Florian Nicolai announced he was moving on from Canyon last month after two years with the German brand, and today we've found out where he's landed. For 2020, he'll be joining Trek's roster and riding the Slash on the Enduro World Series. Nicolai only failed to finish in the top 10 three times in two seasons and finished a very close second to Sam Hill in the overall. We look forward to seeing what Nicolai and Trek can accomplish together in the coming year.
Hattie Harnden is also joining Trek's enduro team, competing in the U21 category. Nicolai and Harnden will join returning riders Katy Winton and Pedro Burns on the Trek Factory Enduro team. Ruaridh Cunningham had a difficult 2019 with ongoing health issues and looks to be off the factory team.
On the cross-country side, France's Stephane Tempier joins Anton Cooper, Emily Batty, Evie Richards, and Jolanda Neff. Tempier finished sixth overall in the World Cup XC standings last year and is hoping to lay down a good result at the Tokyo Olympics as the 33-year-old says they will likely be his last Olympics.
The downhill team of Charlie Harrison, Reece Wilson, Kade Edwards and Ethan Shandro remains unchanged for 2020.
Florian Nicolai Interview
We caught up with Florian for a quick catch up on his move to Trek:
How do you reflect on last season?
It was the best season of my career. Despite losing the title I found myself at the top of the series for a good part of the season and it was full of emotions until the end.
How were you feeling going into the final round in Zermatt?
I was pretty nervous, I was very excited and stressed. I was trying to put it into perspective and tell myself that this was a chance to fight for the title with the fastest enduro rider on the planet. To be honest I had eczema all over my body and it all disappeared the day after the race I imagined that it was the stress of this race.
How hard was it racing in Zermatt with the added overall pressure?
To be honest I've always had pressure for a race but like this one never! It was a very hard and demanding race, I had to be careful with the fall and the mechanical breakage so a lot of parameters to take into account in addition to having to ride and take risks to go for the world title.
What prompted you to move teams from Canyon?
I spent 2 splendid years with Canyon, certainly the two best years of my career, but for personal reasons, I preferred to take off, leave for new projects and get out of my comfort zone.
Did you get a lot of offers from other teams?
I had several proposals indeed, 4 or 5, which is not bad I think! I would like to ride with everyone but unfortunately, it's not possible.
What made you settle for Trek over other brands?
Simply because it's a brand that I respect a lot and I really like their bikes. My agent and I contacted him and they were interested too.
What are you most excited about in your new partnership with Trek?
I am excited to work with Trek for several reasons. Always competing in EWS with the same personal goals, I would also participate in E-bikes races. There would be the possibility to try a World Cup in DH, you need UCI points but I think who would be able to find a solution if I feel ready to take the start.
A point also that I like very much and that is new for me and I'm learning! It's in R&D, it's a point that I would really like to be interested in and Trek are very attentive on this subject.
What are your goals for 2020?
My goal for next season will be, first of all to have fun on the bike and put the pressure only in the tires. Then I aim to continue in the same vein as 2019 but the level increases enormously year after year.
I broke my elbow this winter and to be honest it's my first major bike fracture. I missed a month of training and I'm just getting back on track. So I have to finish the rehabilitation, strengthen my arm and regain my confidence and forget the fear to regain speed. but it's in the right direction.
PRESS RELEASE: Trek
Trek’s marquee off-road program is proud to welcome three new riders to its ranks with Florian Nicolai, Stephane Tempier, and Hattie Harnden. Nicolai and Tempier, both French, will bolster an already strong roster with Tempier joining the cross country squad and Nicolai joining the enduro squad. Harnden hails from England and joins the enduro team as a U21 competitor. These three riders complete the 2020 roster which welcomes back many returning downhill, cross country, and enduro riders from 2019.
Florian Nicolai joins the enduro team looking to continue his consistent performances in the Enduro World Series. After a series of exceptional overall podium performances in both 2019 and 2018, 2020 will be a year where Florian looks for the top step. “I’m excited to ride the Slash in 2020, with its proven geometry and excellent suspension, it is the perfect bike for me,” Nicolai said. Growing up near the Alps around Nice, Nicolai is at home on challenging, technical trails and loves tight turns. Hattie Harnden is a young, talented, and multidisciplinary rider who will focus on enduro in the 2020 season. She transitions to Trek Factory Racing from T-MO Racing, where she benefited from the mentorship of Trek Ambassador Tracy Moseley. Returning riders on the 2020 roster are Scotland’s Katy Winton and Chile’s Pedro Burns.
Stephane Tempier bolsters the cross country roster after a successful 2019 that saw him finish in sixth place overall in the UCI rankings, highlighted by a third place at World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada. Tempier will bring his consistent top-10 form into 2020. “I’m excited to be riding for such a famous bicycle producer and to be part of the design and development process for new product,” Tempier said. “Performing at the Tokyo Olympics is a big, big goal for me this year because it is probably my final Olympics.” Joining Tempier on the XC squad will be New Zealand’s Anton Cooper, Canada’s Emily Batty, England’s Evie Richards, and Switzerland’s Jolanda Neff.
The Trek Factory Racing downhill riders for 2020 are returning riders Charlie Harrison from the United States, Reece Wilson from Scotland, Kade Edwards from England, and Ethan Shandro from Canada.
All teams will continue to focus on the highest level of competition for their relevant disciplines, with the Enduro World Series, UCI World Cup, and 2020 Olympics being key points of focus. Stay tuned for more on the 2020 team look in the coming months.