Following a thrilling 2015 season that saw the team collect podium finishes and big wins at some of the most prestigious Downhill and Enduro events around the world, the Giant Factory Off-Road Team is back for 2016 with a renewed focus on the UCI World Cup and Enduro World Series races.
Five-time Colombian downhill national champion Marcelo Gutierrez signed a three-year extension with the team. Gutierrez is coming off a successful 2015 season that saw him land his first-ever World Cup podium finish at Fort William. The 25-year-old also repeated his title at the grueling Garbanzo DH, part of the Crankworx Whistler event in British Columbia. “Our World Cup DH squad had a great season last year, riding the new Glory Advanced 27.5 bikes and collecting some nice podium finishes,” Gutierrez said. “I’m looking forward to continuing the momentum and seeing what we can do in 2016.”
Also on the downhill team is Spanish teenager Alex Marin, who makes the jump up to the elites this year following a successful run in the junior men’s category. Returning to the DH squad this year is 21-year-old French rider Guillaume Cauvin. The former junior French Cup winner had a solid first year with the team in 2015, highlighted by a podium finish in the pro men’s DH at the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes event in France.
The team’s Enduro squad is led this year by Frenchman Yoann Barelli and joined by Australian Josh Carlson and American Adam Craig.
Beyond the global riders, the team also includes American XC and Enduro racer Carl Decker, a veteran from Oregon and Seamus Powell, a 25-year-old two-time U.S. Super D national champion.
All of the Giant Factory Off-Road Team riders will be able to choose from Giant bikes like the Glory Advanced 27.5 downhill bikes, Reign Advanced 27.5 enduro machines, Trance Advanced 27.5 trail bikes, and Anthem Advanced 27.5 and XtC Advanced SL 27.5 XC bikes. Giant is also supporting the team with its Contact SLR saddles, the new Rail trail helmet, Giant footwear including the Charge XC shoe with Motion Efficiency System technology, plus jackets and other apparel.
Newly added sponsor 100% will bring a whole new look to the team, providing a range of products including their all-new AIRCRAFT Carbon full-face helmet, gravity race kits and gloves. Other new sponsors include HT Components pedals, Re-Fuel digital accessories and Jakroo XC kits. Returning sponsors include SRAM, RockShox, Schwalbe and a few more.
Giant Starkenn in India is also the proud sponsor to one of the rising stars of Indian DH scene, Gautam Taode and has kept the enthusiasm of mountain bikers alive by throwing open the National MTB track to enthusiast and amateur racers last year.