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.
Component Sponsors: SRAM components, RockShox suspension, Schwalbe tires, HT Pedals, Giant saddles, Giant Wheel Systems, MRP chain guides, ODI grips, Stan’s NoTubes sealant, Finish Line lubricant.
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.
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