It's no secret that running a successful race team isn't cheap, especially when one of your riders is the most sought after in the game. Yeti Cycles had to chose between racing the UCI World Cup downhill or the Enduro World Series in 2014. Jared Graves and Richie Rude will focus on racing the Enduro World Series, while Cam Cole will hit the UCI World Cup with a new, unannounced team.Speculation around Cam's future had already been rife following several Instagram posts showing a Commencal in his van and reports of him riding it in the first round of New Zealand's National MTB Cup this past weekend. Whilst still not officially confirmed, knowing that Cam is now a free agent makes that scenario more plausible.

Press Release:

Yeti Racing Shifts Focus and Expands Enduro Presence

Historic Racing Team Commits to Thriving Enduro Scene

(20 January 2014, Golden, Colorado) For the 2014 racing season, Yeti Cycles will focus their international race efforts solely on the Enduro World Series with a fully supported team that includes 2013 EWS 2nd Place Overall and DH World Championship Bronze medalist Jared Graves and 2013 Junior DH World Champion Richie Rude. In addition to the EWS World Cup team, Yeti will support a number of select athletes via their US National team and regional Racing Ambassadors who will race primarily in the Big Mountain Enduro Series, Oregon Enduro Series, and select EWS events.

“Racing has been the cornerstone of our product development for over twenty-five years,” said Yeti President and co-owner Chris Conroy. “We are excited about enduro racing and have athletes that are uniquely suited to the discipline. Focusing on enduro racing will allow us to concentrate our marketing and product resources exactly where enthusiasm is growing from our sponsors, supporters, and customers.”

Yeti Cycles Enduro Team

EWS World Cup Team:

  • Jared Graves
  • Richie Rude

US National Team:

  • Mike West
  • Chris Heath

Racing Ambassadors:

  • Joey Schusler
  • Nate Hills
  • Alex Petidemange
  • Sarah Rawley

Reflecting this shift in international race resources, Yeti Cycles will no longer race a World Cup DH schedule. Cam Cole will continue to race a World Cup calendar, but will not be a part of Yeti’s race program. “Cam is a great athlete and we were proud to have him on our team. While it’s sad to see Cam move on, we wish him luck.”

“World Cup DH racing isn’t done for Yeti Cycles, but our focus in the near-term is on enduro racing,” said Conroy.

Yeti Cycles 2014 Sponsors:

Fox Racing Shox, Maxxis, Shimano, DT Swiss, Giro, Renthal, Pedro’s, WTB, E Thirteen, Thomson, ODI, Chris King, Feedback Sports, Stages Cycling

About Yeti:
Yeti Cycles is a rider-owned high-end mountain bike company, based in Golden, Colorado that has crafted race-bred and hand-built bicycles since 1985. The company has over twenty-five years of racing experience and focuses its product development on making racers go faster.  If you visit our offices at noon, we won’t be there – we’ll be out riding.  Visit to learn more.

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  • bturman

    1/22/2014 8:35 AM

    A few candid words from Richie regarding his move:

    "My decision to move to enduro had many factors behind it, mainly due to the fact that Yeti was pushing hard for the move. Therefore I was like hell; I have had more fun on my Sb66c than on my downhill bike all year, why not give it a shot? Did I expect almost every person on the Internet to agree with such a decision? No, but sometimes we all have to make decisions that may not be our first and hope it takes us down a similar road of happiness and success. Will I miss downhill? Yes, from being the Jr. UCI DH world champion to possibly only doing 1 world cup this year will leave me wanting to return to finish my goal of achieving that #1 plate. Yeti is focusing on what they do best, making and racing the best all-mountain bikes around… Cheers to the future."

  • Yetifan

    1/22/2014 2:37 AM

    I asked Chris Conroy a few more questions on this, and to me things are more clear than the press release, check them here, vital, feel free to add to the article if you see fit. Pinkbike does not have these.

  • CombatMutt

    1/22/2014 6:15 PM

    "In the future", never really sounds promising. If they're not going to be running DH, then there's no reason to produce a DH bike.

  • P-DUB

    1/20/2014 10:47 PM

    What just happened??

    I just want to ride my DH bike.

    Long live DH!!!

  • Pininator

    1/20/2014 8:39 PM

    Didn't see THAT coming and might take a few races to adjust to not seeing the Yeti flag waving at WC DH circuits this season. Graves committing solely to the EWS isn't a surprise...hell, he could come out tomorrow and say he's going to dedicate this season to bike-polo and then go and dominate that circuit. He's a beast - period.

    Rude not being on the DH circuit is definitely the head-scratcher to a degree. I'm all for it, as it will surely improve his overall riding abilities and probably give him a breath of fresh air from the pressures of the WC/DH circuit. If/when he does return, he'll be more than primed, I'm sure.

    Hopefully Cole gets on a team with great support so that he can continue to be a force. More importantly, let's hope he keeps it together all season (and beyond) so that he can finally realize his full potential!

  • Yetifan

    1/20/2014 3:05 PM

    It will be great to see that Jared is on Yeti still, he's the best all round MTBer ever. I was just shocked that the DH team has gone. You are right it was presumptuous of me to assume Richie should only be in DH. I just hope I get to see him take Worlds again. He'll be chasing Jared down at EWS for sure, just wondering what else Yeti has in the bag.

  • jimmypop

    1/21/2014 9:16 AM

    Ever? Someone had better phone John Tomac, who had wins and titles in nearly every discipline. Tomac even had Yeti roots. How'd you miss that, superfan?
  • Dave_Camp

    1/21/2014 11:57 AM

    One could argue that the sport is more mature and the riders are training harder now vs the early 90's. Doesn't matter- both Tomac and Graves are legends.

  • jimmypop

    1/21/2014 12:40 PM

    "Legend" is a sliding scale, I guess.

  • SuboptimusPrime

    1/20/2014 2:38 PM

    Makes perfect sense to me (although I'm bummed not to see Rude continue to develop on the WC circuit). The EWS offers product exposure and development relevant to a much larger market than DH. Yeti will make a ton more selling trail bikes than DH bikes. If you can only support one race team, it's an easy call. Sure hope there aren't too many teams that follow suit tho.

  • oldmantompkins

    1/20/2014 1:18 PM

    What is with all the hate. Has anyone thought that possibly Richie wants to race enduro. He might want to switch things up. Just because hes racing enduro for a season does not mean he will never race DH again. I have no doubt Richie had a say in where he wanted to go.

  • sideshow

    1/20/2014 1:18 PM

    This looks more like a middle finger to the UCI than anything else. Vote with your dollars folks. Bummed that we wont be watching Jared or Richie destroying DH courses in 2014, but EWS coverage is top drawer, so we'll be seeing them plenty otherwise.

  • CombatMutt

    1/20/2014 12:54 PM

    So do I now have one of the last Yeti DH bikes?

  • Smutok

    1/20/2014 12:01 PM

    Wow! I hope Enduro doesn't kill World Cup Downhill.

  • Yetifan

    1/20/2014 11:50 AM

    My personal opinion, waste of talent for Richie Rude. This sucks balls. Good luck to the team, I hope they pin it to win it.
    DH won't be quite the same though.

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