Source: 23 Degrees
Lapierre has been an active member of the international race circuit for many years now. For 2010 the French company has decided to take their sponsoring activities to the next level in order to reflect their export ambitions by creating a new "Team Lapierre International", composed of the world's best DH, Enduro and XC riders.
Sam Blenkinsop (NZ):
A young rider (21 years old), Sam already has a long list of podiums and even a World Cup victory under his belt. Talented, humble, and fast, Sam will be the leader of the new DH team.
"I'm excited to ride for Lapierre next season. It's going to be great to ride alongside 10 times World Champ Nico Vouilloz, someone I really respect. I'm really looking forward to getting to know everyone on the team. I reckon the bike is the best looking bike out there and I can't wait to start testing next month. After learning so much with my last team, I'm really look forward to this new chapter in my career with Lapierre".
Sam is personally sponsored by Adidas Eyewear, Five Ten and Skull Candy.
Nicolas Vouilloz (FR):
Know as E.T. on the race circuit, the nickname is more than fitting for the man known for his incredibly clean speed. Nicolas has decided to participate in the 2010 Enduro races, along with a selection of prestigious rally car races (Monte Carlo and San Remo). Known for his attention to detail, you'll also probably catch him hanging out at the DH race paddocks this year in his role as product developer for Lapierre…
Nicolas is personally sponsored by Bos Suspensions and the Alpe d'Huez ski and MTB resort.
Sam Flockhart (UK):
Even though he was still in the junior category last year, Sam finished 15th in the overall of the Maxxis Cup in 2009! Determined, a hard worker, and virtually fearless, Lapierre has added this young and talented British rider to its roster. His main objective will be to learn from his more experienced teammates, Sam and Nico.
Cross country riders:
As was previously announced, the XC team will be composed of three French riders: Alexis Vuillermoz (2nd place at the 2009 U23 World Championships and current U23 French national champion), Cécile Ravanel (2008 and 2009 French national champion), and Cédric Ravanel (6th place at the 2009 World Championships).
All three riders finished the 2009 season strong and will continue to work towards the upcoming Olympic Games in London.
A word from Gilles Lapierre (managing director, Lapierre):
"At Lapierre, we've always been passionate about racing, and we've actively sponsored riders at all levels since the late eighties. We've had the opportunity to work with some excellent athletes in the past, and for 2010 we're excited to offer a professional structure and healthy race environment to some new riders. With the help of our partners, we've put together a top-level package with high-quality equipment and experienced management, so that our riders will be able to concentrate on their racing."
For this new project, Lapierre will continue working with Pure Agency (www.pureagency.fr), a marketing and communication agency specialized in sports. Having worked together for three years now, Pure Agency has proven their efficiency in team management as well as communication and media relations.
Simplicity, creativity, respect: it's with these building blocks that projects are born and then developed at Pure Agency since 2007. Surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do, we find our motivation in the pleasure and desire to move forward towards a common goal.
"Cyril (competition manager) and I have without a doubt one of the best MTB teams on the circuit to manage," says Laurent Delorme, founder and manager of Pure Agency. "Our challenge will be to make sure the riders are comfortable and confidant by providing them with everything they need during the season and especially on race day. We will work hard with the technicians and partners to provide the best bikes possible, so that everyone can enjoy the results!"