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10 2023 Team Changes That Flew Under the Radar

Feb 3, 2023
by Ed Spratt  
Racing rumor season has come to a close, as now that the UCI team lists are out we know all the secrets of where most riders will be ending up for 2023. As always there are a few surprise team changes we didn't know about or passed us by in the run-up to the UCI's announcement.



Sam Hill Could Return to Downhill

One of the most attention-grabbing updates spotted in this year's team release is Sam Hill being listed as a DH rider. While we would love to see Sam back between the tape on a big bike, we reached out to Nukeproof who said: "Sam just likes to keep the DH neighborhood curtain twitchers busy and his options open."
Sam Hill



Transition Launches a Factory DH Team

Transition is back racing downhill as the UCI team list features a new factory team. The Transition Factory team features Tristan Lemire, Taylor Ostgaard and Valentina Roa Sanchez all lined up to take on the downhill World Cups. Transition did launch an updated TR11 last year so why not have its own race team to put the bike through its paces? There are very few details available at the moment but we are sure there will be more announced soon.
photo



The Ineos Grenadiers Expands to Four Riders

Signing concurrent four-time World Champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot isn't enough for the Ineos Grenadiers team as the official team list adds two more riders to its XC efforts. Alongside an already stacked pairing of Pauline and Tom Pidcock the Ineos team adds Ben Tulett and Ben Turner. Both Bens have secured some impressive results across road and cyclocross racing and it looks like they will be potentially taking on some XC World Cups in the upcoming season.
Pauline like a bat out of hell increased her gap with every passing lap.



Angel Suarez Riding for Unno

Internet sleuths may have already worked this one out before the official teams release, but the UCI list has confirmed that Angel Suarez has moved to the new Unno Factory Team. Angel was previously racing on the Commencal / 100% team before it was disbanded. We are not sure what bike Angel will be riding just yet as while Unno has signed downhill racers in past years, it withdrew from racing in 2019, there is not currently a downhill bike in its range of bikes.
photo



Mélanie Pugin Moves to WeRide Fulgur Factory Team

2021 EWS champion and 2020 eEWS champion Mélanie Pugin has made the move from BH to the newly formed WeRide Fulgur Factory Team. The new team will also see riders like Florian Nicolai, Mirco Vendemmia and seven other riders join its roster in 2023. Details are light on what this team is but in a post announcing her new team Mélanie Pugin says more details will be announced soon.
Melanie Pugin took the win of the final two stages but it wasn t enough to defeat Charre.



Tweed Valley Bikes Adds Support for Mark Scott & Jake Ebdon

While not included on the UCI team list, it has since been announced that Tweed Valley Bikes will be adding support for Mark Scott and Jake Ebdon as they aim to take on a full season of EDR racing. Tweed Valley Bikes alongside a few other local businesses also helped to support Innes Graham to complete the 2022 EWS season after his podium finish at the opening round in the Tweed Valey.



Manuel Lettenbichler Joins the YT Mob

A surprise name on the UCI team list was German moto enduro rider Manuel Lettenbichler. While he normally rides for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing he is now listed to race EDR-E for the YT Mob. Manuel is no stranger to mountain biking and got some laps in during the 2020 and '21 iXS Test Session events including a lap following Uncle Ray.



Thomas Estaque and Hugo Frixtalon Join a Different Commencal Team

After the closure of the Commencal / 100% team, there were plenty of questions about where Thomas Estaque and Hugo Frixtalon would end up but it looks like they will be staying with Commencal as they are listed under Commencal IC Studio; one of seven Commencal teams. Thomas and Hugo will be joined by Matteo Iniguez. IC Studio a marketing agency also features as a sponsor on the Commencal IC Process team featuring Raphael Iniguez, Elliot Lees and Siel Van Der Velden on its roster.
Images for The Anomaly Photo Jb Liautard



GT Factory Racing Shifts to Continental Tires

There may be no rider changes for the GT factory team with Jess Blewitt, Ethan Craik, Noga Korem, Wyn Masters, Ryan Pinkerton and Katy Winton still on the books, but it looks like there is a new title sponsor. For 2023 the GT factory team has rebranded to become the GT-Continental Factory Racing team. The team previously rode Michelin tires, but it sounds like they have joined a whole host of teams swapping around tires over the off-season.
3rd on the day for Noga Korem



Fresh Faces on the Orange Factory Team

The Orange Factory Racing team has picked up some new riders for 2023 after its return last year. For the upcoming season, Tom Wilson has stayed with the team but Christopher Gallagher and Becky Cook have joined the line up.
photo




Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,306 articles

69 Comments
  • 155 3
 Despite being 36 years old, I also discretely change team as I move on with my mum. I want to thank her for her food support and the encouragements at 10 am to help me get up my bed.
  • 13 0
 I'm keen if she's looking for a new member. Age is only a number.
  • 12 0
 @FUbob: member being the operative word
  • 88 10
 Ah yes the annual Vital Team Rumors Forum recap
  • 9 0
 Vital rumours forum has kept me going this off season
  • 5 0
 they gotta get their content from somewhere
  • 3 2
 Does it matter?
  • 2 0
 @rrolly: PB also poaches the spy shots as well so it would be nice for them to credit Vital at least.
  • 6 4
 @jaydawg69: Any photos should be credited to the original owner, but the info is not exclusively Vital's. I like somethings that Vital does, but their website is clunky and not set up well.
  • 2 1
 @rrolly: website is clunky for sure but that's beside the point... PB poaches from Vital.
  • 1 3
 Angel's confirmation in Unno was first here .... at VitalMTB you think you are the best. But it is you who always refer to this website....
  • 49 1
 SAM f*cking HILL ❤️
  • 9 1
 He’s here. He’s there. He’s every f*ckingwhere. SAM HILL. SAM HILL.
  • 5 0
 @usedbikestuff: Roy kent
  • 41 0
 Sam Hill is on the entry list for the British DH series round 2 at Fort William
  • 3 0
 sleuth!
  • 38 1
 I wanna know what Chris Akrigg is going to be riding.
  • 5 0
 the people demand to know.
  • 3 0
 Did he left GT?
  • 2 0
 @nozes: right
  • 2 0
 A bike probably /s
  • 12 0
 Some interesting moves this year. Unno especially. Now how about Miranda Miller?
  • 2 0
 She's on Team Remi.
  • 12 0
 "1 of 7 Commencal teams"...
  • 9 0
 Canyon also has a healthy few out there I’ve noticed
  • 1 0
 @ChanceFuller: What's happened to Emily Batty's Canyon MTB Racing XC team?
Seems like there is only Emily now.
  • 7 1
 @ChanceFuller: CLLCTV S TH NLY 1 THT MTTRS
  • 3 0
 @me2menow: hpniog tehy teird seomhintg dffeerint tihs yaer wtih tiehr sinllepg.
  • 1 0
 @shimanodx: I think her team is toast . She rides a Canyon that's all l know.
  • 1 0
 @shimanodx: It will be interesting to see what she does this year and next. She's kind of drifted back the past couple of seasons. Does she go the coach/ambassador route?
  • 3 0
 @rrolly: based on her results, I thought she was always an influencer.
  • 2 0
 @usedbikestuff: IT BRNZ W3N I P33
  • 1 0
 @usedbikestuff: IT BRNZ WH3N I P33
  • 2 0
 @usedbikestuff: I don't think she saw it that way.
  • 1 0
 @shimanodx: she is not wearing the Red bull helmet either on insta
  • 2 0
 @femto505: www.redbull.com/ca-en/athletes

She's not on Redbull's list of athletes anymore
  • 11 0
 long live uncle ray!!!
  • 7 0
 Max Beaupre on full Cannondale sponsorship with Ella and Iago. I think this kid is going to surprise a lot of people. It’s cool to see WNC finally representing on the enduro circuit with Max and Jack leading the pack.
  • 1 0
 Max putting the east coast on his back
  • 7 0
 Been an honour helping Becky out for the last few season but absolutely stoked she’s back on a factory team
  • 2 0
 Banshee Bikes pulling out of WC DH racing and the Brigade becoming Chili Racing Brigade switching to Commencal is another one that quietly happened.
  • 4 0
 Does We Are One have a team this year?
  • 3 0
 "Sam just likes to keep the DH neighborhood curtain twitchers busy and his options open."
  • 3 1
 Should be interesting to see how Transition fit number plates on their new bicycles.
  • 11 0
 I was Valentinas mechanic last year for ProBuilds Racing and the cables tucked behind the plate pretty neatly.
  • 5 0
 zip ties and a professional attitude would by my first guess
  • 2 0
 Mani registered for UCI! That's pretty wild crossover. I wonder how many of the events he's going to do.
  • 2 0
 Curious what the new Unno Ever will look like as that is most likely the bike Angel will be testing.
  • 2 0
 Sam Hill back to DH.....yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!! best present ever........
  • 2 0
 Go Taylor! The Ostgaard girls are coming of age. So good to see the factory support.
  • 2 0
 I'm stoked it's with Transition.
  • 1 0
 Ike Klassen was riding an Unno with a Double Crown at the recent South African Downhill Champs, great looking steed with a big DC up front
  • 2 0
 Sam will for sure race DH. This we know.
  • 1 0
 I missed the news about Mani.....current Hard Enduro World Champion......Could be fun to watch.
  • 3 0
 Sam Down Hill !!!!
  • 2 0
 Press f to pay respects to anyone riding an orange
  • 2 0
 The goat doing a Carmichael gonna be a good year
  • 2 0
 Holy spirit of freedom Sam Hill can't wait to see him rip.
  • 1 0
 All them updates are great and all but I still don't know where to watch the series live for free..
  • 1 0
 You could at least be decent and credit the Vital forum for all the digging that is done over there. #poachers
  • 1 0
 Fulgur - 3 riders, 7 diers?
  • 6 6
 Interested to see how Manny does on the ebike... The shit those guys ride in hard enduro is no joke.
  • 3 2
 Mark Wallace to Norco seems big to me! Priorities I guess?
  • 1 0
 Isn't PFP having some medical problems right now?
  • 2 2
 Maxxis is losing their grip!
  • 2 0
 Michelin pulling the DH22 and WEs killed maxxis. I don't know about continental's kryptotal, 1100g for dh casing compared to 1500g of dh22.
  • 3 0
 @mrmm8900: I don't know how it ”killed” Maxxis, but I'd like to remind people that Maxxis' initial success was built on Michelin's Comp 16, Comp 24 and Comp 32, which became the DHF, DHR and High Roller.







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