The full 2017 squad (left to right): Eliot Jackson, Jacob Dickson, Marcelo Gutierrez, Rae Morrison, Mckay Vezina, Mike Day, Josh Carlson, Carl Decker, Stephan Davoust and Tofor Lewis. – Cameron Baird photo.
The 2017 Giant Factory Off-Road Team gathered in Southern California earlier this month for a pre-season training camp before the start of the upcoming race season. The new-look squad includes a global lineup of returning stars and new faces from around the world.
With varying ambitions, ranging from UCI World Cup Downhill races, to Enduro World Series events and major XC races in North America, team riders spent time in California getting to know each other and dialing in their new bikes and gear before kicking off the race season March 25 at the Crankworx Rotorua event in New Zealand.
This year’s roster includes ten riders representing six different nations. One of the most notable changes includes the addition of Rae Morrison, an enduro racer in the elite women’s category who will represent Giant’s sister brand Liv. The team is also expanding its XC presence at the developmental level with young American riders Stephan Davoust and Tofor Lewis joining.
Other new faces this year include Jacob Dickson, a four-time junior national DH champion from Ireland; Eliot Jackson, a former motocross racer from the U.S. who scored top-ten results at two Crankworx DH events last year; and Mike Day, a former BMX star and Olympic medalist who has transitioned into mountain biking. Day will represent the team at select enduro events this year.
Returning riders include six-time Colombian DH national champion Marcelo Gutierrez; enduro specialists Josh Carlson of Australia and Canadian Mckay Vezina; plus veteran U.S. XC racer Carl Decker.
Here’s a look at the 2017 roster, along with a video and photos of the riders with their new bikes, gear, and apparel from official team sponsors.
2017 Giant Factory Off-Road Team:
• Josh Carlson (Australia), Enduro
• Mike Day (USA), Enduro
• Stephan Davoust (USA), XC
• Tofor Lewis (USA), XC
• Karl Decker (USA), XC, Enduro, Cyclocross
• Jacob Dickson (Ireland), DH
• Marcelo Gutierrez (Colombia), DH
• Eliot Jackson (USA), DH
• Mckay Vezina (Canada), DH
• Rae Morrison (New Zealand), Liv Women’s Enduro
This year Rae Morrison, New Zealand’s top-ranked women’s enduro racer, joins the team to represent Liv, Giant’s sister brand for women. Morrison, who scored two top-5 finishes in the 2015 Enduro World Series, will race on the Liv Hail Advanced, the first women’s specific 160mm travel trail bike. – Cameron Baird photo.
Mckay Vezina makes the step up this year from the Giant Co-Factory Team. This past season, the young Canadian emerged as a strong contender in the Enduro World Series during his rookie year. He’s picture here riding his Reign
Advanced team bike and wearing the Giant Rail helmet. – Cameron Baird photo.
Marcelo Gutierrez is a six-time DH national champion in his home nation of Colombia. For 2017 he will again focus on major downhill races around the world including the UCI World Cup series. – Cameron Baird photo.
Josh Carlson will captain the team’s enduro squad in 2017. The Australian had a strong 2016 season that included a podium at the Whistler, B.C. round of the Enduro World Series. Josh is pictured here training on his Reign Advanced team bike with SRAM drivetrain components, RockShox suspension and fork, and Schwalbe tires. – Cameron Baird photo.
New to the team this year, young DH rider Jacob Dickson is a four-time junior national champion from Ireland. Dickson is pictured here riding his Glory Advanced team bike and wearing a helmet and kit (jersey, pants, goggles, gloves) from team sponsor 100%. – Cameron Baird photo.
American Eliot Jackson is a newcomer to the team this year. The 27-year-old former motocross racer, who scored several top pro DH results last year, is pictured here riding his local trails in Southern California on his Giant Glory Advanced team bike. – Cameron Baird photo.
Three riders are representing the Giant Factory Off-Road Team’s XC unit this year. With an aim to develop young riders, veteran Carl Decker (middle) is joined by promising talents Tofor Lewis (right) and Stephen Davoust (left), both from the U.S. The XC riders are wearing kits from team sponsor Jakroo, along with Giant helmets and Giant Charge XC shoes. – Cameron Baird photo.
Giant Bikes: Team riders have a full fleet of Giant off-road bikes to choose from this year. Cross-country riders have the XtC Advanced 29er hardtail for fast, smooth courses or the Anthem Advanced with Maestro rear suspension for more technical terrain. Enduro riders typically choose the Reign Advanced with 160mm of suspension front and rear, or, for certain courses, the Trance Advanced trail bike featuring a composite frame and 140mm of Maestro rear suspension travel. For the World Cup downhill crew, it’s the legendary Glory Advanced, a proven DH machine that has won World Championships and World Cups all around the globe.
Gear Sponsors: 100% DH and enduro kits, full-face helmets and goggles/sunglasses; Giant helmets for XC and enduro (Rev, Pursuit, and Rail models); Giant footwear, including the Charge for XC racing; Jakroo XC racing kits; GoPro cameras; Re-fuel power chargers; Jaybird headphones; Honey Stinger nutrition; Thule travel gear.
Rae Morrison will be aboard the Liv Hail Advanced for enduro racing, and will also be equipped with Liv gear including footwear, saddles and helmets. You can follow the Giant Factory Off-Road Team all season long at facebook.com/giantfactoryteam and Instagram.com/giantfactoryoffroadteam.
About Giant:Giant is the world’s leading brand of high quality bicycles and cycling gear. Since 1972, Giant has combined craftsmanship, technology and innovative design to create the ultimate cycling experience for all riders, casual to competitive. Through its products, people and retail partners, Giant inspires passion for cycling all around the world. For more information, go to giant-bicycles.com.
About Liv:Liv is the first cycling brand completely dedicated to women. We offer the only comprehensive product collection designed specifically for female cyclists, ranging from beautiful apparel to premium bicycles. No matter the rider’s level or style, Liv provides the best products to help women discover new possibilities through cycling. For more information, go to www.liv-cycling.com
It’s a big year for the team, new riders, new bikes, new pit set-up, and a few new sponsors.
First, we are excited about our partnership with SRAM/Rockshox for the next few season. Currently we are testing with them in New Zealand, and could not be happier! Sam (Blenki) was with SRAM/Rockshox brand in the past, so he was enthusiastic to renew the relationship. The team’s entire drivetrain is SRAM components, and suspension is Rockshox (including Reverb seatposts on enduro bikes).
Next is Kenny Racing. When it came to apparel, we needed a brand who could deliver the performance and appearance. As a team that competes in the World Cup series, Crankworx series, and selected EWS events, an apparel brand needed to check all the right boxes. Kenny did exactly that. We love the way perform and think it looks pretty darn good!
Also new to the team is Deity components. With a few options available, the team ended up choosing Deity as the product was well liked and performed at our high standards when tested. As race team performance could not be compromised. Deity will cover our cockpits (handlebars, stems, grips, saddles, and DH seatposts).
Last new sponsor to the team is E-Thirteen. This was a simple choice, as we needed a brand who could meet the chain guide needs of our bikes, from downhill to enduro. E-Thirteen was the clear choice and it’s been nothing but aces from testing here in New Zealand.
Continuing with the team will be:
Bounce Protein Energy Balls
Nanuk – Hard Cases
Otherwise, we know we need to address the elephant in the room. Yes, we are on a new DH bike this year and currently looking forward to putting it to work by racing it at the highest levels of downhill competition. The bike is part of the Norco Race Development program and we are stoked to be testing and racing it. As a World Cup team part of our ‘job’ is to push development. Norco engineers have been really receptive to our feedback and much is being learned. Although we cannot reveal the bike in full detail, be prepared to see it slaying all through 2017!
We are proud to announce three new partnerships for the 2017 season. GT Bicycles has come aboard as the official supplier of frames for all bikes including rental, retail and programs. Spank Industries is now the official bar, stem, and pedal supplier. And just recently, E*thirteen is on as the Official Chainguide Supplier.
Quit dreaming, the mean looking GT Fury will be the weapon of choice for your sleepless summer. Close to 400 of these in the fleet.
“The opportunity to join forces with GT, a brand that has such deep roots in the mountain bike community, is an honour and we are thrilled to see where the relationship takes us in the future”, said Rob McSkimming, VP of Business Development at Whistler Blackcomb. “GT’s reputation as a race and freeride-driven organization will bring new energy to the Bike Park allowing our guests to hit the trails on the best bikes possible. We are stoked to roll out this season’s line up which consists of the Fury as the DH sled and the Sanction as the All-Mountain/Enduro option”.
The support I’ve received from GT as a Pro rider over the last 8 years has been nothing short of amazing, and I know their involvement with the Whistler Mountain Bike Park will exceed the expectations set by any other brand in the past. Whistler is arguably the greatest place on earth for gravity mountain bikers to get their fix, and what better way to enjoy the trails they have to offer than on a GT. – Tyler McCaul
Crabapple Hits has been the long time home of the Crankworx Official Whip-Off World Championships presented by Spank, and Spank Industries this year deepens its commitment to Whistler by providing the parts to keep the bikes under control. The entire GT fleet is equipped with Spank’s innovative Vibrocore bars, Spank stems, special edition seat posts, and Spike and Oozy platform pedals will provide the reliability you need to bag lap after lap on your favourite trails.
The big rig has been proven on the World Cup circuit; we are excited to let it loose in the Bike Park.
Spank’s innovative Vibrocore bars dampen the harmful vibrational frequencies that cause hand / arm fatigue over hours of repetitive riding. A perfect solution to optimize hours of comfortable riding in the Bike Park.
Sink your shoes into these and you will feel like you’re clipped in
For those looking for a more nimble machine, the GT Sanction is capable of handling all of the dreamy tech and flow you get get your hands on.
Can you hear Top of the World calling your name?
Thanks to the guys at Fluid Function the bikes are running well and looking mint.
Dreaming season if just about over, it’s almost time to throw a leg over these beauties and go wild.
Returning to the program for the 2017 season are our friends at SRAM, Maxxis, ODI, DT Swiss, IXS, GMC, Clif, Pinkbike, Monster, Oakley, GoPro, Dakine and Kokanee – thanks for making it all happen.
To celebrate the new partnership, GT will be giving away a trip for two to opening weekend of the Bike Park where GT will also be on site. Be sure to stay tuned to @gtbicycles and stop by their booth at Sea Otter to see the custom built bikes!
While winter is still very much underway on the West Coast of Canada, our dreams are no less filled with the sound of tires ripping through dirt and air whizzing through our helmets. Start prepping, tuning and polishing; the Bike Park opens May 19.
ABOUT GT BICYCLES
GT is a premium brand of Cycling Sports Group, a division of Dorel Industries’ (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) Dorel Sports segment, encompassing several powerhouse cycling brands, including Cannondale, Schwinn, Charge, Fabric, GURU, SUGOI and Sombrio. Dorel Industries Inc. has annual sales of US$2.7 billion and employs approximately 10,000 people in facilities located in twenty-five countries worldwide. For more than 40 years, GT has provided riders of all abilities with a trustworthy, rock-solid bike they need to push their limits. GT’s legacy is instilled in every design, be it a BMX, mountain, road, or pavement bike. For more information, visit www.gtbicycles.com.
One Vision Global Racing thunders into its third year of operation in 2017, and it’s going to be our biggest, loudest and best year yet! There are a number of exciting new things happening at One Vision, both at and away from the races! One Vision maintains its strong relationship with main sponsor Nicolai Bikes, and the riders are looking forward to another season shredding the Geometron range and working on further development. In 2016 Jack and the lads worked with Nicolai Bikes and Chris Porter of Mojo Suspension to create the G19 downhill bike which achieved a world cup top 20 and a BDS win as a prototype. It is now available for the public to buy as a production DH race machine and the team will be racing and riding standard frames throughout 2017. The lads are all super excited for the season ahead and teamed up with camera wizard, Callum Philpott last weekend to capture their new 2017 look.
Photo: Callum Philpott
Jack Reading, team owner, and rider, had his best ever season in 2016 on board his G19 race bike. He achieved his first world cup top 20, won his first BDS race and showed great pace achieving some top 10 splits at a number of world cup rounds. Jack is super excited to race on board the now production Nicolai Geometron G19 in 2017 and is feeling better than ever!
Photo: Callum Philpott
“Last year was great, and the belief is finally there that I can challenge for a top 10 world cup finish with the right run. I love my bike; it’s amazing, inspiring so much confidence to go as fast as I physically can, so I can’t wait to get racing. Last year I got used to the bike, this year it feels part of me. Throughout previous winters I’ve worked full time in the clinic as an Optometrist and juggled training and running the team around that. It always left me feeling weak and tired at the start of the season, but it was a necessary evil so I could afford to travel to the races. After a strong 2016 season I’ve been able to cut the clinic work down to twice a week allowing me to focus on training and riding which has made a massive difference to my riding at this time of year. I want to say a huge sincere thank you to all of One Vision’s amazing sponsors who make my dream and the One Vision program an ever-improving reality each year. I’m hungrier than ever to get racing after finishing 2016 with really good pace! Let’s have it!” – Jack Reading
Jack has a number of projects kicking off in 2017 away from the races:
“Over the last couple of years I’ve realised how much I enjoy coaching riders, and I’ve developed a real taste for it. I’m a British Cycling MTB level two qualified coach, and I’m starting ‘One Vision MTB Coaching’, which will have two components: It will be offering both general MTB skills coaching, and specific MTB DH race coaching sessions. I’ve been coaching James Hurst for 5 years, taking him for youth rider to world cup racer and UK elite rider, so I believe I already have a wealth of experience I’d like to use to help other riders and racers improve their MTB and racing skills. We also plan on doing some guided rides, as George is going through his British Cycling guiding qualifications at the moment! Watch this space!” – Jack Reading
Photo: Phil Reading
George Gannicott stays with One Vision Global Racing for another year in 2017. With an impressive 10th place qualification run at Fort William, and his first top 30 finish in finals, we’re excited to see George bring that pace to more of the races in 2017. Here’s George’s feelings going into 2017:
“I’m coming in to my second year with One Vision Global Racing. It feels great to be in a position where I’m building on the knowledge of my bike from the previous year rather than trying to get used to a whole new rig. Some riders would say it’s a bit of a chore having to ‘plug’ sponsors through social media but with the amazing package that One Vision can offer me it’s easy! It’s more spreading my love of the products we use rather than relentless advertising. With that said, I’m far too excited to get racing for my own good! It’s going to be one hell of a season from the team and it’ll be hard to miss us with our new G19’s!”
Photo: Callum Philpott
Will Jones is looking forward to his first full world cup season in 2017, after a tough year as a rookie at the European rounds in 2016. Will achieved his first BDS podium in 2016, as well as qualifying to race Fort William world cup, so we’re excited to see him lift his game to the next level in 2017. He’s been training harder than most professional riders are willing to do over the off-season despite working full time as a carpenter, and he’s excited for the year ahead.
Photo: Callum Philpott
“The race season can’t get underway soon enough! 2017 will be my second year riding for One Vision Global Racing and the support is phenomenal. The team and its sponsors provide everything I could ask for to help me achieve my goals and I’m left wanting for nothing. This will be my first full World Cup season and off the back of an intense winter training, I’m hoping for a strong season… Roll on Lourdes!” – Will Jones
Photo: Phil Reading
James Hurst looks forward to his first year in elite for 2017. He has had two successful seasons with the team so far, achieving some great junior BDS results in 2015, and finishing 1st in the British Cycling Expert overall rankings in 2016. We are all really excited to see how his first year in the top category goes and James is looking forward to the challenge.
Photo: Callum Philpott
“I’m really looking forward to the 2017 season and what it has to offer! It will be my first year in elite and coming off a strong season in 2016, I can’t wait to get racing again and see how I get on competing with the big guns! I’m sure it’s going to be another year filled with more good times with the One Vision family.” – James Hurst
Photo: Phil Reading
For 2017 the team has a new signing in the shape of Myles James. Myles is already good friends with Will as they both live in Hereford, and because of this knows most of the lads well already. This has made it easy for him to fit into the team dynamic and quickly become a valued team member. Myles finished 4th in the British Cycling Expert overall rankings in 2016 and also moves into Elite for 2017. He is training hard this winter and has his sights set on a great rookie elite season.
Photo: Callum Philpott
“2017 will be my first season in the elite category and I am over the moon to be riding for One Vision Global Racing this season. I can’t thank the team and all of our sponsors enough for the support and I am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. My aims for this season are to compete in the British Downhill Series and at selected European races to get enough points to race world cups in 2018. Bring on the season ahead I can’t wait to be sat on that start line!” – Myles James
Photo: Phil Reading
The team will be racing a full world cup season in 2017 attending all of the rounds, including Canada, as well as the full British Downhill Series and selected Crankworx events. All of the riders are fired up and ready for action! The atmosphere in the team is better than ever, with all of the lads getting on like brothers it makes racing weekends such a fun experience for everyone involved. Big Phil, team manager, and Jack’s Dad, does his best to keep everything under control and running smoothly. The team heads out to Portugal on Monday to spend a week with Ride Portugal testing and training on their amazing tracks, before starting the racing season at the first round of Portugal Cup on the 5th of March!
As always we need to say a huge thank you to all of the team’s supporting brands. Without these guys, the team wouldn’t exist and we’re so lucky to have the backing of such amazing companies and products:
Nicolai Bikes, Mojo Suspension, ONeal, Hope Technology, Schwalbe Tyres, Clif Bar, MRP, Works Components, Crank Brothers, Dirt Factory, DNA Sports Performance, Rock Guardz, Gusset Components, 3 Point Therapy, Monkey Fresh, Extra UK and ESP.
We also need to take the opportunity to thank a number of great individuals who support One Vision, purely because of their amazing good will and believe in the program we run! These people are:
Lars Jones and Ben Harrison – race mechanics
Paul Jeffery – team Soft Tissue Therapist
Callum Philpott – media work in the form of amazing photos and video
Kieran Baldwin – Graphic Designer producing our logos, race jerseys and anything else we need
Mark Davies, Mark McClure, Richard Taylor, and Adey Bennett – provide much-needed help towards the huge financial expenses of racing around the world
Left to right: James, Will, Jack and Myles sporting their new sponsor’s clothing Monkey Fresh. George was attending to some Scottish business…
That’s One Vision Global Racing for 2017 – let’s have it!
Shimano’s latest press release reminds us that, as much as we would all like to own a ten thousand dollar trail bike, many avid riders, and some first-time mountain bikers will be hitting the trails this season aboard far more modest steeds. The new M6000-level Deore component ensemble is targeted at the entry-level enthusiasts and cash strapped shredders who would much prefer XTR, but have not yet purchased a winning lottery ticket.
Clutch-type rear derailleur in long and mid-cage options.
Highlights of the new group are a clutch type Shadow plus rear derailleur, a four-arm XTR style crank spider, Centerlock brake rotors and hubs, and while the Servo-Wave brake levers and ICE-compatible calipers are modeled very close to the ergonomically pleasant XT and XTR stoppers, you’ll have to pony up for the finned brake pads, because they are not standard fare.
Mid-length levers and servo-wave actuation.
The 6000 calipers accept XTR finned brake pads.
Choose a two or three-ring crankset with XTR styling.
Equally newsworthy was what was not included in the press release: No eleven speed for M6000, so it won’t be cross-compatible with its pricier siblings. The basic Deore will remain a ten-speed transmission, and there is no mention of a one-by (single chainring) option. Instead, M6000 customers can choose from a number of two and three-chainring cranksets (no surprise there) paired with a new wide-range 11 by 42-tooth cassette, or Shimano’s longstanding 11 by 32, 34, or 36-tooth cassettes. To assist OEM customers, Shimano will offer front changers with every possible cable and clamping arrangement.
Side-swing front mech for the entry level Deore group.
SLX One-By and a Wide-Range Cassette
On the heels of the M6000 Deore ensemble, came the announcement that an SLX-level one-by drivetrain has finally been approved for production, and with an eleven–speed, 11 x 46-tooth, wide-range cassette – both of which will be released this Spring. The affordable one-by transmission, big-boy cassette and the concurrent release of XT-level wheelsets with Boost axle spacing reflect a large-scale adjustment in the Japanese parts maker’s range, presumably, to pull alongside SRAM in the OEM market and to ensure that those customers have the proper tools to outfit mid-priced performance mountain bikes with tip-to-toe Shimano componentry.
Entry Level Trail Pedal
Shimano also added an SPD Trail pedal to its range that is reportedly priced to match the M6000 ensemble. The PDED500 pedal once again, puts one of Shimano’s most-wanted products into the hands of entry-level riders. Expect to see the 500-level pedals on demo fleets world wide. No price was available at the time of the press release.
Wheels have gradually become a staple product for Shimano and, while wide rims are still on the horizon, to keep in step, their wheel range is now available in Boost-width as well as standard-width axles. Two new 29” and 27.5” Deore XT wheelsets have wider axle options – a 110x15mm e-thru front- and a 148x12mm rear-axle spacing. Shimano says that the new wheelsets increase stiffness. Also new are rear thru axle hubs (AX-MT700 and AX-MT500) with smaller housings and lighter weights that feature greater clearance for frames and brake calipers.
Shimano is proud to announce the addition of Radon Factory Downhill (DH) and Cross-country (XC) team riders to the roster of elite level athletes using its XTR Di2 and Saint mountain bike components.
Radon XC team is managed by triple world champion Ralph Näf, and has an impressive lineup of riders with former double world champion Matthias Flückiger, 2013 XC junior world champion Alessandra Keller and 2014 XC Eliminator world champion Kathrin Stirnemann, who will all ride with full Shimano XTR Di2 components, wheels, pedals, PRO Tharsis cockpit and seatpost.
Meanwhile, the Radon DH team, featuring 2014 women’s world champion and World Cup winner Manon Carpenter, will race with full Shimano Saint drive train and brakes aboard their Radon Swoop200 DH bikes. Carpenter joins Johannes Fischbach (five-time German four-cross champion, three-time German DH champion and current City DH World Tour champion), Raphaela Richter (U21 Enduro World Series champion), and French DH talent Faustin Figaret, along with team manager and former four-cross world champion, Joost Wichman.
Radon team manager Joost Wichman: “We are super excited to step up our relationship with Shimano. We know from using their components on our bikes just how much easier it makes life for our mechanics and how much confidence it gives to the riders.”
Shimano sports marketing manager Rudy Bouwmeester: “Through the promising results Radon’s XC and DH riders achieved last year we’re very proud to be able to develop our relationship and support both teams with our XTR Di2 and Saint and components and the XC team with the PRO Tharsis XC finishing kit. We look forward to working with all Radon athletes and backroom staff to continue developing world-class components.”
Radon Factory teams kick off their Downhill World Cup season on April 29-30 in Lourdes, France, and their XC World Cup season on May 20-21 in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.