The announcement of Trek’s deal with Atherton Racing a few weeks back set the forums astir with speculation as to where various riders were headed for in 2016. The pieces are starting to fall into place with the following press release from GT.
"GT has a rich history of top-level racing successes and a line of World Championship-proven bikes," said Tim Inall, Global General Manager for GT. "The brand is extremely proud to have been associated with the Atherton racing program since 2012. Now, however, we're ready for this next chapter in GT Factory Racing. We are excited to continue the momentum to form and manage a new team of accomplished riders from around the world."
Brook Macdonald (New Zealand) – During his young career, Macdonald has achieved 18 top-10 positions including a podium spot at Val di Sole in 2015.
"I am beyond stoked to be starting a new chapter in my career with such a well-known brand, GT. Holding multiple championships and World Cup wins I am looking forward to sharing good times with a new team and team members. GT has a history that dates way back to the roots of mountain biking with legends like Hans Ray, Brain Lopes, Eric Carter, Nico Vouilloz and Jill Kintner."
Sam Dale (United Kingdom) – A proven performer on the World Cup scene, Dale has had 19 top-25 positions and landed a podium spot at Lourdes in 2015.
"Absolutely buzzing for the future with GT, as you can see with this team lineup we're going to have a lot of laughs and fun racing our bikes all while putting in the work that is needed. When there is a set up like this, there will be success for the team and for myself. I'm really excited to get these bikes on the back wheel and going flat out."
Wyn Masters (New Zealand) – Masters, a fan favorite, has achieved race success both in his homeland of New Zealand and on the World Cup circuit.
"I couldn't be more pumped with the team line up too; Sambo, Brook the Bulldog, Jackson, Martin the Muss, Anneke, Rachel, and of course Mark and Tom! I know GT stands for Gary Turner the founder, but it's also short for Good Times that's exactly what 2016 is going to be, I can't wait to get on my Fury and Sanction and become the first rider to race both the Enduro World Series and World Cup Downhill full season!"
Jackson Frew, Junior (Australia) – After wrapping up his Downhill season as the number one first-year Junior, Frew enters his last year as a Junior with high expectations.
"It's really awesome to be given the opportunity to represent a brand as great as GT! As a junior coming into a team with riders and mechanics with so much experience is exciting! I will learn so much from my new teammates. Having raced the Fury over this past year it is a bike I can push my limits on and can't wait to get to the first World Cup!"
Martin Maes (Belgium) – A young phenom, Maes has proven himself as one of the top riders to watch.
"I’m very proud to get such a great opportunity to keep working with GT for the next 3 years. GT has always been supporting me since the very beginning along with Atherton Racing. The brand has done some amazing bikes over last few years and I can’t wait to be involved even more on the program. I’ll be very focused on all the EWS as well as a few downhill world cups and Dual Slalom. I’m stoked!"
Anneke Beerten (Netherlands) – The reigning Queen of Crankworx, Beerten has podiumed 16 times during her illustrious Enduro World Series career.
"Ever since I was a little girl racing BMX I was a fan of GT. So many legendary riders like Gary Ellis, Dale Holmes and Corine Dorland were my heroes. I remember having a poster of Gary Ellis hanging in my bedroom, and Dale Holmes gave me one of his GT World Champs BMX jerseys. In mountain biking, the list of legendary athletes who won medals on GT is endless. As you can imagine I am very excited to be part of this legendary brand, and I can't wait to put on my jersey!"
Rachel Throop (United States) – After successfully proving herself on the American enduro circuit, Throop is ready to step onto the global stage.
"Continuing my partnership with GT into next season and being a part of the Factory Team is a dream come true! The rich history of GT’s athletes in mountain biking and BMX is impressive, and I am honored to be joining the roster as a part of GT Bicycle’s 2016 Factory Team."
Wyn Masters (New Zealand) – After placing third and showing his dual-threat strength at the Crankworx Enduro, Masters will also join the enduro circuit.
The GT Factory Racing teams will be managed by Mark Maurissen (Belgium), a long time industry professional whose ties to GT go back to the mid 1990s. Most recently, Mark was head mechanic for GT's enduro team.