Team Rumours – What we’ve heard
Well well. News has been filtering through the grapevine fast over the last few weeks and we’ve been given another interesting looking list.
For years it’s been a given that people like to keep these things secret but upon a chat with a top rider a few days ago he gave us some sound advice “just do it” .
So, here’s what we’ve heard to be 2017 team line ups.
Santa Cruz Syndicate:
That looks like Luca Shaw, Loris Vergier and Greg Minnaar to us.
This would make sense to us. Shaw is Californian and it would be great for Santa Cruz to have home grown talent on the books. Vergier can refine his craft from the rider with the best head game in the sport Minnaar. Plus Vergier spotted in Morzine testing a V-10, which is of course where a famous Santa Cruz mechanic is based. Of any manufacturer who could pull a team like this off, Santa Cruz, and parent company Pon certainly have the muscle to do it.
Scott/ Velo solutions.
Gstaad are gone, and Velo Solutions are set to become the new title sponsor for the Scott Team, owned by Claudio Calouri. Those pump tracks sure are profitable (and very rad). We like this tie up! We heard Brendan had tested other bikes but he has found old form on the Scott and seems an integral part of their team. We aren’t sure about Neko Mullaly, and what this would mean if he left. Scott have a great balance as team – pro, yet fun and still a bit rock and roll. So it’d be nice to see them stick with this.
We understand Manon Carpenter will be going here (But we also heard Pivot may be an option.) This marks a somewhat increased spend for the German based manufacturer, but perhaps our source is having a gas? As brands continue to see teams (with top riders at least) as a way of generating good return on spend, it’s no surprise to see Radon step up to the mark.
As far as we know, staying the same (bar Carpenter) but they were on the hunt for a BIG signing. They have the money, the clout but with both Beaumont and Simmonds not sizzling last year, and media such a huge part of racing, they need that marquee, top ten rider. Their media output was average at best last year and at times they almost seem a bit like a road racing team on the outside, but they are full of great characters and savvy individuals behind the scenes, none more so than Will Longden.
Kerr Brothers –
Two Scottish juniors leaving Sick Skills for Dirt, allegedly. Huge potential from both these boys and we wish them the best of luck.
Already reported – we won’t add any more.
We first became suspicious when we saw the Polygon filmer Felix Le Blanc posting photos from Inverness. We know Greg Williamson is staying on Cube and that left only one top rider in Inverness. Kenta Gallagher. Further more we saw that Ric Mclaughlin posted a photo of Kenta in an Illab top yesterday – a key sponsor of the Polygon UR team. The Polygon team is huge – around 16 staff members and a huge pit presence. Sick Mick and Tracey will have their eye on Cairns….We aren’t sure about Needles as yet, but he has skills and speed, and knows the scene better than most.
As far as we know, Troy Brosnan and a former junior world champion from the borders will be riding for this team, managed by Fabien Barel. This is an interesting mix. Both Brosnan and Cunningham are very analytical, very very good riders as well as racers. Can Barel, a master tactician in his prime, get Brosnan up onto the top step and Ruaridh in that top ten, where he can most definitely live comfortably. The Aussie and the Scottish rider will certainly shake things up .
Off Dirt School/Santa Cruz and is just doing Instagram stories for Claud Butler.
Specialized / Pure Agency
Bruni staying put. We are a bit in the dark, but there has been chatter that Blenki might be heading back to join up with them. Belnki, who left Pure to be the number one rider on Norco is an interesting one. He won a World Cup in 2008 on a Yeti. A whopping 9 years ago next season. Since then, his skills and reputation have kept him in the spotlight when his results have faltered. Would love to see him flying again.
The Scotsman has formed a JCB team. Media coverage to include local paper coverage and zero online output. (Only joking Ronan, we love you!)
As far as we know, Taylor Vernon has gone to Unior (With Reece Wilson) with an offer to Charlie Harrison and others made but no confirmed signings as yet. Gee, who has a passion for rallying, had a double page spread in the Motoring news last week and his pace in the car is good but where a future lies in the ultra exclusive WRC scene we aren’t sure. Vouilloz was the IRC rally champion (Consistently faster than Freddie Loix) but even this culdn’t land him a WRC drive. Rachael to face more competition from a developing Seagrave but still capable of flicking the switch whenever she likes.
We’re pretty happy as one of our favourites is on this team. We’ll leave you hanging. Could a Californian who likes slippers and has a DJ studio be on his way there too?
We’ve heard YT, Pivot and a few others. We’re in the dark.
Offered a few big deals, but he knows a good thing when he’s got it. The Keswick Kestrel staying on Hope and Scott and we’d love to see him shake up that podium a bit more. Who say’s two men and a van can’t take the World scene by storm? It’s every romantics dream to see them conquer the world.
The most exciting team on the circuit with Hart and Greenland remains the same. These two could be set dominate 2017 given those world championship performances. Simply incredible.
That’s all we’ve got for now. Make an account, comment below if we’re miles out, or if you know more.