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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seems like there is only Emily now.
She's not on Redbull's list of athletes anymore