Aaron Gwin's Official Statement

Jan 9, 2013
by Karl Burkat  
Aaron Gwin says, “I did not breach any contract”

I'm writing this public note to hopefully shed a little light on what's actually going on with my move to Specialized.

Reports that I broke my contract with 23 Degrees/Trek World Racing are false.  My contract expired.  The one-page letter of intent I signed said there would be a “full length contract” with “precise terms” coming in the future.  The 16-page contract that showed up in late November was not signed by me because it was not the deal we had made. I have moved on to a team that gave me the contract I wanted, and these are the facts.

The press reports are inaccurate, unfair, and one-sided. Because 23 Degrees has hired lawyers and threatened to sue me, my lawyers have told me not to say anything for now.

While riding for Trek, I lived up to my contract and gave them my 100% effort and full commitment.  I intend on doing the same for Specialized.

As for now, I want to let my fans know that my offseason training has been going great. I love my new bikes and I'm more excited to race this year than I ever have been. Big thanks to the Specialized family for such an amazing opportunity and support.

I hope everyone understands that I cannot talk any further about this at this time, but I felt like I needed to clear the air a bit, without getting too much into the legal stuff.

Thanks to all the fans who have stood behind me.


420 Comments

  • 525 6
 To everyone who says Gwin is being unprofessional towards TWR, it's actually the other way around. Not talking about the situation to the media and not creating an immature argument is a highly professional move by Gwin and his lawyers.
  • 322 2
 Ay Trek... no one likes a bunch of high school girl drama, move on and get over it
  • 19 68
flag f2002scoob (Jan 9, 2013 at 20:35) (Below Threshold)
 Zeitgeist was right. It's all a joke.
  • 83 4
 I have been proven wrong and I take back my "no honor" statement...best of luck to Gwin in 2013
  • 46 4
 Aaron Gwin gave trek all they could have ever hoped for. Trek should calm down because it seems like they gave him a contract that wasnt what they agreed to. I was a bit skeptical about Gwin when it was announced but it seems pretty clear that Trek is just mad and now they are trying to tatle tail on Gwin.
  • 32 149
flag dakillerpeyton (Jan 9, 2013 at 21:14) (Below Threshold)
 Specialized reacted similar too the loss of Sam. They were mad and were saying some unprofessional things.
  • 49 5
 All of this could be turned into a soap opera...
  • 44 19
 The thing is though, if TWR take this to court etc. and win Gwin back, that would be a horrible team environment, because Gwin simply wouldn't want to be there. TWR should simply accept, and move on.
  • 28 5
 im pretty sure you are safe here Aaron we all here at pinkbike are behind you. Big Grin good on you for the change and good luck in the next world cup (btw please give the other top racers a chance to win) good luk dude
  • 90 2
 @David8048: if TWR takes Gwin to court, it is to sue him. Meaning, for money. Courts don't force people to race for certain teams. That would be strange.
  • 37 7
 I want to like it but its at +69
  • 16 4
 To add to that... if Gwin is successfully sued by TWR, Specialized would pick up the tab on that, not Gwin himself. The only way this would affect Gwin himself is that it would tarnish his reputation as an honourable guy. Which, in the grand scheme of things, won't affect how many races he wins.
  • 46 10
 I honestly cannot believe the people who made all sorts of presumptions about Gwin being some dishonorable ungrateful dick leaving TWR under contract or full liability.. ESPECIALLY when both sides weren't displayed properly.
We also ALL knew that there was only a letter of intention in the mix...since when did pre-ordering a game before release date mean you HAVE to buy the game?

This still isn't the full case yet and all details aren't known, but if you BELIEVE and make quick assumptions about someone in which they HAVE NOT had the proper chance to argue their side, you're good as some bunch of highschool clique girls who gossip about everyone else behind their back...

Like I said, the worst level this is at is standing up a girl on a date. Trek is the girl, Gwin is the guy. Sure, not the best thing to do, but is it really THAT BAD? No, especially when nothing was 100% promised. Everyone lives and moves on. /rantover
  • 3 4
 @smike, ahhh yes ofcourse, thanks for clearing that up!
  • 8 2
 i wish i could prop socalbombers comment 100 times, if he doesnt want to ride for treck then let him go. we're talking about biking here, not f*ckin hillary clinton (american politics)
  • 57 3
 Funny how opinions are so easily swayed both ways. First everyone was against Gwin, now they're against TWR. The truth most likely lies somewhere in the middle.

Before you go dismissing the importance of contracts and the business side of biking, remember that this is what fuels the sport. Without professional racing, corporate sponsorship and athlete endorsements, the industry would be nowhere close to where it is now.

And before everyone runs to back Gwin, consider that just because his move might not be legally binding, doesn't mean that TWR doesn't have a case against him. It also doesn't mean that Gwin should have just picked up and left just because their contract didn't meet his needs/expectations. Usually when you negotiate, you present the contract, and if one party is not happy with the terms, you sit down and discuss the terms and hopefully come to an agreement. This is what you do when you have a professional relationship.

Just because another company offers you something better, doesn't mean you should just go ahead and sign with them without giving your previous employer a chance. That's burning bridges. And burning bridges never works out for anyone.

I'm not saying this is what happened. But from the reports on both sides, it sounds like Gwin was in a hurry to leave without giving much or any notice. What he did may not be considered a breach of contract, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be dismissed as unprofessional. As I said, no one knows what actually happened. I'm just saying, it's not so black and white.
  • 17 59
flag Protour (Jan 9, 2013 at 23:26) (Below Threshold)
 I agree Spicy Mike, people were unjustifiably villyfying Gwin and talking lies about him before they knew the facts. Lets find the worst Gwin haters, print their names here, then we'll talk sh*t about them.

Now that we know more about Trek's lies, and how Lance Armstrong's close association with Trek was bad for Gwin, his move is completely understandable.

If Gwin is just as dominant on a Demo it will prove it's the bike not the rider, if not they might want to make the chainstays a little longer or try a different suspension design that pedals better. Especially if Sam Hill starts wining again on a NukeProof. I think Minnar might have an edge at World's in PMB, and not just cause it's his home track.
  • 116 0
 I realize that many people here are saying TWR, but just as many seem to be saying Trek, and that needs to be cleared up a little. Please keep in mind that while Trek is the title sponsor of TWR they really don't have anything to do with Gwin's contract. That's all TWR and 23 Degrees, not the bicycle company itself.
  • 14 1
 well said Ian, Trek as a company has a lot to clear up without this being added to it.
  • 3 9
flag smike (Jan 9, 2013 at 23:50) (Below Threshold)
 How so?
  • 11 55
flag Protour (Jan 10, 2013 at 0:02) (Below Threshold)
 Martin Whiteley is primarily representing Trek, so I just say Trek. They took half of the name Star Trek and made it bike company, thats where the name came from!
  • 13 1
 You nailed it.. No one knows the circumstances. Lets let the dust settle, then hate someone.
  • 3 2
 You're right - Trek and TWR are two separate entities. I do, however, think that Trek Bikes need to step forward and say something addressing this. They have to realize that being the title sponsor of a guy that treats his team like this, reflects very badly on them. Trek makes awesome bikes and if i were them, I would b thanking Gwin and acknowledging what a winning combo Gwin and the Session 9.9 were!
  • 11 1
 This looks like a common example of someone that is good at his job, leaving for his own reasons, to a better one. But the former employers recognize the lose and treat you like a betrayer. It happens, maybe happened to all of us here. Simple as that.
  • 3 1
 @smike: If Trek take him to court damages are only one remedy. If they really think they have a binding contract in place then they could apply for an order of specific performance. In other words Gwin would be compelled to fulfill his contractual obligations
  • 1 0
 @ridelife6- yeah, cause f*cking Hillary would be soooo much worse!!!! Smile haha!
  • 2 0
 @joeylongarms Gwinn doesn't have any contractual obligations to TWR ,all he had signed was a letter of intent to sign a full contract, it would appear he didn't like that contract so didn't sign it.
  • 6 0
 As in any other sport, or entertainment deal.....the first deal you make when the company is taking a chance on a new up and comer, the money is usually not at the highest pay grade. The athlete or artist has to suck it up until they proove themself. Since Gwinn has obviously dominated right out of the gate, I am sure he has had time to reflect on his next deal and the substantial pay raise that comes with that. Possibly even the highest deal for a WC rider to date. If TWR /23 Degrees was not willing to pay or match any other offers on the table OR WORSE pulled a Greasy bait and Switch....then who could blame him for jumping ship. Especially when you feel like they've violated your trust.
  • 41 5
 The deetz truck has arrived

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▀ (@)▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ (@)(@)▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ (@)▀ (@)
  • 4 5
 @AmateurHour...your conspiracy theories are hilarious.

Now go back to your moms' basement and put your tinfoil hat back on...they're coming for you.
  • 1 0
 too bad their wcdh season starts so late. this drama would end quick if they could all just be racing. I guess sea otter should be gwin's intro party on his demo. i'd hate to be under the twr tent vibe this season.
  • 6 5
 Why does everyone still care about this? This is just the business aspect of racing and has absolutely nothing to do with the fans or the sport.... so why does everyone feel the need to attach their opinions to the personal business between two parties that has nothing to do with what you'll be watching? This is about as absurd, if not more, than when Lebron left Cleveland.... is winter really this boring guys? haha
  • 3 7
flag SkylineYakuzaDude42 (Jan 10, 2013 at 7:35) (Below Threshold)
 I said he would be the one to join specialized! Ha!
  • 3 0
 Yes...I can only re watch the NBC Rampage coverage so many times.
  • 2 0
 you weren't diggin' masakela in his wife-beater?! haha
  • 1 1
 Good to see the real protour is back.... I was almost jealous yesterday seeing how many props he had, and thought it wasn't real, thought it was fiction.... The biggest loser is in fact whitley, as I said yesterday. I don't like to bash people honestly, but there doesn't get any less tasteless sports management except from WWF. Pity. They had something good going.
  • 6 1
 ahhh the return of the true Protour we all know and love..
  • 4 10
flag Spicy-Mike (Jan 10, 2013 at 9:26) (Below Threshold)
 @Protour,

Thanks man. Idk why everyone neg props you, yes you may say some other stuff but in the end it's all for discussion. And yes I believed the Lance ordeal might of had some influence, because Trek's amount of relationship with the whole thing... but obviously they are seperate.

In other cases similar to this, many athletes often distance themselves from big scandals to avoid tarnishing their own image, it's actually really common.
  • 5 0
 ^ or, he got a better contract.
  • 4 2
 I don't wanna slam the obvious point down, but since August 2012 these suspiscions were reaching a fever pitch when LA decided to drop the fight against all his accusers and the UCI stripped his medals. But even before that, there were strong rumours in and out of the biking world that the accusations would be coming true with teammates being called before Congress. Unless GWINN his family, and his agent were all living in a cave, I'm pretty sure he would have heard about it. He would have had plenty of time before he signed the LOI to start thinking about distancing himself. The whole idea is fictional bullshit!!!
  • 3 1
 hahaha @David8048. Win Gwin back? The age of slavery is over mate.
  • 1 0
 What you're actually talking about is refered to as, "specific performance". If Gwin's attorney was even the last in his class at law school, the contract Gwin signed would most likely have a clause that specifically denies TWR from demanding, "specific performance".

Meaning if Gwin does break his contract with TWR, they can go after him for monetary damages, etc, but they cannot demand that he actually ride for them.
  • 2 0
 Lets just go race bikes for a year in 2013.. No legality needed, just some tape and a couples trees!
  • 1 4
 Oh Sh!t Greg minnar just announced he was leaving Santa cruz for trek!!!!! No he didn't, why do people belive what the teams say and not what the rider says. One minute everyone was slagging gwin off for leaving and apparently breaching his contract and now everyone's on his side only 24 hrs after the whole things started. !!!!!!
  • 2 1
 Cause it's cold and there's snow on the ground and......go bite one....that's why!!!
  • 3 1
 I'm regretting commenting on here, way too many notifications.
  • 4 6
 Not only that but you got negged soo hard!!!
  • 2 1
 well im going to neg you
  • 4 1
 well, im behind gwin, as are most people on pinkbike, but the REALLY important think, is that protour's comments are back to being negatively propped Wink
  • 3 8
flag Protour (Jan 10, 2013 at 18:38) (Below Threshold)
 @Bryantaber At the time Gwin signed the LOI Lance Armstrong had not been stripped of his 7 TDF titles. Once he lost those his sponsors dumped him and it was not until then that his biggest fans realized he was a huge cheater. The timing actually lines up perfectly, and Gwin said when he signed with Trek that he looked up to Trek Bicycles and Lance when he was wining TDF's. Might even have been part of why he signed with Trek. Knowing the high ethical standards Gwin has it would be completely understandable that he would want to distance himself from the brand and the doper Lance that he once looked up to.
  • 2 0
 he should have just stayed with yeti... no drama
  • 2 1
 @drewstinky - and because yeti's turquoise paintjobs are the sh*t!
  • 2 1
 Protour, you're beating a dead horse. Gwin has high ethical standards? REALLY?? He doesn't like a contract as sent to him, and rather than re-negotiate in good faith, or signing it, or even telling the team management that he's unhappy with what they sent him (such that the day before the leak of the team switch, TWR still thought Gwin was to be riding for them) he goes and starts shopping himself around to other teams. That is not being ethical. That is being deceitful. And as to your whole lancenspiracy... get a life.
  • 2 0
 Or maybe Martin and him had discussed contract details at great length and then he got something totally different in the mail? Wouldn't you be less than impressed?
  • 1 0
 deeeight- yeah poor Trek World Racing... I mean those guys just worked sooo hard to be where they are and as you know factory teams belonging to no name brands like Trek, have a very short career, if they don't get injured of course..... right, riders should get less than what they think they deserve because gosh darn it! That's just the right thing to do for TWR because they would always back up Gwin, even if he was out for a few seasons... oh wait, no they wouldn't. Ethics doesn't come into play when you don't have a long career, bud.
  • 1 0
 I don't think that's what he was saying. He was saying that when you receive a contract from your current employer and it's not what you expect or want, you talk to them first before you jump ship. Especially after signing a letter of intent. And I think ethical behaviour comes into play in all aspects of life.
  • 2 0
 As an employee or employer determining pay or wage rate is a negotiation. You are always better negotiating from a strong position. Racing at this level is very much a business and both sides are aware of how these things work. It is ethical to go out and seek work from multiple places and get multiple offers and choose the best one. That is the preferred position to be in as employee. If you are an employer, you want to get the best talent...you can afford. Usually the reason someone has multiple offers, is because they are good at what they do.....burning bridges, like threatening to sue someone when they don't want to work for you, is never really a good thing.
  • 1 1
 Yes, if you're unemployed and looking for work, by all means shop around. But if you're currently employed and just signed a letter telling them you'll stay on for another 3 years, then at least voice your dissatisfaction before leaving.
  • 1 0
 Another three to five, remember the video aaron explained that it was 3 plus an option for another 2 years.
  • 1 0
 smike- I really don't understand why you along with other people feel that anyone is obligated to tell a former employer that you're not happy with them if you've decided to not go with them. Leaving their team is a pretty good indicator that he doesn't want to race for them... it's not like he hurt TWR's feelings or anything... it's business. Better yet, it's none of our business.
  • 1 0
 I don't think anyone is obligated, no. I just think it's the stand-up thing to do. But who knows how twr was treating him.

All of this is speculation on all sides. We discuss, speculate and gossip because it's winter and there's nothing better to do Wink
  • 1 0
 Just because Mr Whiteley said he was surprised doesn't mean he didn't see it coming. None of you ACTUALLY KNOW that Gwin simply jumped ship without any prior discussion or attempting to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. This is borderline slander.
  • 1 0
 Right...we do not know how far apart the 2 contracts were...we don't know the way the team treated him....and we do not if he even got along with his teamates and /or the organization. OR... if he even liked people he saw everyday. It comes down to money, and can you stand seeing the same people over and over again. Sometimes personalities just don't click. Might have been ready for a change and it just took some grimey business to push him over the edge. As an American I just hope he retains Tomac as his coach. Just win, Gwinn!
  • 1 0
 Go get em' dog nuts. I don't give a shit who you ride for, just keep your fingers off the brakes like you always do!
  • 113 9
 I SWEAR, IF THE HOME PAGE IS FULL OF LEGAL BULL SHIT AND LAWSUITS IN THE COMING WEEKS I WILL BE PISSED OFF
  • 155 0
 And you know what happens when Rambo is pissed off...
  • 48 0
 Sweaty machine guns!
  • 16 42
flag Bmxerch (Jan 9, 2013 at 20:41) (Below Threshold)
 We say hello to his little friend ?

I remember when riding bicycles used to be for the thrill of it... Who the hell invited politics in????
  • 24 5
 You obviously don't know the meaning of the word "politics". I think the word you're searching for is "business".
  • 13 8
 Coitus interruptus res ipso biggest dickus
  • 29 1
 you say hello to his lil friend? geez dude you need to see scarface and notice sylvester stallone and al pacino are different Big Grin @bmxerch
  • 2 11
flag Bmxerch (Jan 10, 2013 at 5:25) (Below Threshold)
 Oh well.

Either way, someone's lieing, someone's telling the truth. Since when is lieing part of business ? Trek's f*cked if that's the case. It's a mess of Political bullshit IMO.

I've always associated that to Rambo for some reason... Looks like I need to watch more movies.
  • 10 2
 Did you REALLY just say, "Since when is [lying] part of business?"???? Are you for real?!?!?!
  • 3 5
 Yeah I did, deal with it.

And it seems everyone's got a problem with it... TWR/Trek shouldn't need to lie through their teeth, IMO, that's f*cking politics, not business.
  • 4 2
 gonna get neg propped for it, but i iagree with Bmxerch.. business is doing deals and shit.. polotics is arguing over whether a deal had been done/trying to make a deal and shit. this is politics.
  • 2 2
 Eh, when you speak your mind a lot, and it happens to be the truth/no one agrees, you get used to the neg props.
  • 1 1
 But the point is, A) you think lying is not part of business, when in fact, it's been part of business since the beginning of time. Thus, it's not the truth. B) politics and business are inextricably intertwined. Nothing is new here.
  • 1 0
 The point is, a personal call out/personal attack/anything taken out personally is not business...

If it were business they would have dropped it and moved on, because now TWR look like a bunch of complaining, attention whoring twats, don't they?

Point is, this is political, not business.
  • 1 0
 Because ain't nobody got time fo dat.
  • 74 4
 One point that people should remember is that Trek World Racing (TWR) and the company Trek are two different things. The infamous YouTube video that was posted today, as well as the press release from 23 degrees both came from Martin Whiteley, not Trek. Trek hasn't said anything but seem to be getting thrown under the bus in this whole debacle.
  • 16 0
 Hear, hear! Trek is the big loser in this whole situation since it's really between TWR (23 degrees) and Aaron Gwin...
  • 52 2
 Then Trek should control outlets that represent them.
  • 4 1
 link to the YouTube video?
  • 10 0
 stikman has it right. Trek is allowing TWR to represent them, so either put a muzzle on them, separate, or take the flack as it comes.
  • 9 0
 "link to the YouTube video?"

http://youtu.be/p8K5UUmsQJU
  • 2 0
 ^^^ for the record the official one was taken down
  • 2 0
 That's also the one page contract he talked about, not the 16 page one presented in November
  • 16 8
 Yeah, Session's still lokinng better than demo.
  • 5 3
 Maybe when Gwynn gets on his new demo he'll miss the 9.9 ...

www.pinkbike.com/photo/3933241/?s3
  • 23 0
 I can't help but wonder how many phone calls and emails Martin has had from his press release... Now, if you are a rider, would you want to ride for this guy knowing that if you get a better deal in the off season, you will get publicly threatened with a lawsuit? And if you are a sponsor, how likely this will come up next time he goes shopping with a letter of intent?

Personally, if I was in Trek's marketing department, I would send out a press release thanking Gwin for what he did while riding a Trek, wish him the best in the future, and make it clear that Trek Bicycles is not involved in any legal actions against Gwin...

But, that's just me..
  • 13 20
flag Protour (Jan 10, 2013 at 0:25) (Below Threshold)
 Is it safe to say Trek won't be renewing Whiteley's contract next time it expires? He threw everything under the bus with his noxious behavior lately and now it sounds like he didn't deliver what he promised Gwin when it came to the final contract.

But nobody threw Trek harder under the bus than Lance Armstrong, and now that Gwin is gone it seems like a potentially fatal run-over.
  • 4 0
 Completely different bikes. Im sure he will do fine tho. Bet his bottom brackets gonna get dented up!
  • 8 2
 Protour: how is Armstrong related to what 23 degrees and Gwin are going through right now?

If you hate Armstrong so much this is not the place to trash him. It's pretty clear that you do NOT know any facts of what happened with Armstrong, or Gwin for that matter. You are just one of those big mouths out there feeling brave behind your computer. Get a life!
  • 2 2
 ^^^^I agree with alex
  • 9 0
 @Protour is an absolute tool.

His (or Her) rantings about Lance Armstrong and conspiracy theories don't even deserve to be dignified with a response. (And yes, I do realize I am responding.)

Whiteley's handling of this situation however, is certainly a PR case study on how not handle yourself in a crisis situation. It's also amazing that Trek, with all it's marketing & PR prowess, allowed this buffoon to sully the good name of their brand like this. This isn't rocket science...it's PR 101. In the grand scheme of things, those who follow World Cup downhill racing are a very small percentage of the bicycle buying public, so Trek (not TWR) might not even care.

No one, other than those directly involved or close to the situation, obviously has any idea what really went on between Gwin & TWR, but if Whiteley's handling of this situation is any indication of how he conducts himself and runs his businesses, I for one can't blame Gwin for bolting.
  • 2 1
 ^^^^^^^I agree with you to
  • 1 0
 does the video look fake as hell to anyone? the handshake kills me. it looks too fake
  • 53 1
 Thanks go out to Gwin for even making a statement -- I believe in him as a person and as a rider... For such a talented, hardworking guy, he's humble, straightforward and honest yet never minces words.
  • 9 5
 He has a lot of great coaches, including lawyers and PR people. Makes it easier. But the man is the greatest we've had since palmer in my book, and its almost turning into the same story.
  • 1 0
 Except that Palmer's issues came from too much partying and a lack of commitment. The opposite of Gwin. I would also argue that he is much better than Palmer ever was. Perhaps the greatest since Tomac, who also was a different type of rider... Gwin is quite unique, given his talent and personality and beliefs.
  • 56 5
 GWIN IS A BOSS AND I STAND BEHIND HIM 100%
  • 12 0
 yeaaaabudy!
  • 14 2
 its going to be a good year for the USA.
  • 19 5
 Merica!
  • 12 48
flag Protour (Jan 9, 2013 at 23:04) (Below Threshold)
 Entertained but not satisfied. I still think Lance Armstrong's association with Trek was a significant part of the reason Gwin left Trek. But if he doesn't want to talk about the Lance factor it's understandable, he is a DH racer and not a roadie. We all understand, it would be uncomfortable for Gwin to talk about Lance.

Here is how this all went down:

End of summer, everything is going good for Gwin so he makes verbal 3 year commitment to Trek. Soon after USADA releases 1000 page report about Lance Armstrong doping, then eventually UCI validates report and strips Armstrong of 7 Tour wins. Trek says "oh shit" and finally dumps Lance as a sponsored athlete. Gwin, who grew up admiring Armstrong, is disgusted with all the doping Trek knew about and decides he wants nothing to do with the brand anymore and starts asking around mid December and starts ignoring Trek. He hears Sam Hill might be leaving Specialized, so he respectfully waits for Sam to leave for NukeProof then announces he signed with Specialized. Trek shits their pants when they realize they lost their only marketable athlete, and Martin Whiteley cries like a hypocritical baby. Gwin wins again.
  • 48 0
 A lot of interesting hypothesis, but unfortunately it's all fiction. I can't really say anything about it, but I will say that you have a very creative imagination...
  • 3 0
 Except for the fact that technically, Gwin didn't ride for nor was employed by Trek. Gwin rode for a team that was heavily sponsored by Trek. Someone else could come along and put in bunch of money into Martin's pocket and it would no longer be Trek World Racing. I am willing to bet Martin asked Trek as well as all the other team sponsors for more money based on Gwin's letter of intent. Now, any deals that haven't been signed yet just became less valuable and I am sure the deals that may have been already signed based on a two time world cup champion being on the team have some people a little hot under the collar.

You theory about the Gwin/ Lance connection is about as good as my boss blaming a drop in road bike sales because of the Lance deal..
  • 8 41
flag Protour (Jan 10, 2013 at 0:12) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, it's ALL fiction. Gwin never signed a letter of intent with Trek...USADA never issued 1000 page report...UCI never validated it...Lance still has 7 tdf titles!...Hill never left Specialized, yep, he's still there....Gwin never signed with them....apparently. I think your post was actually more fictional than mine.
  • 5 0
 I don't know if this is worth a discussion, but with Gwin coming from BMX and motocross prior to mountainbike, that's a completely different path with no connection to road biking at all.
  • 6 0
 protour, just drop your daft idea. Yes the two things happened around the same time. But where is the proof that one caused the other.
  • 38 0
 Protour, By your logic then so is this possible... End of summer, everything is going good for Gwin so he makes verbal 3 year commitment to Trek. Soon after I lose my phone on the train. By a stroke of luck a mate finds it again, logs on to my FB page and changes all my likes etc, including removing my like of Gwin, Gwin sees this, gets depressed and misconstrues that his loss of an FB like means he must be losing it so starts asking around the pits for a new ride... etc etc. Many of your ideas on PB are ridiculous in my opinion, but worth reading for the entertainment value so keep it up and have a nice day,
  • 4 0
 megaLOL, what a good post orientdave
  • 6 1
 @Ian -
This is Protour we're talking about here...
He had one week of the new year to hold to his resolution to not be a controversial douchecopter, and he's hopped off that bandwagon already!
  • 6 0
 This is how it REALLY went down. Protour spoke out his ass........it all fell in the toilet........PB'ers all collectively flushed.....and down it went. :-)
  • 1 0
 Good for Gwin and sucks for TWR. I have a feeling this isn't over yet. All it takes is a little PR and people will stand behind you really quick.
  • 3 16
flag Protour (Jan 10, 2013 at 8:16) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah I like how Ian pretends to have some inside info that he can't reveal. Saying you can't talk about it is exactly the same as saying you know absolutely nothing from an information point of view. Just say'in. Even if he asked Gwin if Lance Armstrong was a factor Gwin wouldn't have told him because he works for the media and would share Gwin's secret about Lance being a factor. It sounds like money was a factor also. Gwin probably figured, hey, I Trek isn't giving me what they promised me in August, Trek is a tainted brand now because of its affiliation with doper Lance Armstrong, so I should try to get more money elsewhere and distance myself from this roadie shit show.... and he did. Gwin may never publicly admit to anyone that Lance was a factor but it still doesn't mean that it wasn't. The timing of everything makes too much sense for it not to.
  • 12 1
 ^^ **graduated with a master's in guessology** ^^
  • 3 0
 flag Protour (9 hours ago) (Below Threshold) show comment
" I agree Spicy Mike, people were unjustifiably villyfying Gwin and talking lies about him before they knew the facts "

Much like saying he left because of Lances convictions?
  • 19 0
 Holy shit, Protour is mental.
  • 8 0
 Protour is Pinkbike's lovable Kanye West.
  • 2 1
 @Protour is an absolute bag of d*cks.

More likely than your half cocked hypothesis...is that between Gwin siging a term sheet (Letter of Intent) with TWR, Trek was finally smacked in the face with the USADA's sanctions against Lance Armstrong and decided that is was backing away from the financial support of all it's highest profile athletes.

Since the letter of intent was most likely non-binding on either party, TWR then presented Gwin with a scaled back contract far reduced from the terms of the LOI. Whether is was monetary, years, press obligations, etc, who knows? But Gwin wasn't happy and bolted for greener pastures.

Obviously just a theory, but far more plausible than this crazy d*ck bags half-brained conspiracy.
  • 10 0
 No, Protour has just sobered up. Frankly, I was getting tired of reading his logical comments last week when he was drunk but this Armstrong Aaron conspiracy is just over the top. Please can someone ship him a bottle of Jack.
  • 2 0
 @donch- that's exactly what i thought when i heard this news. any prudent corporation would pull back the reins on unnecessary
spending in the face of possible litigation costs, and possible decline in sales.
  • 4 0
 @kwymore- i spit my drink out laughing when i read your "masters in guessology" comment. funny as shite! nice work!
  • 10 0
 Pb community to protour: did you eat paint chips when you were a kid?

Protour: why?
  • 2 1
 @Kwymore...it must have been an online degree...b/c Protour never leaves the basement of his mom's house.
  • 2 0
 Post of the topic hahaha. @protour you got smoked mate! Haha I'm still a fan o your flamboyant and rediculous rants though. Never change haha
  • 5 9
flag Protour (Jan 10, 2013 at 18:17) (Below Threshold)
 I got smoked? Really? Nbody has yet to make a valid point in response to my posts. Most of the clones are just calling me names or pointlessly pushing the neg props button, neither of which bother me the least.

@kerberos Gwin said when he signed with Trek that he was a fan of Lances when when Lance was winning Tour de France races, and that he looked up to Trek because of it. It might even be part of why he signed with Trek. It makes sense that if he was disgusted by Lance's doping he would be disgusted with Trek, especially since people at Trek knew Lance was doping. He probably doesn't want to talk about this reason because it would be unprofessional and uncomfortable to do so. That's fine, he doesn't need to talk about it, we all understand.
  • 1 0
 lance, lance, lance, lance. So protour what do you think about a certain governing body allegedly covering lance's tracks for 10yrs?
  • 4 0
 Even though Protour has the most obnoxious comments in all of Pinkbike and gets more neg props in a day then all users will get in a century, his dumbness is hilarious to read
  • 7 0
 Protour, You really don't understand the nature of reasoned argument and the use of evidence as a basis to draw conclusions I am afraid. What you have suggested is conjecture based upon your belief that a set of circumstances are related. No-one, including you, has brought forward any evidence that your suggestion is any more than Ian suggests as the product of a vivid imagination. It is not the responsibility of those who disagree with your conjecture to prove the opposite, instead it is your responsibility to bring forward evidence to show what you believe to be true. It is my belief that there are many others who are better connected or directly involved with the current news than you, and that includes Ian Hylands and the genuine's horses mouth himself, Mr Aaron Gwin. Both of those people's words conflict with what you hold to be possibly true. Yes, you are free to believe that the Armstrong issue has been a key influence on Gwin's decision but please, understand that even in the world of vitriol filled, talk-first-think-later net forums, ideas are just that, ideas, and not facts until proved otherwise. I await your proof and until that point reserve the right to think you are wrong. Oh, I forgot to say have a nice day,
  • 3 0
 "even in the world of vitriol filled, talk-first-think-later net forums"...protour is still a nutbag.
  • 1 6
flag Protour (Jan 10, 2013 at 23:52) (Below Threshold)
 The truth is in the timing and common sense. It just makes sense that he would not want to ride same brand that was associated with so much negativity last year. The fact that he only is changing frames and tires also points to the change being due to dissatisfaction with the Trek brand name. Some things in life are obvious to the extent that they are not talked about or openly acknowledged, It's better for all parties involved to not acknowledge it and just move on. You either just get this or you don't, the people who don't remind me of the religious people who say you can't disprove God because there is no evidence that he doesn't exist. There is no evidence Gwin bolted Trek because of Lance and there doesn't need to be. All that is needed is common sense, something that is severely lacking in these quarters, apparently. Why would a dominant bicycle racer with high ethical standards and a squeaky clean image want to be associated with
a bicycle brand that was just embroiled in the biggest sports doping scandal the world has ever seen? Common sense tells you he wouldn't want to be associated with that brand, especially since Gwin must have felt betrayed by Lance since he once looked to him. He also wouldn't want the negative publicity Trek has been receiving from the Lance scandal to somehow cross over and affect him somehow, however minor it might be. A racer like Gwin wants to have pride in the brand he rides, nobody wants to look down at their bike and be reminded of a doping scandal, especially one where one of your childhood heroes let you down and turned out to be a complete liar, and the brand Trek had gone along with lie the whole time to profit from it, and even gone out of their way to silence Lance's critics who accused him of doping. I'm sure once Gwin realized all this after Lance was striped of his 7 TDF titles he realized it was time for a new kit. That's my reasoned argument.
  • 1 0
 so he could be part of the specialized brand that asociates its self with people before, during and after they have doped......hmmm
  • 2 0
 @protour ...maybe you can contact the FBI and make your case.
  • 1 1
 Look Protour, you make a good case for your ideas, however, Aaron gives different reasons, so for all your "common sense"s and "would"s and "wouldn't"s, you are still left with nothing but conjecture. I for one do not look at TWR and think "doping" so don't assume others do please. What makes you able to say with any conviction that "A racer like Gwin wants......."?? You are not Gwin, neither am I nor are any one of the armchair "experts" that plague the net into which it appears you wish to be included. Aaron has given his version of events that basically boils down to a difference between what he thought he signed a letter of intent to and a contract that turned up. Are you calling him a liar? You have some guts if you do for Aaron appears to me to be someone who falls into the category or "believable", which in many cases here on PB, you don't, You can think what you want; go ahead. To you it makes sense, fine. However may I say that you have a lot to learn if you believe that what you think is "common sense", in fact, if you think there is any such thing as "common sense" may I suggest you get out and travel a bit more. My 44 years on this planet living in various locations in Europe and Asia tells me there is no such thing. And please don't get me started on the philosophy of religion and the nature of the existence or not of God... you wouldn't like me when I get on one about the nature of religion and how humans rationalize that that cannot be, especially since it is your good self that is suggesting that until someone (Aaron Gwin??) turns up and says "Sorry Protour, you are wrong", you hold your ideas up as being true until it's falsehood be proved. Good night and take some time to think about the possibility that you have created such a strong case in your own head that you cannot see all those around you in better positions than you saying "Hey, Protour, nice idea, nice reasoning but no, that's not the case".
  • 3 4
 Well, thanks at least acknowledging that I made a good case for my argument. You make some good points also, but I think this might be another one of those cases where the evidence comes out years later and everybody says "Oh wow, Protour was right all along, he should be a professional detective".

So if there is a God, which religion do you think he is actually associated with? Does this religion just happen to be the one your parents raised you to believe in?
  • 2 0
 I think you'll probably find that when and if the details come out it probably came down to contractual details that couldn't be, or weren't willing to be ironed out. Concessions that weren't willing to be made by either side...
  • 3 0
 I think you'll probably find, that when and if the details come out...Protour will still be living in his mom's basement.
  • 1 0
 The last few seconds of the video Gwin is in signing the LOI... isn't there a quote of "maybe now I'll get more than one free bike a year".

Nice to know world cup champions now at least get a free bike. Twenty years ago, most pro/elite riders still had to actually pay for their bikes if they wanted to keep them after the race season was over. I suspect a lot of the kids on here don't understand that aspect of sponsorships... they just think the racers get lots of free stuff and tons of money and so on... it just doesn't happen that way in real life though.
  • 2 0
 I think he said "i've come a long way from getting a free bike once a year"
  • 1 3
 The concessions Trek wasn't willing to make at least in part were to present themselves as a brand that associates itself with high ethical standards. Gwin couldn't ride that tainted brand after Lance soiled it so badly.

@Donche: you really are a childish Douche and all the points you try to make show a lack of knowledge. If Trek is scaling back their racing program to prepare for a lawsuit with Lance, then why did they recently add some enduro and xc rosters to their lineup? Besides, what they spend on mtb racing isn't close to what they spend on their road racing teams, and they aren't scaling back that. And there isn't going to be a lawsuit, idiot. That would be a PR disaster for Trek and they would almost surely lose anyways since he only signed a LOI. If you are going to present a theory in a public forum at least do a little research. Now go back to douching.
  • 2 0
 @AmateurHour: Good lord...I can only imagine how amazing your life is. I appreciate your insults, b/c if someone like you agreed with me...I would have to kick my own ass.

I don't think I ever said that Trek was, "scaling back their racing program to prepare a lawsuit with Lance."

I don't believe I ever made any mention of a lawsuit of any kind.

I simply proposed a theory that at face value, is far more plausible than the incoherent assemblange of unrelated "facts" you claim to know as being true. You sir...are a moron and clearly lack the mental capacity to engage in an informed conversation or debate using any medium, let alone an internet forum.

Best of luck to you and congratulations on the obvious enormity of your success.
  • 1 0
 I have come to the conclusion that protour is in fact a very accomplished troll. My argument's for this are 1: he can structure a sentence and express his point of view meaning he can not be the total cretin he tries to portray himself as. 2: he has leaned the one thing that pisses people off most of all. An inability to accept that his theory is almost certainly flawed when logic is availed of
  • 1 2
 I'll accept thday my theory is flawed when somebody makes just one dent in any of the points I use to back it up with, and I have al admitted that money was likely a factor also. But I don't think it was the only factor, I think part of it is Gwin being concerned with the image of the brand he ride, and Trek certainly has an image problem these days.

@Donch51 Sorry, I misquoted you and insulted you. No need to hate, bro.
  • 2 1
 I'm sick of protour bashing.....it's getting boring....this whole thread is getting boring. It's been 3 days now.
  • 1 0
 i upset him...
  • 2 0
 Don't scare Protour away, his comments and the reactions are like 29% of the entertainment here on Pinkbike
  • 4 0
 Vital MTB Exclusive Interview:

Q: Did the Lance thing have any thing to do with your decision?
A: Hahahahah....Dude no, oh man, I crack up at that.....It's a totally separate sport, separate deal. I am definitely not in the know enough to even start to make a judgement on who did what, or what's right or wrong...yeah, I am fully separated from that deal.

@Protour...Aaron Gwin is literally laughing at how stupid you are.
  • 38 5
 sucks for trek.
  • 16 2
 they are in the position specialized was when sam left
  • 31 2
 tables turned bitch
  • 23 5
 YOU DA MAN AARON, fuck the haters!! yeeehaaaa
  • 22 0
 It does suck for trek, but at the same time, its the dude riding the bike that is going to win the races, not the company, I dont care what bike Aaron Gwin is on, I'm sure it will be moving fast
  • 4 23
flag TrekSession8 (Jan 9, 2013 at 20:26) (Below Threshold)
 Lol I like that specialized paid him 10million to leave trek.. I think I would leave for that too
  • 14 1
 Where did you pull that figure from?
  • 9 17
flag suicidedownhiller (Jan 9, 2013 at 20:31) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah no shit, the bike industry as whole doesn't have that much money Razz
  • 65 3
 Sucks for Trek? BS. Sucks for Gwin. He did awesome promotional work for their brand, and this is how they thank him?

It sincerely burns me that companies can do this sort of media whoring with no repercussions. They can lie, point fingers, and generally attack anyone they want without basically any fallout.

Here's to you Gwin. Keep on Gwinning for us!

Trek. Please be the grown up company we all know you can be, and stop the litigation and lawyer BS. He was your rider, not your dog.
  • 13 6
 dont think its tha same that happened with Sam, my bet is he was dropped. Lets be honest, his golden days are over and he ways filling specs spectations.
  • 5 7
 where the hell did you see that he got paid 10mil? i doubt specialized's gross sales on mtb's in a year would be that high. he certainly wouldnt be living in temecula if they did pay him that much though
  • 2 11
flag originalpinche (Jan 9, 2013 at 20:52) (Below Threshold)
 would* temecula is such a boring town. Being payed ten million you think he would move to laguna or something.
  • 3 10
flag DaddyWhite (Jan 9, 2013 at 20:56) (Below Threshold)
 Sucks for Trek? Trek sucks. Nickel and Diming never got anyone anywhere.
  • 11 0
 Are you kidding? Cycling is a multi billion dollar industry. Specialized as a company is pulling in hundreds of millions every year from all of their sales.
  • 7 3
 Specialized also make road bikes which pull in some rather substantial dollars.
  • 5 19
flag Jonny-Only (Jan 9, 2013 at 21:16) (Below Threshold)
 Ha ha ha, "Specialized as a company is pulling in hundreds of millions every year from all of their sales." I'd love to see those books!

These threads never cease to entertain. Here, let me make something up now: Aaron Gwin's new contract is $40 million/year to ride for Specialized plus a bike for every day of the year. Also, his race bike is made of Adamantium, so you KNOW it's gonna be fast!
  • 2 1
 I could believe hundreds of millions, they do after all make cruisers and kids bikes which do sell far better than demo 8s/epics/venges/tarmacs
  • 7 0
 Why no unobtainium?
  • 24 0
 According to Forbes, Specialized sold an estimated $500 million in bikes and accessories in 2011.

www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0523/opinions-rich-karlgaard-innovation-rules-hippie-capitalist.html
  • 2 7
flag Jonny-Only (Jan 9, 2013 at 21:46) (Below Threshold)
 finnrambo, you're totally right. The examples you've provided make it crystal clear. Specialized may even be approaching sales figures closer to... billions of dollars annually. Probably off Tarmacs alone.
  • 4 0
 Half a billion.
  • 5 1
 Way to put me in my place smike. I guess I'll just leave my foot in my mouth. ; )

"Specialized's brand of hippie capitalism has lifted the company to an estimated $500 million in sales of bikes and accessories."

Maybe Gwin should ask for an unobtanium ride...
  • 15 0
 The lesson to take away from this is that while it is dangerous to state facts without checking them, it is equally dangerous to dispute them without checking as well Wink
  • 1 0
 Bah hahahaha!
  • 1 0
 So over all this bullshit now, buying people out of contracts happens all the time in other sports if that is what has happened, and if it is not what has happened according to Gwin, then more fool TWR for missing the opportunity to keep him on.... Gwin seems to think that they messed up on the their paperwork, which is the part that TWR are saying is the bit that Gwin broke. Anyway, he is at a new team and time will tell if it was a good move, he has got some big results to live up to!! Lets get racing!!
  • 2 1
 Who said Gwin's contract was in US$? He is getting paid 10M peso.
  • 3 0
 Golden days over? World champ in 2010 coming back from injury. A healthy Sam working his way back in 2012 was 5th overall. Here's to more in 2013.
  • 1 1
 I doubt billions off of tarmacs, everybody I know has a crappy bike to get around town of some sort, only a few have dedicated road bikes
  • 1 0
 @trailjunkie i meant in downhill sales. should have been more clear
  • 1 0
 Trek is definitely the one to loose out here. TWR (who aren't a factory team) go on winging and everyone associates it with the bicycle manufacturer and not the team. With Lance and the doping then this, Trek's reputation is in deep trouble.
  • 1 0
 trrek is clearly not hurting for the moolah either look at there current and previous rider lineup
  • 1 1
 Gwinny be da best mon, and he ain't gon let nobody tell im wot to do. Restecp mon!
  • 13 2
 TWR and Trek are two different things. Aaron won a lot of races on a Trek rig so regardless of what he is signed to ride next year, Trek's bikes have proven capable. Shame all this stuff has been thrown to the public in such a classless way regardless of whose made the mistakes. TWR may have done more harm to their program with how they've dealt with this than losing Gwin would have caused. Can't wait for people to stop talking and start riding.
  • 1 1
 Thank you TWR the team maybe being a bit petty I think here. but the Session is a freaking mean bike and Trek itself puts good money and effort into the sport. The more firms putting money into World Cup racing just makes the sport stronger. People need to relax a small amount and realise that everybody and every team is needed to keep the whole thing firing. A little drama on the way is a sideshow.
  • 1 0
 feel bad for trek, the best thing they could do now is fire whitely publicly and apologize for TWR's actions
  • 1 4
 Trek sucks for letting Armstrong bully them and they deserve to die as a bicycle company.
  • 1 0
 There are few company's to race in the tour without riders who have been busted for doping. Specialized is no exception.
  • 10 0
 Sounds like he's just taking charge of his career so not to get stuck in a bad spot. There is a real ugly side to pro cycling . I would believe AG over any corporation and especially over a management company. Agents only job is to sell you to companies and broker the the highest salary not what's best for you or your career. Higher salary equals more of a cut for them I stand behind AG no matter what !!!
  • 19 6
 Trek World Racing = wankers
  • 17 6
 sam kick his ass this year...GO SAM!!!!!
  • 7 2
 yeah right -
  • 4 2
 yeah right, second that.....
  • 4 0
 Sam has as much chance as any other rider in the top 10 of winning, could go any way at this stage. Also there's extra time until the first world cup this year so things could get interesting!
  • 1 1
 go steave smith go
  • 7 0
 Gwin is the man, and I wish him the best. At the end of the day TWR sounds like a bunch of sore losers. Giving Gwin a discount contract in November...... What did you expect? lol
  • 10 0
 All the hate towards Trek should really be directed at TWR if anything.
  • 1 0
 That's the thing, Trek sponsors TWR so in turn it is Trek that is responsible. TWR is the one that made the mistakes, but Trek is responsible for them as well. I could be proved wrong, however having "Trek World Racing" as a separate entity might be only a business decision to split the company into other companies in case the shit hits the fan.... which it did.
  • 5 0
 id like to pose the question.....if your boss came up to you before your 1 yr review and talked about a salary increase and possibly benefit increases, but when the time comes for the review and what is written down in the review is not the same as what was talked about, are you going to sign the review anyways? how would you feel? would you start to look else where? or keep your options open? perhaps this is what went down between Gwin and Trek.
  • 1 0
 well said, pedalposer. this happens all the time.
  • 1 0
 Allegedly......but I 100% agree. Looks like Gwinn had an equally shrewd agent in HIS corner. I am sure we all eagerly await the next golden nugget to fall out of 23 Degrees/ TWR's a*shole to stir the pot. You know they cannot resist and honestly...The suspense is killing me!!!!
  • 7 0
 Any publicity is good publicity right? Look how much Gwin's name just came up heading into a new season
  • 4 0
 WOW!! Downhill racing has never been this exciting in years!! Before, news was just of one man dominating (Hill, or Vouilloz). People wanted excitement. New winners. Now we already have it - and some drama to boot! I mean high profile changes and transfers. Overall I think this is a good direction that the sport is heading. More people will be interested, more ruckus and more publicity. And we have a very good top ambassador (Gwin) too! I'm so excited for 2013!!! LETS START RACING!!!!
  • 5 1
 Dear Trek Bicycle Company, perhaps it's time to have a "word in the ear" with TWR ? Seeing as they make heavy use of your company's products, name and money they should be reminded that it makes them in some ways ambassadors for your business. All this current "business" is not good business at all.
......is your marketing dept still on their Christmas holidays?
  • 7 1
 Now that some more light is being shed on the situation, it really doesn't look like Gwin did much wrong.
  • 6 0
 Someone switching teams really should not be that big of a deal. Especially not something for 23 degrees to sue over.
  • 6 3
 Why is everybody making so many assumptions!? We haven't heard the OFFICIAL story from BOTH sides yet. This is how fake rumors start... I know I speak for many of us when I say i don't want stupid drama to be apart of this great sport/lifestyle. If you want to create drama, then go hang out with a bunch of 13 year old girls...
  • 5 0
 I think alot of the hate is a result of Trek World Racing's responses in the past few days regarding Gwin's departure
  • 2 3
 "then go hang out with a bunch of 13 year old girls..."

Isn't that the user profile here?

23 degrees, isnt that some boy band?
  • 1 1
 AlexRose, the answer to your question is that sooo many people these days suffer from Cranial Rectalitis.
  • 1 0
 What do you mean "Isn't that the user profile here?"
  • 4 1
 Trek and 23 degrees are different companies. It wasn't necessarily trek behind all this and really they shouldn't be taking as much heat as 23 degrees should. And to Aaron, as a fan, I appreciate this. It goes a long way. I hope no legal stuff gets involved. It would be a shame to see this go downhill. Sad to see you go but good luck in the coming season! And I wanna see that new signature tld lid!
  • 3 0
 I have to laugh at all the Trek bashing, Gwin if one of the worlds best riders he is at the hight of his career there is no argument to be had with this, he road for one of the worlds best bike manufacturers there is also no argument to be had with that. Trek will be on top this year there is no doubt about it, as will Specalized WHY well yes in part to the riders who ride them but the real reason is there bikes run by a huge machine, mechanic, engineers, scientists and manny more professionals the rider is only a part of this machine an important part but none the less a part. Every body is loosing sight of the fact riders are riders they exisist at the top of there game for a short time then they move on bike manufactures have been there for years and will be there for years to come........
  • 12 9
 Am I the only one here thinking it's still FISHY, even after Aaron's statement:


1: if I get a full contract late November, which is not to my liking or what has been agreed on orally, I would aim to set that straight (with Trek). Hey guys listen, this and this and this...and we have a deal.

According to this statement, it sounds to me that Aaron was just waiting for the slightest reason to breach or not sign his contract with Trek, because he kinda made a deal with a company which offered him more money (supposedly) or whatsoever after he agreed staying with TWR...

2: I doubt that Trek is a shitty contractual partner. I have never ever heard of crap like this before, and besides TWR they also support Freeride pros for years now (Semenuk and the likes).

Of course one could argue that 23degrees is to blame, but even those guys have a f%$#^&@ clean reputation. They're not in the business since yesterday, and screwing people (which is what this statement makes it look like) can't be their core competence.

Under normal circumstances Aaron would have worked out a contract with 23D/Trek that WAS according the deal they initially made. If that would have been impossible he would have said: Thanks, my time here is over, and Trek would have announced sometime end November/ begin December that Gwin isn't riding for them anymore.

Getting these statements mid January can't be just the fault of one big enterprise. And the fact that Whiteley is so upset tells me that there's more going on here.

Think people...why would it take Aaron seven weeks to communicate that he didn't like what's in the contract? Gettin' what I'm saying?

I would like him to come forward with the true motivations for his move. I for my part don't eat the big crap being served here...sorry...
  • 7 3
 Exactly, he should just tell what his true motivation for not honoring an agreement is (contract or letter of intent whatever legal bullshit you call it), and if that turns out to be money, good for him but just be honest about it.

All the mindless uninformed bashing of either Trek, Specialized or Gwin is just downright ignorant!! the only people that really know what went down are the people involved.
  • 3 0
 The first point you made is one that has kind of been sticking in my head a bit too. Based on the statements released by both parties, this Letter of Intent was more than just some handshake agreement to sit down later and work out a contract. They clearly had agreed to some fairly detailed parameters of a deal.

But like you said, if the contract he received wasn't what he thought it was going to be, wouldn't he call TWR to address his concerns? If he was making a good faith effort to work out a deal, how do you not even return any calls? Hiding for weeks while working out a behind the scenes deal doesn't seem like the professional way to handle things.

At the end of the day, no one knows what happened. But from the mile away view which is all we have, I'd guess that neither side is squeaky clean here. But that's business, its not always smooth sailing. Gwin is looking out for Gwin, and TWR is looking out for TWR as they both should be.
  • 1 1
 Why would you give them a chance if they low-balled you? I sure as hell wouldn't after winning two overall titles for them and what, like 9 WC races?! I think that the contract issue is only part of the situation. It's only speculation as was stated. Money talk and bullshit walks.... especially when risking your life for a paycheck rather than only fun.
  • 1 0
 First, how do you know they low-balled him? Maybe he was looking for any reason to bolt?

Second, even if they did low-ball him why not call TWR and say that? Why not call them and say, F-you, you low-balled me, no deal. To simply not return phone calls seems unprofessional. If your going to walk away, just walk away.

The only reason to be shady and hide would be because he wasn't sure if he could get a better deal and he was playing both sides here (it was smart). He was probably shopping himself while avoiding TWR knowing full well he had their offer in his back pocket if he didn't find anything better. Specialized lost Hill and likely came calling with a better deal so he took it.

Like I said this is business, relationships fall apart. Just my point of view based on what I read is that both sides were looking out for their best interests (as they should), but both could have handled it a bit more professionally. No one is evil here, it just is what it is. It happens sometimes.
  • 6 1
 All this to the side Mr Aaron Gwin, I still want Sam Hill to win all the races this year. It's nothing personal, I just like him winning
  • 5 2
 I know how to settle this. Pick a track, any track. Gear up Martin Whitely, Seam Heimdal and Nigel Page and let them race for pinks.....I assure you that Mr. Page would blow their socks off. Now I am not saying that Nigel Page is the best team manager, but he has been the most professional and humble through this whole thing. Personally, I feel the 23 degrees and Mr. Whitely should pack up their shit and hit the road for being such a bunch of a-holes. Does that fat prick even ride a bike or just eat?
  • 3 0
 Funny, everyone here seems so black and white in taking sides as new info is released. AG says he didn't sign the contract because it wasn't the deal they had made... however no details on how different the precise terms were. Notwithstanding his lawyers have advised him not to comment - those details are critical. Are we talking something so trivial as changing the color of his bike or something as fundamental as reducing his compensation by 20%. Probably something in between, but until I hear details like that, it's hard to make an informed opinion and pick a side here. Just sayin'.
  • 6 0
 Can't wait for this years WC!!
  • 1 0
 YEAHH mee too can't wait to see the outcome of those huge transfers between team's Go Sammy,Go!
  • 6 0
 Enough said. Go show us how you ride the demo now for TWR to drool on.
  • 2 0
 Anytime a brand loses a champion they get pissed- it's the nature of every brand wanting to be number 1. In the end it's about $$ for both parties, Aaron as an athlete making a living and Trek as a brand continuing they're image/ product.
Best of luck to Aaron and Trek- I am sure they will be just fine.
  • 3 0
 Whoa... trek better think things through or they could end up doing some pretty hefty damage to their rep that will hurt their bottom line. imho they should wish gwin the best of luck on his career and move on.
  • 2 0
 As this saga goes on, there is still something I don’t understand.

Both Greg Minnaar and Brook McDonald are managed by 23 Degrees and therefore Martin Whiteley, is it just me or isn’t that a huge conflict of interest between Santa Cruz, Trek and Mondraker?


As for Gwin, he was just doing what all professionals do (if we work for money we are professionals) in getting the best deal with in his means.
  • 1 0
 What is Whiteley's relationship with TWR. Is he a completely seperate entity or are the 2 companies joined?? Does he work for the riders or does he work for TWR? Is he a management company or an agent??
  • 1 0
 This is directly from 23 Degrees's Website

This dynamic Sports Management company was founded in Spain in the year 2000 and takes its name from the fact that planet earth spins on an axis of 23 Degrees, giving it the four seasons. The company was founded by Mr Martin Whiteley, an Australian who had previously worked in the sports administration field for more than 15 years. For the five years prior to forming the company Mr Whiteley was responsible for all offroad cycling disciplines at the International Cycling Union in Switzerland, with direct responsibility for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup (1996-2000). Prior to this he was the CEO of Cycling Australia for 10 years. In recent years 23 Degrees has managed some of the world’s greatest mountain bike athletes, designed the 2004 Olympic XC Course, and run three of the most important teams on the World Cup circuit. Global Racing Team (2001-2003), Team G Cross Honda (2004-2007), and presently Trek World Racing.

It goes on to show a list of a athletes under their management, therefore there rep both TWR and the competitions main athletes.
  • 3 1
 I don't wish to be the party poop here but
C'MONN !! Get real please is he Gwin really saying that he & them (specialized) never got together prior to all this shit hitting the fan !!

He was cooo'd away from TREK no danger he was flirted with & good on TREK for standing firm as he has totally made an ass of TREK

My opinion is he thinks he's the daddy but beyond the uci he thinks he can do what the hell he likes !! TREK should sue his ass after everything they done for him ! Look don't be fooled we will probs never find out the truth but my weight is firmly with the belief here that something don't add up !! "That dog don't hunt Gwin" bullshit

I ride an ORANGE Alpine 160 /2012.
Nothing to do with bike / team shit
  • 1 2
 Chill the f*ck out man. TWR (not Trek) has no grounds for a lawsuit. Read the story, understand the facts, and take the word from the man who has never said anything to let us doubt him. If anyone has reason to be concerned about a lawsuit, it would be a counter-suit against TWR for libel/slander/mudslinging.. but I doubt we will see that. Gwin seems to be one of the most stand up/straight up riders out there and has done absolutely nothing wrong or unethical.

Just when I thought teams and racing was beginning to get stagnant things have really shaken up and its looking to be an excellen year for racing.
  • 2 0
 This is all about business, there is no loyalty, so each have to look out for their best interest. But for sure one will be a bitch about the situation. I like watching Gwin do his thing, so no doubt he will also give Specialized the full hundred.
  • 1 0
 glad I don't have to do business with you...if it was like that you'd be screwed tomorrow by your local grocery store, the power supplier, your wife/girlfriend...
  • 2 0
 still think its nasty he left trek this late on, I dont things there anything wrong with him leaving but doing it this late aint right, why did it take a month to realize the contract wasnt the same? also if there were specific terms he was looking for why sign a letter of intent? After leov retiring and now gwin leaving its left them deep in it and that the team that just helped him to 2 overalls....
Sean Heimdal did seem very sly in his interview an didnt seem bothered about loosing a rider hes had on his roster for 10 years i reckon hes had all this on the cards way longer than they make out - would explain why specialized had such a patchy team last year an why they wouldnt give mitch a full contract straight away, makes sense not to sign people up before they know who they got. I say shame on you specialized - thats desperate that they will let a rider determine the name of their team.
Either way cant wait for next season
  • 1 1
 I'm pretty sure that if @teamrumours had an idea that Gwin might head to Specialized, then TWR probably knew that he was also looking elsewhere, it would be naive to think otherwise really. It would seem foolish to assume that a Free Agent wouldn't (and couldn't) shop around for the best deal available, especially when his current contract is coming to an end and he is at the height of his career.
  • 1 0
 why shop around?????
He signed the intent letter so he wanted to stay with them then, please lets not forget he just won 2 overalls so why change anything?
He wasnt a free agent he signed an intent letter - thats him saying dont worry guys im staying with you. Fair enough he has his right to look around but thats a sly sneeky thing todo.
If hes the saint your making him out to be why didnt he release a statement like everyone else saying bye and thanks, its not un common Paul Genovese posted one today - yet after 2 of probably the best years of his life with trek he leaves without saying anything.
Btw just because some rumours didnt get out dont mean they werent talking - maybe they didnt wanna piss people off an get law suits involves..............
  • 2 0
 see's Protour comment....hits down-prop arrow..."props already given".........damn............hit's down prop arrow.......damn........hits..........dammit all......gives up.......buys seatpost from BillyM.......feels much better about life........see's Protour comment.....dammit........
  • 2 0
 Wow, how easily people commenting here are swayed. First there is a lot of Gwin basing, now that's changed over to TWR bashing. The thing is... we don't know jack shit yet. Either side could have acted immorally or illegally. Or perhaps just one side did. Or perhaps neither side did anything that bad. That's right, we know pretty much nothing.
  • 5 0
 I can't wait for him to "demo" the demo for us
  • 2 0
 Trek's managers and team can go cry to mommy, the limited edition Gwin trading card is lost in the win, the big rich bully Spec just grabbed it up. DH PRO riders, the new fad in trading card games.
  • 1 0
 Well, if what he's saying is true (and I don't doubt it) then he had every right to leave. Not being contractually bound and having something less than what was initially agreed upon be the new contract, then by all means leave...
Seems like TWR used the fact they had a letter of intent to make his contract less than discussed, which is a low move on TWR's part. But, not an uncommon business move. Either way, it's especially low considering he gave them the name that's been held in such a huge regard the past few years in the DH scene (outside of SS)...
  • 1 0
 A letter of intent is not legally binding and just means "I intend to sign a contract IF I like it" Clearly they changed the terms and he didn't and went with a better offer. I have had the fortune to meet Aaron and spend some time talking with him. He was patient and friendly to everyone from the kids to the nosy grown up fans like me. I was a fan before I met him and after even more so. I am glad he is moving to a team that will do everything they can for him and I cant wait to see what he does on a full carbon Specialized. Not to mention having a hand in new product development.
  • 3 1
 i back gwinny on this for sure. trek wants to make aaron look like the bad guy, but all he has done is rejected his deal and signed with specialized. go gwinny make it 3 overall titles in a row!
  • 3 2
 Honestly, I thought 1 of the key things that kept DH racing exciting was the simple fact that it's not a team sport. It's rider against rider not bike company vs bike company, it's a sport to test the ability of the rider vs terrain vs time. I see all the blaa blaa blaa from everyone so concerned if Aaron rides a Trek or a Specialized , and how this bike is shit or that bike is shit. Well to sum it up !! It's an oppinion, which is why you have a choice in what you want to spend your money on to ride. Aaron will do well on whatever he rides whether you agree with his bike choice or not, so unless you are giving him his bikes or signing his checks. Why is anyone giving a shit???? You either like him as a racer or you don't and since he didn't screw you over , there is no reason for Aaron to have to give any of us an explanation for whom he will ride for. I ride with people with different brands of bikes and some people are faster than others, and it has nothing to do with what brand they ride but more to do with how they ride. In other words none of these bikes suck, He can win or lose on any bike and unless you pay for any of his stuff!! Your opinion is as worthless as titts on a bull, so just go ride whatever bike you choose and stop spending so much time worrying about things that don't concern you.
  • 2 0
 yeah, except a few bikes do suck
  • 1 3
 In it's own way your correct, example Jamis Dakar Bam 2..An aggressive rider will kill them all day and now where your incorrect, The Dakar may be great for a begginer or an easy going female rider or light weight rider, so you won't hear me bad mouth the Dakar or the Jamis company or any of it's riders , for the exact matter of fact that if your bike was a perfect set up for you and your riding style and it performed perfect for you every ride then there is nothing bad about your bike. Now if you lend me your bike for a week to say. Now every time I ride your bike the rear dropout snaps with half a day of rocks, drops n jumps that my bike handles on a regular basis. So if you and I go ride and you ride my bike without problem with only minor fit issues and lack of full confidense because your bike your more used to and also never does you wrong, and yet I tell you your bike sucks am I then correct in telling you your bike sucks. People all have their own budgets and where I may put more into my bikes than most and still be beat by the guys on the lesser bike that works flawless for him. By no meens am I saying going to Walmaet and buying the full suspension Pacific is in the comparisons here, I'm talking mid to high end DH rigs from reputable companies,
  • 2 0
 a little overthought/overexplained - I was only joking. but I get what you mean
  • 1 0
 Have always had respect for Aaron but now I seem to have even more for him . Everyone's on Aarons' side now so if Trek pursued legal action , even though it seem they have no grounds for it they'll destroy their image and reputation.

They're just scared because he left while he's still on top and now that he's "excited to race than he's ever been" he could possibly do even better.

They should just accept the fact they've lost him and try find a rider that can fill his shoes.
  • 3 2
 In the uk things like this happen all the time in the premier league...

A football player doesn't sign his contract as he isn't happy, the contract expires he then becomes a free agent and in some cases the player leaves your beloved club half way through the season and then is playing for your rival team the very next week.

Everyone just needs to get on with it, it's life!

If trek were not quick enough to meet gwins demands/needs then more fool them...

They've just let the best thing that ever happened to trek world racing go with no-one to blame but themselves.

Good luck gwinny, all the best for the 2013 season.
  • 1 0
 Twr should have worked out a new contract with Gwin months ago. Offering him a contract he hasn't originally agreed to at the last possible moment shows they where trying to low ball him. Trek needs to get twr under control. They are giving trek a bad name with the way they are behaving.
  • 2 0
 I never used to like Gwinny, I always took him as some kind of podium robot with no personality. Now I see him for what he is: A pure professional with personal drives to be the best he can be. Great bloke!
  • 3 0
 I didn't realise so many solicitors and barristers logged onto Pinkbike...next time I have a legal issue that needs resolving I'll be straight on here Wink
  • 1 0
 to be fair its been a tough year for trek on the whole, with lance armstrong admitting to doping and losing the best mountain bike rider they have every had. They have lost 2 of the greatest riders they will have ever had in 1 year and i dont blame them for putting up a fight but i do wish gwin the best at specialized im sure they will look after him very well
  • 2 1
 Don’t be so quick to throw Martin Whiteley under the bus. Notwithstanding his role with TWR, he has been one of the main driving forces behind the marketing, development and growth of the DH World Cup circuit. Remember when Freecaster bailed on providing coverage, it was Whiteley who negotiated replacement coveage.
  • 2 1
 I think this could have been handled a bit more professionally from all parties.

The way that specialized released the news was terrible... A 30 second cell phone quality video of Troy Brosnan picking Gwin on the pinkbike poll with no details at all for another three hours, is not the way to announce the signing of the most dominant rider in the world at the moment, especially when the whole biking community was under the impression that he was riding for TWR for another 3 years. Then, when the press release came out, there were no details at all as to how the deal came about which led to some negitivity toward their newly acquired rider. I think it would have been smart to hold off on the news until all of the crap between TWR and Gwin had been sorted out.

Then, the 23 Degrees announcement... While on the team, Gwin was super professional and represented the sponsors so well. For 23 Degrees to turn around and publicly announce that they may peruse legal action on their most successful rider yet is childish. It also seems like they tried to low-ball him when the actual contract arrived. That's not how you treat someone who has brought the team 9 World Cup wins in the past 2 years with a 100% podium average. I'm not surprised that Gwin decided to leave if that was really the case.

And lastly, Gwinny himself... I feel bad for him. He wasn't given the contract he was promised by TWR and I understand that must have been a huge slap in the face after his performance over the past 2 years, but an effort to contact 23 Degrees to sort it out would have been good.

Either way, I hope Gwin kills it next year, and I hope that TWR can put together a solid team as well. Maybe this is a good opportunity for Brook McDonald to ride for a great team and find that consistancy he's been missing.
  • 1 0
 With all of this crap going on, I feel that TWR is acting like a jealous ex-girlfriend. Specialized is obviously a more classy company. Their top rider left them for another team, and what did they do? Complain? NO! They released an awesome video to thank him for all that he had done with them. That is classy!
  • 1 0
 I think most of, if not all, the contraversy has risen because Gwin is the best rider on the circut, he's the man the to beat. It attracts a lot of attention. TWR will snag another top rider, GwIn will continue to dominate, and we'll all forget this ever happend. (what ever "this" is).
  • 1 0
 EVERYONE KEEPS TRYING TO SEPARATE TREK FROM TWR....BUT, AS THESE NEGOTIATIONS WERE GETTING CHALLENGING, SOMEBODY AT TREK DROPPED THE BALL BY NOT STEPPING IN AND MAKING SHIT HAPPEN TO PROTECT THE WORLDS TOP DOWNHILL RACER AND KEEP HIM HAPPY AND ON THEIR BRAND. THE ONLY COURT CASE HERE NEEDED TO BE BETWEEN TREK AND WHITELY BECAUSE THEY FIRED HIS ASS FROM TWR AND DECIDED THAT WHAT THEY REALLY WANTED WAS TO KEEP A STOKED GWIN ON A TREK FOREVER. BIG MISTAKE TREK. NICE OFF SEASON VICTORY BY SPECIALIZED.
  • 4 0
 Your caps lock is on
  • 1 0
 Frankly, how do we know that Gwin really wasn't given the contract he bargained for? You almost have to say that as an excuse for not signing the final agreement. As far as i am concerned, we really don't know the facts yet. Was Gwin promised more money, smaller wheels, different outfit, more days off, .... Were the supposed differences material or minor? If the contract really was materially different from what had been negotiated, did Gwin actually object to Trek and say this is not what we agreed to? Or did he just go with Specialized without addressing the problem? Gwin may well be the innocent party here, but we should know all of the facts before vilifying either party. Sadly we probably never will know.
  • 2 0
 I posted something along these lines on Vital: Gwin said pretty plainly that they changed the terms, and I'm inclined to believe him. In the end it doesn't really matter what made Gwin want to jump ship. Yes TWR has to have time to make their final budget and shop around for sponsors ( using AG as leverage ), but that's the game of being a promoter. Sometimes you have to eat a loss, sometimes you profit hugely by underpaying a rising star. That is why teams hedge their bets with multiple riders. The fact that TWR has attempted to publicly defame Gwin's character is what is completely *unprofessional* in this whole scenario. Martin has been in the game long enough ( and been on the other side of the coin ) that he should know how to handle his business. Win some, lose some.... he should have just kept is trap shut and tried to poach Gwin back next season.

Also, it's not like Specialized is not taking a big risk either. As we have seen time and time again, there are no safe bets in DH. For all we know Stevie Smith ( cross fingers ) will dominate next year and TWR will be trying buy him from DeVinci!
  • 1 0
 Rouge opinion and useless anecdote to follow. Were 23 Degrees to sue and win, how could Gwin in good conscience ever ride for Trek World Racing and actually want to win for them? "Screw you guys, I'm going to ride slowly this year, ya goobers." It just wouldn't work. It seems Trek is shooting itself in its own foot. Politics aside, I'd still ride a Trek. Realistically, however, I can't afford one anyhow. I'm going to throw an Angleset into Belladonna's head-tube, chopping the b!tch down to 64.4 degrees, and I'll happily ride her this year (I realize that no one here gives a crap what I think -- *smile*).

Come on, summer!

Give 'er the biscuit, Aaron!

Wee-hoo!
  • 2 1
 Wow AG put it straight as far as I'm concerned, interwebs have been blowin up the last couple a days and of course everybody thinks they know what's happenin behind the closed doors. What Gwinny did was give us all just a pinch of what's really goin on. He's the the one being professional about the whole thing meanwhile over at Trek it seems they're butt hurt cause they missed out when they had the chance, and now they've publicly hit the "UH OH!!!" button. Best of luck AG get that 3rd tittle and keep rewriting history MOTO STYLE!!!
  • 2 0
 What? Both parties have been acting basically the same. They have a legal dispute and both believe they are in the right.

I have nothing against Gwin but it would be naive to blindly believe one side of this argument. We don't know anything at this point.
  • 1 0
 its a lot like this:
say you went for a job and they said you start on a 3 months probation period you will be on X £ per hour during this time.
After this if you get taken on you will be on the big bucks so Z £ per hour.
you do the three months and they then say we will take you on but its still X £ per hour...

you would just give them a F**k off tablet and get a job that pays what you want....
  • 2 1
 at the end of the day he signed a letter of intent, a letter of intent to stay with Trek he should of upheld his end of the deal and not jump ship at the last minute he is unprofessional how would he like it if trek had waited till the last minute then said oh sorry gunny but your dropped? Gwin is behaving like a girl here not Trek.
  • 2 0
 You should differentiate between signing a letter of intent, and upholding his end of the deal. Sure there is a bit of a black hole, interms of time frames of information going public, but it would do everyone a here a great service to hold your tongues while the full story comes to light. A few fishy things from both sides of the fence, sure, but like Gwin said in his statement, he cant divulge more information at this point. So until that time comes, keep a hat on your emotions, your conclusions, and your insults.
  • 1 0
 A letter of intent doesn't really mean much... essentially "I'm most likely going to end up with you". Think of NCAA Football. HS players sign letters of intent, and then go back on them constantly. Usually a change of coach, or something of that nature is behind it, in that case.

There's a strong parallel here. Gwinn basically said, you're my first choice, Trek, and when something changed to his dislike, he went with his second choice... Specialized. It wasn't like Trek didn't sign him away from Yeti in the first place... Trek got the good end of that deal, and Yeti bowed out respectfully. Trek should take a lesson from Yeti here, and bow out respectfully.

The drama alone is just another reason to turn me away from Trek products... never liked them as it was, having worked at a Trek dealer myself.
  • 1 0
 i havent been the biggest fan of gwin in past years, but i have big props to him for the way hes handleing all shit strom thats going around. and look forward to seeing him sherd on the demo! i love the fact that about 5mm of my scroller bar is the pb story and the other 20cm is all just comments. shows evey ones pashion for the sport.
  • 2 0
 bunch of soap opera... TWR crying over spilled milk. I cant wait till the race season starts. Gwin on the demo carbon with Troy and Sam on a Nukeproof. Rob commentating. ahhhh good times.
  • 1 0
 All of this is hype is Fickle........why even care what the truth could be? Preceding this statement was a great wrap up from 'no $$$$ but love riding' Death Grip racing....epitomising for me what riding is all about.....screwing up lines, nailing lines, having fun hanging out with mates...riding bikes. Less comments but more relevant I think.
  • 1 0
 Lets look at it this way. If he rides for Specialized and wins, it will prove the he truly is a great rider and that the bike doesn't make the rider. If he does poorly it will prove Trek makes a better carbon downhill bike and will probably boost Treks sales. Either way, average people, like me, can use his coming events to learn.
  • 1 0
 At the end of the day trek are just pissed off because they have lost the best rider on the circuit at the present time ! Trek have been un professional about the way they have gone about it and need to put their dummy back in and get on with it !! All the best gwin for 2013 and I look forward to seein what u can do with the demo 8 Wink
  • 4 0
 Good on you Gwin, clear the air for us.
  • 4 0
 Let's move on. Now, where are the spyshots for Gwin's bike?
  • 1 0
 Hint: it's the one without Sam Hill on it.
  • 2 2
 this is turning in to the armstong drama. obviously trek cant stand by there riders. trek drops lance cause every one says he is doping, gwin wants to move on to bigger in better. this just shows how trek treats there riders.
  • 4 0
 I think Gwin could do well despite what team he's in
  • 7 2
 Who cares?
  • 4 0
 I also retract my former Gwin-bash, Im a dick! Best of luck in 2013.
  • 2 0
 Bottom line...Gwins gonna kill it this year. Also he is happy which speaks volumes. Keep all that legal shit behind as it will lead to the dark side.
  • 5 1
 Aaron,You're a STAR. Support from Israel!
  • 1 1
 You would think that trek would give aaron whatever he wanted after winning 2 world cup championships. I am happy for you Aaron, I pray that you are able to focus on your training more and more and give all your worries to God.
  • 1 1
 Martin Whiteley…. Massive FOPAR, very poor show. In a vain attempt to under hand and then, muddy the reputation of your ex-rider, you seem to have bought a degree of shame too your whole organisation? It would not surprise me if Trek distance themselves from your outfit at the earliest opportunity. I’m sure both parties have a hand in the whole issue; that’s just business, But getting all bitter and twisted is a little sad. Mr Gwin will defo be going out of his way to beat his old team, now you have threatened him with legal action. Poor Business practice on your part… Shame on you.
  • 1 1
 Hey Trek had the fastest guy on the planet - an American for an American company to boot - and they blew it! They have the pockets to have matched Specialized, but waited too long and came up short. That's the world of Sports Athletes. Anyone of us would have done the same thing.
  • 1 1
 Funny that everyone is quick to blame Specialized, yet Trek gets a free pass. When Sam left Spec, it was Spec's fault. When Aaron left Trek, it was Spec's fault.....hmmmm OK.

TWR has a close enough relationship with Trek to blur the line between them for most fans. The fact that the Youtube video even exists is at least circumstantial enough to cast doubt on TWR/Trek's intentions with Gwin. I mean, social media is one thing, but the video sounds like an interrogation where the purpose and dialogue is scripted such that it might be evidence for future use. Is that playing out now?

When Sam left Specialized, regardless of the terms of the deal, they created a respectful media piece to thank him and send him on his way.
When Gwin left Trek.............
  • 1 0
 Whos blaming specialized?
  • 1 1
 This is my first time every commenting on any post or video, but due to this I had to. Aaron did the best move possible, he signed a temporary contract, received the final terms that were not what was agreed to. Then moved to Specialized since they honored the terms of negations. Great move great respect, and massive props on the honor for keeping ya mouth shut and not disclosing the corporate greed. This just solidify s my love for specialized even more and now I am turning my nose to the corporate slugs who try and ruin people for financial gain.
  • 3 0
 Pin it to win it, Gwinny!
Stoked to see you on Specialized and in a full TLD kit.
F%ck politics! Just race!
  • 2 2
 And another thing !! Do you really think that TREK would be stupid enough to get in their lawyers if it was as open & shut as Gwin says --- really ?

"I didn't sign" C'mon Man !!! Bullshit guys


If it was that simple why in the hell would they be perusing his ass

Reality check for all u saddo's !!!

C'MONN Gee & Danny H kick the scabs butthole !!
  • 1 0
 There's a reply button, it allows you to nest your comments in line with your other comments instead of just starting a new comment tree. I can take a a screen shot and highlight it for you if you'd like me to my good chum.

That said, you're talking out of your ass without all of the facts. How about we wait until everything is aired out before you go and put on your tin foil hat and start carrying a pitch fork and torch?
  • 1 0
 talking out of your ass...like 96% of all comments here, you mean?
  • 1 0
 The very best of luck for the 2013 season to both Aaron Gwin and Specialized. Regardless of what is going on, thousands of us will be cheering you on and looking forward to watching you race ;-) All the best at Specialized.
  • 2 0
 Ok...now I want to see Gwin exploding a Demo in epic race runs face to face whit Sam on the Nukeproof. And everybody was hapy!
  • 1 1
 I see alot of post sayying that they know Gwin got paid $10 million by $pecialized. That is inacurate.

I know a guy who knows a bike shop janitor that has an aunt that is a fortune teller.

They said Gwim got $ 189 billion a year.
  • 1 0
 wow, that's whole lot of stuff written on pure speculation.... I just came back from a nice ride on my favorite ''after work'' trail and open up the computer to this. You guys need to chill out and go ride.
  • 1 0
 It sucks when good riders get pushed around by manufacturers wanting to sell more bikes
here is a bike that would be an advantage in muddy conditions
www.flickr.com/photos/91970417@N02/8359493418
  • 2 0
 Gwin's Trek jersey that was sweepstaked on here, just got a lot more valuable
  • 2 0
 MAN this has all the ear markings of professional wrestling. The hero and the heel, good vs bad. Lots of drama. GO AG!
  • 2 0
 If AG won 2013 DH World Cup, it goes to show that biker's count and it has nothing to do with bike.
  • 1 1
 it is all about the rider i`ve known that forever
  • 1 1
 It`s always about the rider. I ride S but I`m not affraid to say it.
  • 2 3
 thought us bikers were better than multi million dollar race car and dirtbike dudes. i ride bikes because mountain biking didnt have selfish fucks bitching over a dollar. not kool not kool, oh and steve smith for the win gotta have my canucks back
  • 3 4
 II think all of us Pinkbike readers are with yuo Aaron. It's wery bad that things went this way; it was disgustive to read "Mr. Gwin" instead of "Aaron" in Trek's statement few days ago and it was even disgustive to read about legal action and lawyers. That's not the way our sport have to go.
I think all of us will wait that things get clearer with time and heard the full truth on Pinkbike's "pages".
You are Americans (Trek, you Aaron, Specialized, etc), you have such weak employment laws that it's very easy that one can lost its job in one day so I don't understand the disappointment when things are in the opposite way (one decide to move in one day instead to be fired the day after).

Good luck Aaron (or I have to say Mr. Gwin?)
  • 1 0
 I guess this season we will all finally be able to tell if it was man or machine, behind all of Gwin's wins on the World Cup.
  • 3 0
 G-win=G-money!

No one knows the truth!
  • 2 0
 cala a boca o macaco, vc q nao sabe de nada!!!
  • 1 0
 kkkk,,,,,sou advogado e sei que o gwin assinou uma carta de intenção, apesar de não ter implicações legais isso da um certo suporte no sentido de organização da equipe em questões de estrutura, com a quebra da carta de intenção ele prejudicou a equipe TREK-World, e com certeza a specialized deve ter acertado com ele o pagamento de eventuais indenizações decorrentes da carta de intenção.
  • 2 0
 trek still makes awesome bikes as well as specialized and thats all that counts
  • 2 0
 just goes to show two in the hand is worth more than one in the bush (or in this case a letter of intent)
  • 2 0
 How I hate when good riding becomes to contract signing and money grabbing.
  • 4 1
 whatever you say Aaron, I believe you!
  • 2 0
 so,still you think that Gwin was paid more by Spez to move to specialized DH Team ? hmmm Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I wanna know if he's still on Fox Racing Shoxkcs...? Since Spesh is only providing frames and tires, does Sram come with the deal like Hill had?
  • 1 0
 hah, this was posted on Trek World Racing's youtube channel yesterday. then they took it down, probably realizing it's not good publicity to air this out in public.
  • 1 0
 ha ha i'm loving this. exactly what is needed in the sport, bad guy/good guy, lets fight/ride it out. its not a f**ckin love in in. this is compitition. lets 'ave it
  • 1 0
 I can't wait to see Gwin snap those demo's in half like little twigs XD the guy is brutal on the bike I'm very interested how that carbon demo will hold on rough tracks
  • 1 0
 let it go Trek this makes me want to buy Specialized even more. I don't like to see large corporations push the little guy around. Good luck this year Aaron
  • 4 1
 yay.
  • 2 1
 Do what you have to do Aaron. It's all good. Take care of number one, and that's you man.
  • 5 3
 Trek is doing great lately...Lance, now this debacle
  • 3 0
 STand up guy rite here!
  • 4 2
 Gwin will win this if they sue.
  • 4 2
 GWIN UR A FREAKIN STUD!!!! Keep being the person I look up too!
  • 8 0
 ^ this post : taken from the back page of Aaron's high school yearbook
  • 5 3
 Gwin's the man, USA for life!
  • 2 1
 I hope you do awsesome this season man!! always been a fan and we share names Smile
  • 3 2
 Trek shouldve given gwinn anything he wanted , the guy made trek relevant again!!! Keep ridin strong gwinny
  • 2 0
 Trek World Racing not Trek its self.
  • 6 3
 WHO GIVES A SH*T?
  • 1 0
 Specialized better hire a few bouncers to secure Gwin's bike during the events, just saying.
  • 1 0
 I was going to say something really clever. But after seeing that I am truly speechless.....
  • 2 1
 gwin also signed with TLD incase you were wondering Smile i got an email from them!
  • 4 1
 Hands Up for Gwin! :-)
  • 2 0
 HEY GWIN can i have your old trek???
  • 1 0
 It's for sale, it could be yours www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1253729
  • 1 0
 It is almost like the hockey lock out debate here. Who cares just ride your bike.
  • 1 2
 Trek need to chill and be more like Specialized, do a farewell video or something. Take ideas from the market leaders trek- being a woman about it isnt helping your reputation.
  • 2 1
 Lets start a petition to send to Trek to tell them to grow up n stop whining!! Ill start... Hardstyler
  • 1 0
 The background of the POD page still says, "Great athletes ride Trek...Aaron Gwin, TWR" - hahah love it!
  • 3 0
 Aaron Gwin RULES!
  • 2 0
 Ok.. This was fun for a few minutes. Lets move on.
  • 1 0
 My thoughts on this storm in a teacup. I hope you enjoy jamessmurthwaitedh.blogspot.co.uk
  • 2 0
 you're the next world champion. Cheers to you buddy
  • 2 0
 I don't know why I read these comments anymore.
  • 1 0
 I am looking for the next announcement....Blackbox rider for SRAM! Cheers Gwin! Have a good 2013 buddy! Braap
  • 1 0
 It doesn't matter what company he rides for as long as he enjoys doing it still and makes it down. The hill fast
  • 1 0
 good luck finding another downhill winner TREK Fricking love Specialized they understand how i want to ride a trail
  • 2 0
 I swear protour has no life he just argues with people on pinkbike
  • 1 0
 Great statement from Gwinny. Still showing class, as far as I'm concerned.
  • 1 0
 its not official yet, but brook bulldog macdonald was spoted at redwoods in rotorua on a session 9.9 in full TWR outfit!!
  • 1 0
 I dont care who's done what or who rides for who or who slept with some ones mom - lets just ride bikes and enloy it!
  • 3 1
 Awesome
  • 4 3
 You tell em Aaron! #Gwin4Prez
  • 5 3
 AG for President!
  • 2 0
 itd be better than the stupid f&*k thats in office now..
  • 3 1
 Looks like a TREK.
  • 3 1
 Gwin for meme, now!
  • 2 0
 your the man gwin.
  • 2 0
 Go Troy!
  • 2 1
 Are we support the athlets or the brands?
  • 2 0
 you decide !!
  • 2 1
 who cares? go on Aaron, ride it like you stole it!
  • 2 1
 Guys, where can i find those awsome Red Bull full face helmets to buy?
  • 2 1
 You can't, they're for Red Bull sponsored riders only Frown
  • 1 0
 Thanks Matt, but that one isnt looking so cool as the one we see on rampage and other competitions(and is a "bit" expensive)...i think the only way will be pay some artist to paint my helmet..... Frown
  • 1 0
 I don't know if there's anything in it but Gwin has just developed a new helmet with BELL. It's called the Full-9 Helmet and has a custom design including a Hollywood scene-scape designed by Gwin's helmet painter 'Tagger'. It's a carbon lid and comes complete with the new Helmet Eject Removal System. Comes with integrated GoPro mount.

Until now Bell helmets did nothing for me...

$349.99 from Madison.co.uk
  • 4 3
 Sorry, for being an ass!, Trek you SUCK!
  • 4 2
 Gwin's a true pro !
  • 2 1
 He's still on two wheels, why does it matter who he rides for?
  • 1 0
 gwin pooped OMG we must do a news
  • 3 1
 go Gwin go!
  • 3 3
 Maybe martin whitely will lose some weight now that his paycheque is about to shrink, get a life MW!!
  • 1 0
 You wanna sell me your old Sessions you don't need anymore? PM me!
  • 1 0
 Ahhh Hello drama, I haven't seen you in awhile. How have you been?
  • 1 0
 I'm just gonna let the 2013 season do the talking
  • 1 0
 love how many negative props protour has got
  • 1 0
 This years rider moves to new teams has more drama than a soap opera!!!!
  • 1 0
 i want to see gwin v.s trek on jeremey the kyle show!
  • 1 0
 Letter of intent does not = contract. Case closed!
  • 2 0
 I blame the parents.
  • 1 0
 haha jokes on you Trek, no one wants your bikes anymore
  • 1 0
 good luck Aaron with "SPECIALIZED" we still behind you till the end
  • 1 0
 Well Trek now has Brook McDonald not too bad!
  • 1 0
 Internet is full of shit.
  • 8 8
 trek is being so butthurt
  • 18 2
 Trek World Racing*
  • 3 2
 DEATH to 23 Degrees?
  • 2 1
 meh.....soap opera
  • 1 1
 It seems like the TWR and 23 Degrees are only aiming for the fines......
  • 3 3
 this soap opera is brakin my balls!!!!!!!!!!! this is not Downhill r
  • 1 0
 Hey where's my post !!!!
  • 1 0
 Either way go gwin!!
  • 1 0
 i love lamp
  • 3 4
 How do I get all my negative props back? I atoadaso, l fn atoadaso.
  • 1 4
 yeah!!

"looks like a Demo8" sounds trendy right now.

"Danny! stay on bike!" never get old .........nuff said! now, where is my bike??
  • 1 1
 Who cares?
  • 6 8
 I love you man.
  • 2 5
 Whitely is a douce bag!
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