2011 Team News: Yeti, Harry Heath, Kona & Specialized Freeride

February 8th, 2011

By Factory Jackson in Features

Lots of ‘Team News’ today! First up we have the Yeti Cycles World Cup and National Team announcement which is once again proof that Yeti put their money and their time where their mouth is; and thats racing folks!

Without brands like Yeti the sport would not be what it is today, period. Big news is new signing Shaun O’Connor joining fellow Australian, Jared Graves. Shaun and Jared will be competing the whole world cup series as well as select races around the world. 2011 will be Jared’s last year focussing on 4X and he’ll start with a few select DH events this season to get things rolling ready for 2012. What this means for the current state of 4X is anyones guess, but there are forces at work that seem to spell demise for international 4X racing! Lets hope not anyway, but more on that topic later in the month!

Back to the boys in turquoise. The World Cup team as always has a domestic race program behind it and this too, is stacked to the rafters. The US National Team has signed the increasingly capable Elliot Jackson, a rider who is popping up more and more and definitely one to watch. The rest of the team are all Yeti regulars and mainstays of the brands development program, consisting of Tyler Immer, Joey Schusler, Chris Boice and Richie Rude.

The team will be out of the custom Royal kit they wore last year and back into Jett Designs apparel for 2011 and supported by the ever present Fox Racing Shox, Shimano, DT Swiss, Schwalbe, Sixsixone, Topeak, WTB, Sunline, E-Thirteen, ODI,Chris King and Motorex lubes. Looking good all round I’d say!

Harry Heath – Unior Tools/ Trek

Pretty stoked on this news! Harry Heath has signed for the Unior Tools team out of Slovenia, an interesting move for all concerned and one that Harry will do well with. The young Congleton lad will compete the World Cup circuit and selected European and national events on board a Trek equipped with Sram and sporting gear from Sixsixone, Adidas and backed by Muc Off and Edelweiss. I’m sure Harry’s got some sweet personal sponsors too, we’ll have more on that later when Harry joins Factory Jackson on the Blogs later this month, so stay tuned for more ‘Bazra’ action right here!

Kona Factory Race Team – Big Shake up!

Kona have a new DH World Cup team for 2011 in the shape of Ozzy pinners Mitch Delfs and Connor Fearon. Both riders are on the up with Mitch breaking into the top tier in the Elites and Connor looking set to dominate juniors very shortly.

Kona’s race program will be supported by Maxxis, Shimano, Easton, Rock Shox, E-Thirteen, and WTB. They look like they’ve got two good guys that will represent them really well and hopefully get some good results on what has to be, Kona’s nicest bike for years, the Operator DH.

Aggy doing his thing! One of our favorite riders right now!

As per Kona, they will of course have their freeiders on board too with the 2011 ‘Clump’ team consisting of Graham “Aggy” ¬†Agassiz, Paul “Bass” Basagotia and Grant “Chopper” Fielder. Exciting times for Kona in 2011 and if the bikes keep coming out as good as they are right now, 2012 could see the sweetest machines we’ve seen from the Canadian bike company in a long time.

Specialized Freeride Team

It’s been out for a few weeks now, that Swedish flipper and whipper, Martin Soderstrom signed for the mighty Specialized for the next 2 years. Joining him as always are the stable of Specialized freeriders, Darren Berrecloth and Matt Hunter. Solid team and with the backing of “Spesh” I’m sure they’ll be all over the contests and videos as we go through the year. Specialized have also hinted about working with these guys to further develop product specifically suited to their needs. What this means is anyones guess, maybe a slopestyle specific bike, a smaller Demo or just some cool collaborations. Guess we’ll have to wait and see on that one!

Still Waiting On Some News Yet To Be Announced!!!

Once again, no word yet who’ll be joining Brook on MS-Evil, The UK Saracen World Cup team, well, were going to the press launch for that one, so more on that in a few weeks! Who’s joining Marc on GT? Still lots to come and we’ll keep rounding up the news “we don’t get sent” and putting it together right here in an un-regurgitating manor for y’all to read and hopefully enjoy.

April’s getting closer by the day and it’s looking like the best season to date and the beeps haven’t even started yet! Roll on S.Africa! Stay tuned to Factory Jackson for more ‘Factory’ news when it drops elsewhere! If you are a team manager reading this, you can send us press releases here if you want – info(at)factoryjackson.com

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