GT Factory Racing Adds Two Racers

Dec 14, 2012 at 5:16
Dec 14, 2012
by Laurence Crossman-Emms  
 
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GT Factory Racing Brings on Next Generation of Talent
Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons

GT Bicycles, a Dorel Industries brand, announced today the signing of two of Europe’s most dominant young riders to expand its champion downhill and enduro race team GT Factory Racing. Taylor Vernon of South Wales will join the world’s fastest downhill race team to train alongside Gee Atherton, Rachel Atherton, and Marc Beaumont, while Martin Maes from Belgium will join Dan Atherton on the enduro team.

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com


“Taylor was first brought to our attention last year and we’ve seen him post some solid results in the under 16 sections this past season,” said Dan Brown, Team Director. “The team is on a roll right now with Rachel’s World Cup win, fastest team overall title and Gee taking podiums in every race. It feels like the right time for us to start to bring on some new young riders and we think that Taylor has the potential to become a major force on the World Cup scene.”16-year-old Vernon will be racing on a GT Fury as he works to dominate the Junior World Cups and World Championships.

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

“Words can’t describe how stoked I am to be joining Dan, Gee, Rachel, and Marc on GT Factory Racing,” said Vernon. “I’m so excited about racing at the International and World Cup level and know that I could not ask for a better or more experienced team of people to teach me all there is to know.”

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

On the enduro side, 15-year-old Martin Maes turned heads when he took 5th place overall at the Superenduro of Nations at Sauze d’Oulz. He will be riding a GT Force and focusing on the Enduro World Series.

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

“Nobody could quite believe it,” said Dan Atherton. “There isn’t a junior category in superenduro so this 15-year-old boy is just wasting some of the toughest and most experienced adult riders on the circuit.
We are really excited about the Enduro World Series in 2013 and I’m stoked to have a new teammate with this much potential.”

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

“This opportunity feels like a dream come true,” said Maes. “I have the greatest admiration for Rachel, Dan, Gee and Marc and will be so happy to ride with them.”

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Additional Info:

Taylor Vernon // 2012 results - U16
British Downhill Series Round 1-Combe Sydenham 3rd place
British Downhill Series Round 2-Fort William 6th place
British Downhill Series round 3-Glencoe 2nd place
British Downhill Series Round 4-Caersws 1st place
British Downhill Series Round 5- Bringewood 1st place
British Downhill Series Round 6-Llangollen 1st place
British Downhill Series Overall 1st Place
Extreme DH Summer Series-Llangollen 1st place
IXS Downhill Round 2- Innerleithen 1st place
IXS Downhill Round 6-Chatel 4th Place
Welsh Champs-Moelfre 2nd place
National Champion-Moelfre 1st place

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Martin Maes // 2012 Results
Enduro "hautes vosges" - La Bresse 6th
Mountain of Hell, Les Deux Alpes 13th
Enduro of Nations, Saulx d'Oulx 5th
Enduro of Nations, Valloire 4th
Roc Enduro (Roc d'Azur) 3rd
4X European Race (15/17 years), Winterberg 1st

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

Photos: Laurence Crossman-Emms (www.laurence-ce.com)

Powerhouse Riders Taylor Vernon and Martin Maes Set to Ride with Beaumont and Athertons - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com
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112 Comments

  • + 70
 Great to see GT making a comeback and backing Enduro. Make great business sense.
DH is a saturated market and Enduro is hugely expanding with bikes/gear in a better price range for mortals.
Get a great racing team together quick, gain a great rep signing the Athertons, dominate, and watch the sales on GT enduro bikes soar. Gunna see a lot more of GT in the near future i think.
  • + 4
 I have two gt bikes in my stable, a gt edge racer from late nineties and a gt fury from last year. I can say without any doubt both are excellent bikes. I would happily add a force or a sensor to that stable.
Been a gt fan boy since my first gt zaskar way back in 1992 (i think, its a long time ago anyway)
  • + 1
 why is it that whenever someone picks up GT as a sponsor, they are on ONE to?
  • + 0
 Because I am, and personally i dont think the brand gets enough recognition, certainly not in the uk anyway. They must have changed importers like 10 times in the last twenty years(dont quote me on that but there have been a few) They also had a long spell where they where in a large uk auto spares chain which did zero good for their image.
In the last twenty years i have owned an outpost, tequesta, pantera, 3 zaskars, 2 rts, 1 edge and a fury and am very fond of the brand.
So if I want to tell everyone I happen to own GT bicyles and thoroughly endorse the brand I will.
  • + 5
 I agree -- GT is kicking ass these days... They have been since introducing the I-Drive in the late 90's and refining it in the early 2000's. Whether it's the Rukus from '04 or this year's carbon Fury, they're pushing innovation and technology... But hey, I might just be a LITTLE biased. Wink
  • - 1
 "GT is kicking ass these days... They have been since introducing the I-Drive in the late 90's"...thats meant as a joke , right??
  • + 5
 Nothing wrong with a gt, glad they have a boat load of quality athletes to back them up. I met Hans Rey in the nineties!!! Legend.
  • + 4
 @llamaman110 pretty much any factory team is gonna make their riders run their sponsors gear, its not just gt
  • - 4
 I think he was saying that every time gt sign someone, pb'ers pipe up to say they also have gt bikes
  • + 4
 The other thing that's really great, is that GT is supporting young talents like these two boys
  • + 0
 Yes, i think so too
  • + 1
 Martin Maes: 1st of the Belgian downhill championship too if I'm not wrong!
  • + 1
 I don't think Enduro are cheaper than DH bikes
  • + 1
 I think it's great, that GT cares more about Enduro, but I wouldn't say DH is saturated! It's still a incredibly fast growing market!!
  • + 4
 Nice for Dan, he'll have somebody to attend races with. Looks like two pretty good additions, should be a good year for GT, Rach should be up there again, Dan proved at Finale that he's ready to contend for the title crown, and let's hope Gee stays healthy and can give Gwinn a run for his money. Hopefully Taylor's up there with the juniors too.
  • - 1
 i ride an 08 ruckus. it kicks butt!
  • + 3
 dude, I freakin love GT. the first mountain bike i knew was my dad's rigid framed karakoram when mountain bikes were first coming out X) still running near-perfect to this day.
  • + 1
 He has both, plus others.
  • + 1
 thats true, i just assumed he meant his downhill bike
[Reply]
  • + 20
 Like the photo shoot, how hard must it have been for those two to not look ridiculously happy
  • + 1
 Dan Atherthon picks up very serious athletes, just like him !
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  • + 16
 Martin Maes is also incredible fast on a downhill bike. I saw him riding his first downhill race ever, this season, and he was way faster then all riders who compete including Nico Vink.
  • + 7
 nico had an injury...
  • + 5
 Nico Vink with an injury is still Nico Vink...
  • + 3
 true ;-)
[Reply]
  • + 10
 Great to see young racers getting some serious deals! Good for the sport.

And is it me or does Taylor vernon look like he's a mini Gee? He makes me think that's what gee looked like when he was younger.

Also , their new enduro rider , Martin maes , is 15? JESUS CHRIST! He looks 20.
  • + 1
 Seriously... he's the protégée!
[Reply]
  • + 10
 15 and 16 years old ..... oh my days , makes me feel slightly inadequate , fair play to them both !
  • + 18
 the 15-year-old looks like he is 25 though. Big Grin
  • + 5
 /nohomo

15 will get you 25!!
  • + 2
 15 and 16... Dayum, I guess I have some work to do. Mad props to them.
  • + 6
 I'm 25 and just got into mtb this yr, feel like I've missed out on 10 yrs riding! Wish I went down the bike route instead of football!
  • + 2
 My mate introduced me to mtb when I was 12, that was 95 (29 now) and football went right out the window. Puma king would never be as comfy as 5:10! Ha.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 taylor is a great rider and this is an amazing opportunity for him but its only down to him having lots of money that he can get too all these races and so well, i could only afford to race 2 bds this year (im a year younger than him but we are both in youth) and at the race (glencoe) i beat him. Just shows how important money is to succeed in the mountain bike racing scene
  • - 2
 So make stuff happen for yourself -- but down talking someone is a sure way to make a sponsor look twice at picking you up. Work hard, stay dedicated. You'll get there, grasshopper. Smile
  • + 2
 been trying but nothing much has happend, training hard now ready to smash next season to get some more results now but will miss out on any chance of british overall cos i can afford to get to all the races
  • + 1
 so nothing to do with being talented on a bike then !!
  • + 4
 Yeh, he didn't put any effort in or bother training, just rolled down a hill...
  • + 1
 N-Wheelie, you gotta go to where the races are and live where the people are I am afraid. You are not the only one who suffers from living up North. Stick at it, for the majority school is the most important thing in the long run. You have some great riding around you, enjoy it. When well inside the top 50 with some unlucky weather at races aint enough, you have to think location comes into play. Lucky I am old and slow, I never have to worry about these things.
  • + 1
 Shame you boys cant make it up to Inverness. There is a wee underground series that happens there over the winter with some very fast riders taking part on some pretty sweet tracks.
  • + 6
 N-Wheelie. He's 16, he doesn't have 'lots of money'. He makes it to the races because his dad, and his good mate Lloydy do everything they can to help because they care, including driving him. Money has very little to do with it, but his sponsorship exists to do exactly that. Pull out the results in as many local races as possible, then you'll get picked up, then you get your races paid for, then you get better. The reason he's got this far is because he works bloody hard and has excellent friends that help out. He's a top kid to boot, and deserves everything he gets. Spent a week riding at RoostDH with him Lloydy and the WideOpenMag crew and he's a bloody good laugh and has his head screwed on.
  • + 3
 over 3/4 of the GB olympic team were privately educated and most of these sports, cost little to compete in with little equipment compared to downhill. It's just a fact that those with more money have greater opportunities and opportunities lead to success. Just a fact of life. Everyone has to deal with it.
  • + 1
 So u beat him in one race.....on ur own patch....a track you probably ride quite a bit and this gives u the right to be bitter and hate on him now he's been sponsored by a major brand. Pretty sad mate. Don't be jealous, his results speak for themselves because of hard work and supportive friends and family who saw talent, and he has a personality to go with it, that's why he's been picked up.
  • - 2
 one race on a track i had raced on before once.. and yes one race because my family cant afford to take me to the others and pay entry...not hating on him.. he is a nice guy, and i respect what he does, just pointing out how much harder it is to get places in dh racing when your family is short on money.
  • + 1
 N-Wheelie, unfortunately that is life. Truth is if you are talented and absolutely dedicated you will find a way to make things happen. It is easy to be jealous of those who have the support and money given easily but truth is you have to take responsibility for yourself and not just blame "how important money is to succeed in the mountain bike racing scene". If you don't work every free second you have to save the pennies then start. Money/ parents make things easier but it is always possible to cram a couple of guys in a van and share costs for example. You have to throw yourself out there and get involved and inevitably this involves sacrifice. Whether or not you feel the sacrifices are worth it especially while still at school is up to you...
  • + 1
 On your own patch... Fort Bill is over 2 hours from Perth.
Train hard and prove it on the track next year; make yourself a cv of your results , training, aspirations, commitments (what races you are doing, and what you do to pay for them) etc. Send this out to wherever you can.

If you can get a lift etc. to come up to Inverness then 6th of January is the date to come up. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun.
  • + 0
 If your going down the route of money. These are the stats on tay and another welsh guy called mike jones. He doesn't have the support that tay does and apparently it it should have been him who had the deal. He is the one to watch this year
www.rootsandrain.com/compare.html?i=8388x14388

Pure talent.....but no support.....races off his own back.
The results speak for themselves
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Fair play to Taylor! I've been at some of the same races as him in the same category and he's won almost every time...had a feeling he would go far in Biking! Wish it was me, but fair play to him!
  • + 1
 lol, pretty sure he pulled the pants down on the majority of the elite riders at national champs this year, fair play to him!
  • + 1
 Yeah! I think at one of the races in the BDS at Caersws he had a dry run and all of the elite riders had a real wet run in the rain, but there's no denying that he his pretty fast and talented! Hopefully he'll do well in the World cup rounds and world champs too! Wouldn't be surprised if he does!
  • + 1
 Aye definitely, given that he's still only a young lad! Plenty of time to work on it, I reckon we'll see him on WC podiums in the not so distant future.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 So happy for the guys .Cant believe it he must be so happy , Taylor is dedicated and focused i can see him doing well in the oncoming future. Hearing that he got onto the team is really inspirational for people like myself and it just goes to show with enough dedication and training you can really go far in this sport.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i can remember, wade boots, steve peat, brian lopes, Hans Rey all rider's in the 90's when gt were massive, lost there way abit like Kona have in the uk down to marketing @ Halfords probably, but also the fact the Brand has changed hands several times since i've been in the trade 15years +. The brand seems to have turned a corner in the last few years. With the Athertons on board things can only get better. Wish the team all the lcuk for the future.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Anyone know how much these teens will be getting paid? Must beat being an apprentice plumber :-)
  • + 1
 its not silly money my man, pros always make jokes on being pro and living with their parents still, not a clue on the figure though, but not buying top notch kit will be enough of a saving for me! lol
  • + 2
 The plumbers apprentice probably does better. They both are young, live at home, and still developing so I doubt they are getting much money from GT, probably just mostly support, entries, food & lodging at races, which is all they need.
  • + 1
 Apparently Taylors on up to £40,000 A year! Lucky kid!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Fair play, Taylor is an incredible rider. Witnessed his skills at Taff Buggy a few times. It's inevitable that that boy is going to the top of the sport.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 That was a smart move fro GT. Those guys will get great teachers and later they will be the big guns in this sport.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Great article Laurence and superb photography as ever. GT is definitely back on form.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Im surpised to see the force as Ive seen Dan mainly on the sanction via past vids photos?
Maybe the force has been slackened now that its tapered ht.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Marc should feel better now, I know that feel of being 3+1 .
  • + 0
 I bet that the Athertons will sideline Marc for Taylor!
  • + 3
 think itll be more 3+2+1 but thats just me
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  • + 3
 this is soo sick. GT has got some awesome looking bikes.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Can he whip? Signed. HAHA! It's very cool so see a company putting their money and trust into young riders. Many props to GT for this.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 No vid? I wanna see those kids slay some trails!
  • + 1
 Tay is the one with the green Scott voltage.
www.pinkbike.com/video/226539
[Reply]
  • + 1
 on martin pic. what hoodie brand is that? i know its One Ind. but what is the actual name? i want to buy one.
;-)
[Reply]
  • + 2
 them gt bikes are sexy as hell
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Is the GT force carbon going to be sold in Canada for 2013?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Holly shit those kids are young to be racing for GT, good on them
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Martin likes a high seatpost doesn't he.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Comon Martin. You can do it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Props to these guys!

Aha, anyone know where I can get one of those sweaters?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I know tay a while good choice gt he is my hero and idel forever now i ride his old giant mint bike he is my HERO and I love GT so that is 2 in 1
  • + 1
 I always wondered who got his old glory, then i seen you on it at mountain ash Hahahaha. Nice to see it went to a good home!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome good to see GT back at the top expanding the team and backing Enduro!!! Great article Laurence
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Their bikes look sick ! And it's good to see they are nurturing young talent .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So will next year's web series be titled 3+3 or just 6?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 One helmet looks ugly :/
[Reply]
  • + 2
 That GT Force looks sick
[Reply]
  • + 1
 @teamrumours strikes gold again!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Those bikes are badass! I want! GO GT!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 AWESOME...GT back to a great times how to 1992-1995.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 When can we get our hands on the carbon force? so want one!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So the sticker will now have two guys, one girl, two guys...?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Shocking!!! Name dropping!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 GT bikes just look insane to me haha almost futuristic ..
[Reply]
  • - 1
 I can ride better than those two but i dont have a rich family and transport to go on racing series. Being serious
  • + 1
 Martin just has a successful dad in mountainbiking, so the sponsors came from there the last years (he was riding for yeti and a local shop I think)
It is not the wealth, he just went the right way
  • + 2
 @jurojump : poor little boy... I'm also sure that you ride better than the Atherton's, Minnaar and Gwin. Don't you ? Money doesn't give you technicity, strength and powerfull legs. Chrono's times are the only truth no matter if you're rich or poor.
Martin is not coming from a rich family and doesn't get any special treatment... No matter if his father is a 90's mtb champion it's Martin on the bike that makes the results and podiums.
  • + 3
 jurojump: martin is a normal guy, he and his family LIVE for the bike, they are not the rich guys you think they are but totally comitted to bike racing, they organise fantastic enduro races in belgium and work their arse of to ride. He truly deserves to be in that team. I'm sure if you had that attitude and skills you would be in a team too.... so look to yourself first and don't blame hard working guys!
  • + 1
 VoilàWink
Those who know martin, his brother and his dad know where the talent comes from, and it's not money.
  • + 1
 im not saying that people need money to ride but the transport to go for example some bike parks and events .
  • + 1
 Taylor's family isn't rich either, His dad + friends and family over the years has worked very hard to get to were he is. Especially at the beginning when his dad had just opened his bike shop and had put all his money into that and had virtually nothing for a race budget so they used Tay's 24" kona stuff dj bike as a parts doner for the small full sus frame they managed to get, Tay had a 4" travel (Front + rear) with 24" wheeled dj forked bike for his first proper race and also the spring on the rear shock was the wrong weight for him with not enough time to get a replacement before the race so he lent my basic fox float xc air shock for that race and he was still faster than half the people! (In his group)

Oh and as for you being faster than him, you are so very very very wrong!
Here one of Tay's video's to give you an idea of what i mean and in future would you kindly please keep your wrong unfriendly opinions to your self thank you...........
www.pinkbike.com/video/226539
[Reply]
  • - 1
 When will taylor be attending world cups? can't wait to see a young British shredder
[Reply]
  • + 0
 But don't they make bikes that don't look terrible?
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  • + 0
 Now, if they could only get rid of that uglyass bike. Yucky
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  • + 0
 kids these days.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 it looks like he crapped himself on that last pic
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  • - 3
 yes well done tay boy Smile my muka btw Smile
[Reply]
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