We've been hearing some pretty strong rumours that Jack Moir has parted ways with the Intense team
this winter so the next obvious questions is, who will replace him?
Amaury Pierron today has posted an Instagram of himself riding around on an Intense M29 in team colours next to the team manager of Intense Factory Racing team, Todd Schumlick. So, what's going on here? Has Amaury just blown the lid on the biggest team move of the offseason? We don't think so.
Alongside being a team manager, Todd also owns Perform-X, a coaching company with a number of top mountain bike racers as clients including Richie Rude, Brook MacDonald and... Aaron Gwin. It's probably far more likely that Pierron is joining him as an athlete and he just happened to have Gwin's bike lying around too. Pierron is a known joker and probably just saw an opportunity to stir the pot and jumped at the chance. This isn't the first time he's had a joke around with Intense either. On January 9, 2018, he posted the Instagram below, just 2 days before he revealed his move to the Commencal Vallnord team:
Secondly, Commencal's French riders tend to stick around the team for a while - Myriam Nicole and Thibault Ruffin have been with the team since 2011 and Remi Thirion since 2013. Pierron has now been racing Commencals on the World Cup circuit since 2016 and joined the factory team in 2018. He has since won six World Cups and a World Cup Overall on what is said to be one of the fastest World Cup bikes going. It simply doesn't make sense to change a winning formula, unless he's being offered a bucket load of money.
Finally, take a look at the comments on the post. Downhill World Cup racing is a small world and, while we aren't 100% sure who's riding where next year, some racers, managers, and insiders almost certainly are. They all seem to think this is a joke, and we would be inclined to agree.
Team announcements are carefully guarded and managed nowadays, and World Cup contracts generally run from Jan 1 to Dec 31, so this would be hugely disrespectful to Commencal. Plus, if last season taught us anything, we'd have to have a farewell edit from Commencal first, then a couple of months to build up the tension before a final reveal early in 2020.
Unfortunately, that means this barren spell for World Cup news continues. We're keeping our ears close to the ground for proper news and we'll update it as soon as we get it.