New Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team and expanded Giant Factory Off-Road Team will feature top cross-country and downhill athletes
With the addition of the all-new Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team, which will focus on World Cup cross-country and cyclo-cross racing, plus an expanded Giant Factory Off-Road Team, Giant is dramatically increasing its mountain bike racing presence in 2010.
Between the two teams, Giant has assembled a diverse group of off-road athletes including Olympians, world champions and freeride stars. All play critical roles in Giant’s continued commitment to develop and test Maestro-equipped suspension bikes, XtC hardtails and TCX cyclo-cross bikes in the demanding conditions of professional competition.
New Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team
The newest component of Giant’s off-road program is the Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team. With four full-time XC racers, including U.S. Olympian Adam Craig, this will be a year-round global operation supporting XC riders during the mountain biking season and cyclo-cross riders in the fall and winter.
“From an athlete’s standpoint, it’s the ideal setup,” Craig said. “There are certain similarities between cross-country mountain biking and cyclo-cross, and there’s always some athlete cross-over between the two disciplines. So structuring it under one team makes sense.”
For the 2010 mountain bike season, Craig will be joined by a trio of talented young XC racers: Emil Lindren (Sweden), Fabian Giger (Switzerland) and Henk Jaap Moorlag (The Netherlands). All are all under 25 and rising through the ranks of World Cup XC competition.
“I’m thrilled Giant is stepping up its commitment through the new partnership with Rabobank on the off-road side of things,” Craig added. “Both brands have been committed to racing for a long time—it’s an honor for me to be a part of this new partnership.”
Giant Factory Off-Road Team Expands
In addition to the new team, the Giant Factory Off-Road Team is expanding for 2010. The roster includes two new gravity racing talents who will compete globally on the World Cup circuit: two-time U.S. Downhill Champion Duncan Riffle and 18-year-old British downhiller Danny Hart, winner of the 2009 World Cup DH Junior series and bronze medalist at the 2009 World Junior Downhill Championships.
Riffle, 23, is currently ranked 21st in the UCI world downhill rankings and looking forward to focusing on the most prestigious international downhill events.
“I’ve always been a fan of Giant bikes and I can’t wait to hit the 2010 World Cup series on the new Giant Glory,” Riffle said. “To be successful on the World Cup circuit, you need the right equipment and the right support, and I know I’ll have that.”
The other Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider with a global agenda is 2008 Red Bull Rampage silver medalist Kurt Sorge. The 21-year-old Canadian has developed into a household name in slopestyle and freeride competition and will headline the biggest freeride competitions and films in 2010.
Four other Giant Factory Off-Road Team riders will have a continental focus in 2010. One is Australian Jared Rando, a veteran Australian DH and slalom racer who medaled at both the Sea Otter Classic and Crankworx events last year. Rando will focus on Australian and North American events and will continue to play an important role in Giant’s product development efforts.
Three familiar names make up the cross-country contingent of the Giant Factory Off-Road Team. Former U.S. National Champions Carl Decker and Kelli Emmett will each continue to focus on North American XC and Super D racing, and British Olympian Oli Beckingsale will compete primarily in U.K. and European XC events.
With two teams canvassing every major event in mountain biking, Giant looks forward to its biggest year yet in off-road competition.
Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team
Adam Craig (USA), XC, ST
Fabian Giger (Switzerland), XC
Henk Jaap Moorlag (The Netherlands), XC
Emil Lindren (Sweden), XC
Giant Factory Off-Road Team
Oli Beckingsale (Great Britain), XC, ST
Carl Decker (USA), XC, ST, Super D
Kelli Emmett (USA), XC, ST, Super D
Danny Hart (Great Britain), 4X, DH, DS
Jared Rando (Australia), 4X, DH, DS
Duncan Riffle (USA), 4X, DH, DS
Kurt Sorge (Canada), Freeride