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Easily the most hotly anticipated of the 2016 team transfer announcements, today we can finally reveal where Aaron Gwin is headed after his much-publicized departure from Specialized earlier in the offseason. Validating the most persistent rumors, YT Industries is indeed launching a new World Cup team and they have signed Gwin as well as rookie Angel Suarez to race for them for the next three years. The move is remarkable for such a young brand, and perhaps even more so because Gwin and Suarez will be on stock frames. One of the benefits of working with a world-class racer like Gwin is of course product development input, and we expect the TUES will continue to evolve over the duration of this deal, but for him to take it straight to the World Cup is significant validation for a bike that has also proven it can compete at the Red Bull Rampage.


There are a few surprises in the rest of the sponsor line-up as well, not least the relatively unproven TRP brakes. Aaron has no doubt burned through a few sets of brake pads (Shimano Zee compatible, incidentally) before committing to riding for the brand, but it will nevertheless be interesting to see what further developments the company might have up its sleeves. The same goes for Onza who will supply the team tires. In addition to the team sponsors, Aaron stays with Red Bull and TLD for helmets.

We took a ride with Aaron a week ago, to talk about all things bicycle racing, Just Riding Along:

Here is what YT and Aaron had to say about the move:


The YT Mob: YT joins the World Cup with Aaron Gwin and Angel Suarez

The bike manufacturer YT finally shares its secret and presents its first Downhill World Cup racing team named “The YT Mob”.  None other than American Aaron Gwin along with Spanish Youngster Angel Suarez will stir up the downhill world, while the team will be operated by 23 Degrees Sports with Martin Whiteley as Team Director.


Exactly one week ago the terrible news about the death of YT team rider Kelly McGarry made headlines all around the globe. The team at YT is still at a loss for words regarding the sudden loss of this extraordinary character. Unsure about the right moment to release the much-anticipated news about Aaron Gwin and the downhill team, YT has now decided to make it official: Aaron Gwin is coming to Forchheim!

After an extensive search, the 28-year-old downhill superstar has decided to join the German bike manufacturer. Aaron Gwin’s team mate is 20-year-old Angel Suarez from Vigo, who can look back on a very successful motocross career and who has already showcased his immense downhill racing potential with a top 20 finish at the World Cup in Lenzerheide in 2015. With the Mob, YT joins the World Cup circus for the first time in its history.


Finally, the long-awaited wish to send the TUES onto the world’s toughest tracks to prove that the downhill machine is not just a top-notch freeride beast, but also a proper racing tool is now coming true. With his distinctive racing focus and his untamed will to win, Aaron Gwin adds a new dimension to the YT family. It was particularly important for Gwin that his new bike sponsor shares the same passion and dedication for downhill as he does. With YT he has a like-minded crew on his side, one that is completely committed to the gravity aspect of mountain biking. The set-up of the bikes out of Forchheim could not be any better: The kinematic concept and the geometry of the TUES convinced the multiple World Cup winner already after the first ride. There will be no changes made to the frame itself, Gwin will ride all the World Cup races with a stock TUES frame.


So, has YT had a change of heart, deviating from their Good Times mentality to now only heavily focus on nothing but rankings and podiums? “No way”, says CEO Markus Flossmann. “Good Times is also the motto of our YT Mob. We are going to offer our riders the best bikes and conditions, so they can focus on doing their thing. The fun of racing will always come first, because eventually the rider who can stay relaxed and calm during the heat and stress of racing will take the win. We are beyond thrilled to have Aaron and Angel joining us.”

Gwin is also excited about his new sponsor: “The unbelievable hype that we’ve seen over the last few weeks and the feedback of the fans were incredible, but I am really happy to finally announce the news. We are a great match because the guys at YT share the same passion for mountain biking as I do. I am sure we will have a great time together. The TUES is perfect and I am really happy to officially ride it from now on.”

In addition to YT as title sponsor, the YT Mob will have the following co-sponsors: e*thirteen, Onza Tires, TRP, Renthal, SDG, Motorex, ODI, Cane Creek and Alpinestars.

​About YT Industries

In 2008, CEO Markus Flossmann founded YT with the aim to build competition-ready, affordable dirt jump and slopestyle mountain bikes for talented young riders. After only eight years, the product range includes high-end downhill and enduro bikes, which are awarded with renowned prices on a regular basis. The secret of success: high quality products, fair prices, the direct selling method which eliminates the profit margins of middlemen, an unmatched reputation and last but not least world-class team riders like Cam Zink, Andreu Lacondeguy and Aaron Gwin, who have joined the YT family.

By now, YT has established distribution channels in Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Pictures by Ale di Lullo

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