Giant is bolstering its off-road presence in 2010 with the addition of the all-new Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team an expanded Giant Factory Off-Road Team.
The four-man Rabobank-Giant team will focus on World Cup cross-country and cyclocross racing and be anchored by American Olympian Adam Craig. Adding cyclocross to the mix makes the team a year-round global operation supporting XC riders during the mountain biking season and cyclocross riders in the fall and winter.
“From an athlete’s standpoint, it’s the ideal setup,” Craig said in a release. “There are certain similarities between cross-country mountain biking and cyclocross, 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 under-25 racers including Emil Lindren (Sweden), Fabian Giger (Switzerland) and Henk Jaap Moorlag (The Netherlands).
“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 racers 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 the coming season’s biggest 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.
The other Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider with a global agenda is 2008 Red Bull Rampage silver medalist Kurt Sorge, who will be seen in 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.
Giant Factory XC
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 cross-country events.
Riders on both teams will develop and test Maestro-equipped suspension bikes, XtC hardtails and TCX cyclo-cross bikes in 2010 competition.