Specialized recently announced that Kohei Yamamoto, multi-time Japanese National Champion, has joined Specialized Racing for 2012. Yamamoto joins the team of decorated riders Jaroslav Kulhavy, Christoph Sauser, Burry Stander, Todd Wells, Lea Davidson, Rebecca Rusch and Ned Overend.
"2011 was our most successful season ever, which is super motivating now that we are in an Olympic year," said Bobby Behan, Specialized's Sports Marketing Director. "There are four championship titles that matter in our sport: Olympic XC, World XC, World Cup Overall and World XC Marathon. Jaroslav was sensational last year, blasting his S-Works Epic 29er to five World Cup Wins, the World Cup Overall and the Cross-Country World Championship while Christoph delivered the goods again in the Marathon Worlds. We are incredibly excited to watch them race this season."
Kohei Yamamoto is a huge talent in cross-country racing, having won the Japanese National Title and the Asian Championship title multiple times. "I started mountain bike racing when I was 10 years old," Yamamoto said. "In 2003, I was picked to join Junior National Team in Japan for the World Championship. I graduated from the International Nature and Outdoor Activity college, where I studied Mountain Biking for three years. After my graduation, I started racing with Bridgestone Cycle as my first pro contract for the past 5 years. In 2012, I joined Specialized, and restarted with a refreshed mind. I am all excited about this season, and proud of being a member of Specialized."