" I actually raced less in the off season than I planned to, mainly due to earthquakes and such, which in a way has worked out pretty well or me, coming in a lot fresher."

Neko: "I was really happy to be at camp in Arizona and meet all the people from Trek, Fox and the team that do all the hard work behind the scenes, and I'm stoked to hang out with my new team mates. For Sea Otter this year I really want to improve on last year, and I'm counting the days to my first ever World Cup in Maribor. The support of the team is amazing and I'm hoping to make them proud this year." Team Director: "So much work has gone in over the off season with the bikes, the upgrading of our team vehicles, and a bunch of other cool stuff, that it's almost a feeling of relief to get on the road and start the season. All of the riders have very specific goals we'll be helping them to achieve and with the arrival of Emily and Neko, we have a very full program ahead of us. The new bikes look amazing, and together with the new kits and the testing we've been doing with Fox Racing Shox, as well some other surprises we have the fans, it should be an amazing season".

The team's partners continue their commitment to the global program. In particular JBL, Shimano for drive train and brakes, Fox Racing Shox, Bontrager components, clothing and tires for XC, Bontrager rims and Hope hubs for Downhill, FUNN bars and stems for gravity as well as SDG seats and i-Beam, e*thirteen chain-guides, Alpinestars clothing and bags, Maxxis Downhill and Slalom tires, and long standing 23 Degrees supporter, Motorex, with their Lubricants and Cleaning products.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Athertons launch new Commencal Team

Commencal 2010 Team Launch Press Release

April 7th saw Commencal and the Athertons launch their new look team, as the complete family roster prepare for a 2010 season back at full strength.

2008 World Champion Rachel, returns this year after having to sit out last year due to an injury sustained in a training accident. With her form nearing one hundred percent you can be sure she will be in the mix for the overall World Cup title and in medal contention once again at the World Championships in September.

Despite qualifying fastest at Andorra, Slovenia and Fort William last season, Gee found himself on the other steps of the podium too often come the finals. He finished the season in fourth place and is out to better that this year with an ambitious assault on the Downhill overall title, kicking off in full force at the Slovenian hosted first round in May.

Eldest sibling Dan has undertaken a tough winter training schedule, with more emphasis on his speciality Four Cross. Working on his weaknesses from 2009, Dan is now ready to unleash these improvements on the World Cup series.

With the bond between the family and Commencal growing even stronger, the team’s relationship has become more involved, allowing greater potential in areas such as product development. The Andorran brand has projects lined up perfect for the expertise and knowledge that the Athertons have gained from six years on the World Cup scene.

Partner sponsors; Animal, Shimano and Fox continue their commitment to the UK based team with their support and supply of quality product.

The alliance with Continental tyres continues into 2010. More than just a sponsor, this partnership is based around the development of Continental’s range of Downhill, Four Cross, All-Mountain and Freeride tyres. The team needs the best tyres to win at world level and the continuing work with Continental ensures they will have the product required.

You will no doubt hear the Athertons coming before you see them this year with car audio company Alpine backing the team. Fitted out by Chorley Car Audio, you can be ensured the new race rig will be the highlight of the pits!

The team’s strength is reinforced with support for components from Pro, shoes and pedals from Shimano, protection from 661, headsets from Chris King, chain devices from E-13, eyewear from Oakley, tools from Park and lube from Finish Line.

“We’re all really looking forward to racing the season as a complete unit again, Rach was sorely missed last year and I am sure her return will be met with the same success we had in her last full season. We have worked closer with our sponsors over the winter and the team is running a tight set up that will ensure the riders have little to worry about during race weekend.’ Dan Brown, Team Director

“With a long off season nearly coming to an end I’m super excited about getting involved in the race scene again. All 3 of us thrive off the competitive side of racing and with the calendar stacked with great courses it will doubtless be an awesome year.”
Gee Atherton

'' I could not be any more excited about the coming season, to be back in the thick of The Team, racing, riding and working with the best companies and people out there, well its nice to feel so supported at such an important time for me, so thanks guys and thumbs up!''
Rachel Atherton

“This season everything seems to be falling into place,the winter has seen some serious changes in the team,with every one from Dan Brown working flat out to make everything happen,to Me Gee and Rach having one of our most intense off seasons,to Stevie and Andy working super hard to complete the professional look of the team.Confidence is high - we cant wait to get stuck in to the season.”
Dan Atherton

photo: Commencal Bicycles/Hadrien PICARD