Giant Announces 2015 Factory Off-Road Team

Oct 30, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
There are some major changes to the Giant Factory Off-Road Team for next season, notably the departure of Danny Hart and Andrew Neethling, along with the addition of Alex Marin. Here's the official word from Giant:

With the dust barely settled following a successful 2014 season, the Giant Factory Off-Road Team is already preparing for next year. For 2015, the team will continue to develop top young talent in the downhill and enduro racing disciplines.Featuring an international lineup of riders from five different nations, the squad aims to build on the momentum that carried it to national championships, podiums and stage victories at major events this year including World Cups and Enduro World Series races.

Taxco Downhill Practice

Fresh off winning his fifth Colombian downhill national championship two weeks ago, Marcelo Gutierrez returns to lead the team’s World Cup downhill unit. The 24-year-old had a strong 2014 season, finishing the year ranked 14th in the world with some big wins including earning the “King of Crankworx” title at Crankworx Whistler. “I’m looking forward to continuing my progression with the team next year and stoked to be wearing the colors of my Colombian national jersey again,” said Gutierrez who regained his title earlier this month after he missed out the previous year following a crash.

Joining Gutierrez on the downhill team is teenager Alex Marin, one of the top young talents in the sport. The 17-year-old Spaniard has a handful of podiums and wins at the World Cup and national level in the junior ranks and looks to continue his upward trajectory in 2015. A third up-and-coming rider will be announced in early 2015 to round out the downhill squad.

Departing the team in 2015 are former world champion Danny Hart and veteran South African champion Andrew Neethling.“Danny Hart and Andrew Neethling have been vital in our progression as a team, whether it’s on the racecourse or in product development,” said Giant global marketing director An Le. “Needles brought experience, speed, style and a positive vibe. And Danny evolved from a teenager with raw talent into a world champion through our program. We’ve had a great run together and are super grateful for Danny and Andrew’s contributions the past few years. Our 2015 direction aligns with our team mission of building future champions through our system and cutting-edge products, and we’re looking forward to taking this young DH squad to the next level in 2015.”

While he may not have looked phased this morning Barelli clocked up 19th and 11th today dropping him back to fifth. While this isn t the win he maybe hoped for it is his best EWS result yet.

The team’s enduro lineup will be led by Frenchman Yoann Barelli. This year, his first with the team, Barelli had two top-five finishes in the Enduro World Series, with his best performance coming at the last round in Finale Ligure, Italy, earlier this month. The 29-year-old won two stages at the finals and finished fifth for the weekend, securing a top-10 overall season ranking.

“I was 2.5 seconds from the podium in Italy, and just 14 seconds away from the win,” Barelli said. “That’s my motivation to train all winter long.”Joining Barelli on the enduro squad will be Australian Josh Carlson and American Adam Craig. Both had some strong individual race and stage performances this year, and will look to move up the rankings in 2015.

Beyond the global riders, next year’s team also includes American XC and enduro racer Carl Decker. The veteran from Bend, Oregon, won his fifth Downieville All-Mountain world championship this year and will continue to focus on a variety of enduro, XC and cyclocross events in 2015. And Seamus Powell, a 24-year-old two-time U.S. Super D national champion, joins the team as a U.S. development rider.

While Decker and Powell will race some XC events, Giant has ended its sponsorship of the XC World Cup-focused Giant Pro XC Team for 2015 to focus its support on the Giant Factory Off-Road Team.All of the Giant Factory Off-Road Team riders will have a full quiver of Giant bikes to choose from including Glory 27.5 downhill bikes, Reign Advanced 27.5 enduro machines, Trance Advanced 27.5 trail bikes, and Anthem Advanced 27.5 and XtC Advanced SL 27.5 XC bikes.

Full details on the 2015 Giant Factory Off-Road Team, including the final rider lineup as well as partners and sponsors, will be announced in January.

Mentions: @GiantBicycle

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  • 143 3
 Anyone else scroll straight down to the comments to read the rumours on where Danny Hart is going?
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  • 17 3
 Intense with Palmer and Lopes. But that's none of my business...
  • 5 1
 Ive heard of CG going to intense but that may be purely speculation
  • 12 1
 I think the only real solid "rumours" are hart to mondraker, blenki to norco, mullaly to intense and needles to scott. those have all been "hinted" by various industry insiders.

Makes sense if mongdraker are planning to follow the foxxy carbon with a summum carbon.
  • 6 1
 bummed for danny and andrew
  • 4 0
 I've always thought Hart got his results inspite of his bike, not because of it. Now we're still not going to find out since the Mondy is pretty much the same bike...
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  • 19 152
flag PlumStick13-Magnus (Oct 30, 2014 at 13:17) (Below Threshold)
  • 29 1
 Danny's gone to Morphy Richards, his rivals are going to be toast.
  • 12 0
 That sh*t will never get old!

  • 43 0
 Danny to karpiel
  • 35 5
 Wow... Almost seems like less focus on the DH team. Afraid to admit to where I think the focus is going. *sigh*
  • 118 1
 Cross country Unicycling!
  • 10 14
flag Weekendwarrior100 (Oct 30, 2014 at 13:49) (Below Threshold)
 Well assuming by this years results we would not see another giant bike on a World Cup podium for a while.. Unless Marcelo get's his shit together.. How come he's so good at national races but when it comes to world cups he lacks it..
  • 9 0
 Don't forget Marcel had ACL surgery in the middle of the season
  • 10 1
 Did't remembered sorry Marcelo..
  • 9 2
 Cross country Unicycling. On a 29er.
  • 9 2
 a colombia national race and a world cup are two very different races
  • 3 5
 He is good at national races because the Colombian level is still very low plus the races he wins out of the country have very few or no world class top riders. If Stevie Smith had raced at crankworx he would have smoked everyone there as usual. When the top riders are present he does not stand a chance.
  • 3 1
 I wonder how much they pay these guys. I was told Marcelo's contract was aprox 35k dollars but with crappy world stage results would that stand true?
  • 2 1
 35k a year is a very bad salary for something you can do for more or less 5, maybe 10 years and can hardly finish school while you are doing it. These guys need to make a bucket of money that they can live off of in their older years.
  • 3 0
 35k US is pretty good if you are from Colombia. That equals over 72 Million COP.
  • 3 0
 Yeah i agree they should get paid more since on average this is a relatively short term career with exceptions like Peaty and other veterans. But yet again if you make it to a consistent top five the salaries should be much more lucrative. Eventhough that is a lot in colmbian pesos it would still be hard to retire on that kind of mula. When i used to race i could barely cover my needs.
  • 2 0
 for sure! they are definetly getting shafted. So are most other sports. MX seems to be better but there are way more guys doing it so theres way more competition.
  • 2 0
 The number of competitors isn't that big of a factor apart from being able to say 'i beat 1000 guys, not only 100, give me more money'. But you can scream and yell that all you want, it won't help if the bag is empty. Look at the number of spectators (and the sponsorship deals, that are there because of the media coverage, live TV being the most important here probably) at a supercross race. Even te average MX race probably has more spectators than a DH event.

That's the sad truth.

Slo maripper, it doesn't matter where you are from, sure, it helps for the retirement plans (300k can go a LOT further in Colombia than in the USA), but these guys live out of their bags in Europe and in North America for most of the season, while they are at their team camps or something similar about half of the other half of the season. And i really doubt they have 100 % coverage while doing that, so you still have to fund some meals and some nights out, activities, etc. And it's hard to live like a hobo with all of the community around you living a bit large.
  • 24 0
 It's that time of the year. Time for rumors and speculation! I hope Needles gets picked up for 2015.
  • 6 0
  • 18 0
 Hart's gone to mondraker
  • 2 1
 any solid evidence? not sure how i'd feel seeing him ride a Mondraker...
  • 17 0
 Oh danny-boy, the new dh bike is calling.
  • 16 0
 Time for rumor and spec? Where have you been? Rumor and spec started up 4 seconds after Josh crossed the finish line
  • 4 0
 true that!!
  • 12 1
 Other rumours say Hart's on Mondraker for 2015.
  • 7 0
 Ragot, Blenki, Hart, Needles. Then add in that Beer, Hill, Sambo and Mullay all have contracts that expired this year. I think Blenki goes to Norco, Needles to Scott, Mullay to Intense and Hart is wild card.
  • 5 18
flag wooyek (Oct 30, 2014 at 11:31) (Below Threshold)
 Hart -> Santa Cruz, I suppose.
  • 11 0
 or maybe mondraker...
  • 10 0
 Anything is possible. It's also been rumored SUNN, YT and KTM are looking at starting a DH team.
  • 16 1
 I could see Needles on Scott him being close with Brendan and all.
  • 4 1
 cool, I see blenki on a norco dh bike. I've heared that needles may move to scott as a good friend of fairclough that he is
  • 3 0
 @wooyek despite other opinions I think that would be ridiculously sick. Syndicate would be stacked
  • 4 0
 Santa Cruz syndicate all stars would be awesome but I think a team like Moondraker is where he will ended up. An established team where he will be the top dawg sorta like Sam moving to CRC. I really wanna see ol' Danny boy take the win at Val di Sole next year.
  • 8 0
 Hart and Spagnolo duo at Mondraker would be great Smile
  • 2 2
 And without pekoll, who s really a Mr. no-style ... (true)
  • 6 1
 Giant must have another big name rider lined up for next season, no way can one of the biggest names in bikes not have a top DH team, plus with the release of the carbon glory surely they want to put it on the podium?
  • 2 1
  • 6 4
 I heard Danny is retiring from MTB to pursue new glory in the MX2 class on the GP circuit. Maybe riding for Kawi Europe with RV?
  • 3 0
 Hart alredy got a bell helmet and alpinestars gear for moto riding. Big ups for those moondratchests. Big Grin
  • 4 0
 I'll bet Danny is going onto Intense's new team.
  • 1 1
 call it youth development call it what they want, the facts are money is tipping towards the enduro pocket, couldnt afford the big names anymore. Danny deserves a top ride i just hope he has final word and not just given the only gig going.
  • 2 0
 This and Emmeline and Blenky quiting makes it seem like an active off season. Are there any other big transfers?
  • 3 1
 Emmeline and Blenky to Norco apparently.
  • 2 0
 really! who's your source?
  • 4 1
 Jasper Wesselman said it (at least for the Blenki part).
Stikman from TLD said Emmeline would be on a team "with someone she has been team mates with before".
Could also be a teammate from before Lapierre
  • 1 2
 Or commencal with cam cole?
  • 3 0
 Blenki might be on Norco.
  • 1 1
 if that's true,then what happens to Jill?
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I've heard a lot of rumors saying that he is on Norco (and more than rumors, heard it from industry insiders).
Jill would obviously stay being that she is team owner along with Bryn.
The question is: what about Lorenzo and/or Isak?
  • 1 0
 arhhhh this is to much whreres every one going
  • 4 0
 Danny goes to Mondraker
  • 3 0
 ok, I still dont know anything..
  • 3 0
 Heard from a good source Danny has been trying out mondraker
  • 3 0
 What, no comment about the Freeride Team? What's goin on?
  • 2 0
 Seen danny at hammers i on a 24 inch big hit think he might be on specialized
  • 3 0
  • 3 0
 who leaves Mondraker?
  • 4 2
  • 5 0
 Where is Pekoll going then?
  • 9 1
  • 2 0
 or maybe KTM. as i know one of Pekoll's sponsors is KTM
  • 2 0
 MS Racing-Mondraker/Marzocchi
  • 2 0
 I heard danny is riding for muddyfox for next seasonXD
  • 1 0
 My mate lives near him in Redcar he's going to haro on a bmx av that you blends
  • 2 0
 wow , so anyone know where harts going yet?
  • 8 6
 I heard Hart was going to intense, not sure if it's true or not!
  • 18 6
 That would be intense !
  • 3 2
 Jeard the same thing.
Also heard that he would ride the 951 with DVO parts. *-*
  • 10 1
 I heard Danny on Mondraker
  • 18 6
 "That would be intense !"
Kind of like camping?
  • 33 2
 I heard Danny stayed on his bike
  • 5 2
 I'd like to see what those 951's are capable of. Hope Danny get's to find out.
  • 1 0
 I would be stoked
  • 3 0
  • 3 0
 MONDRAKER yeeeowwww
  • 2 0
 i hope danny goes to syndicate would love to see them him ride with ratboy
  • 1 0
 What about the dissolved Freeride portion of Giant? Feels like a big loss.
  • 1 0
 Where's Danny going then?
  • 3 10
flag Reichertshausner (Oct 30, 2014 at 11:17) (Below Threshold)
 Heard that he will start for intense. But not sure bout that.
  • 2 15
flag RedBurn (Oct 30, 2014 at 11:29) (Below Threshold)
 Ratboy in the Sunn team
  • 3 3
 Mondraker????? Why sponsor anyone.... Nobody knows where to buy one. Kind of like the GT fury.
  • 1 0
  • 4 1
 Maybe nobody in the US, but here is a world outside of the USA. There you can buy a GT, Mondraker or even YT.
  • 2 0
 you blew it, giant.
  • 1 0
 Nooo Danny..............
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
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  • 2 1
 Hahaha I know
  • 2 2
  • 1 1
 Hart going to trek work racing
  • 4 4
 who's danny?
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