Katy Winton Parts Ways with Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team After 5 Years

Dec 16, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
Katy Winton took a fourth place today. Given a another couple of rounds and she would have surely found her way back on the podium.

Trek Factory Racing has announced on social media and in a long-form post on its website that it has parted ways with Katy Winton for the 2021 season and beyond.

In her five years with the team, Katy Winton became a regular top-5 contender in the EWS and earned four EWS podiums - two in 2017 and two in 2018. Her 2019 season was disrupted with a bad concussion but she came back strongly in 2020 with two top-5 finishes.

Katy Winton has had a rough go of this season but is looking to wrap things up inside the top ten if she can. Katy will be wanting to come back charging next year.

bigquotesIn five years with Trek, Katy Winton established herself as a perpetual contender and consummate leader. She took the podium on enduro’s biggest stages, and helped lead one of the most tight-knit and talented teams in the sport with incredible enthusiasm and determination.

Katy and Trek will be parting ways at the end of 2020, but we cannot thank her enough for everything she gave to the team and the burgeoning world of enduro.
Trek Factory Racing


bigquotesI'm so grateful to Trek for taking a chance on me as a young gun back in 2016 and giving me the opportunity to race for them. Their support has been huge in my development as a racer and athlete. We've enjoyed a lot of success, and I'm gutted that our partnership has come to an end.

Change can be a good thing though, and although I'm still finalizing what that looks like, I'm not done yet. Come hell or high water I'll be racing. It's in these times that you find out what you're really made of, and I'm looking forward to it. Wherever I land next, I know some of my best racing is yet to come
Katy Winton

Katy Winton took fifth for the women and will be looking to get back on the podium in Finale.

Reading between the lines of her statement, it sounds like Katy is still without a team for the 2021 season but is committed to racing regardless. We will keep you updated of her 2021 plans as we hear them.


86 Comments

  • 128 1
 Loris aint cheap!
  • 84 0
 They're really Slash-ing their budget to afford him.
  • 35 1
 She's going to be on the same team and loris and yoan on the new huffy super team. Come on guys. All the hints are there.
  • 22 0
 @makripper: Emily Batty will be there too. The team name is "Ready to Huff" and they will produce so many zany YouTube edits that we won't even need racing in 2021.
  • 5 1
 They had the Athertons in the past whilst they were winning lots; I assume they weren't cheap either...
  • 115 0
 @TheBrosCloset: If they let go of everybody else and only have Loris, they'll be a one Trek pony.
  • 4 0
 @husstler: beatboxing and sound bites courtesy of Loris
  • 3 0
 @stovechunin: damn, that's some real fuel on the fire
  • 17 0
 @stovechunin: idk man, dumping your entire team for Loris seems like a con-Session I would never make as team manager.
  • 3 0
 Neither is Vali Höll cheap. Trek pulling out all the stops for next season.
  • 3 1
 I can't help but think of Dh bikes as a vanity project for any big bike company; Trek will likely sell a container load of Fuels for every Session that rolls out the door. I love DH racing, but love it the way I love F1 and Grand Prix moto.
  • 3 0
 @Lanebobane: Who else have they let go? The DH team, Enduro and C3 teams otherwise looks like they're still together otherwise, maybe Charlie if he was end of contract and they need a few extra $ to chase Loris but he'll likely land in a good spot as will Katy I hope. She honestly kept me interested in treks enduro program just based on her general stoke on riding.
  • 2 0
 @TheBrosCloset: Emily Batty
  • 2 0
 @Madtown: No, it's not cheap. Sponsoring pro riders is like dumping cash in a höll in the hill.
  • 2 0
 @husstler: I thought it was called 'Huff to flat' ?
  • 111 6
 "but we cannot thank her enough"

Phrases like this are so disingenuous. They could thank her more, by keeping her on the team!
  • 17 1
 those phrases suck. period.
  • 4 12
flag mtb-scotland (Dec 16, 2020 at 14:04) (Below Threshold)
 You're assuming it was their choice to let her go.
  • 10 1
 @mtb-scotland: did you read the article or scroll straight to comments?
  • 13 0
 @mi-bike: you read the articles? Amateur.
  • 57 3
 The racing in the women's EWS category is so tight and exciting. The results influence which parts/bike I buy. Katy has been a great ambassador for Trek. I hope other teams and sponsors see her value and snap her up quickly. Good luck for 2021 Katy.
  • 36 9
 "The racing in the women's EWS category is so tight and exciting". This statement isn't even remotely accurate. Women's EWS has been dominated by a handful of riders (ACC, Tracy, Cecile and Isabeau), and there are typically many multiples, up to a whole order of magnitude more male riders within a minute of the winner of a round than female.
That said, it'd be a tremendous shame if Katy can't find a way to race next year. She has a great personality, and she has shown the kind of ability to make your assertion a reality.
  • 8 5
 @SmashySmashy: I can't argue there have been a handful of women that have dominated the top step of the podium. But the top ten is stacked with talent: ALN, Noga, the Gehrigs, Morgane Charre, Melanie Pugin, Bex Barona, Ella Connelly, Katy, and more besides that could all get a podium at any given EWS.
  • 10 0
 @Footey72: I get what you're saying, and they're all fast in their own right. But how much competition is there between them, really. Surely if they were pushing each other as much as you suggest, the gaps to the top step would reduce.
  • 10 9
 @Footey72: The women’s EWS is about 1/10th as competitive as the men’s. If Neff raced she would clean up.
  • 7 0
 Katy has always been one of my favorites in the interviews. She will make a great ambassador for any team/ brand.
  • 5 0
 @SmashySmashy: I think they are pushing each other, it's just a comparatively sparse field. Last year there were 283 men and 60 women in the EWS rankings. If you look at the men's races and remove four out of five riders, the gaps are on par with the women's races. (Solution? I dunno... Give every girl a balance bike on her 1st birthday, cross fingers, wait 20 years?)
  • 1 0
 @ryetoast: The original assertion was that the women's field was competitive and compelling (direct quote just looks awful here). You and I happen to agree on the reason that's not true. And that's not just limited to mountain biking- it's the same in nearly all sports- women's elite fields are not nearly as competitive as their male counterparts. But there's no sense in offering solutions to a problem we're forbidden from discussing in depth- with all the necessary truths and details. And that assumes that it actually is a problem- Should we instead be asking why there is a need for women's professional sport to emulate men's? I know it's not a serious suggestion, but giving "every girl a balance bike on her 1st birthday" is precisely the kind of thinking that leads to the poor ROI for companies that I've spoken about in other comments on PB. Identify the reasons first (no matter how uncomfortable they may be), then formulate a solution- if it's genuinely needed.
  • 2 0
 @SmashySmashy: Okay, reading between the lines here, I think you are saying that women's MTB will never be as exciting to watch as men's because women are slower and because fewer women, for whatever biological or social reason, seem interested in hucking bicycles off cliffs for a living. I don't think we're gonna be banned for saying this.

All *I* was saying is that the larger gaps in the women's races are an inevitable product of statistics, and I don't think they indicate any lack of skill or commitment on the part of the athletes. I actually enjoy watching women's MTB, whether or not it is "competitive" in the same way as men's MTB. I am a woman, I enjoy watching the level of women's riding advance, and I enjoy seeing how woman pros set up their bikes. Is it too bad that on a given day, there aren't 10 different women who could win a DH or enduro race? Yes... But I don't think that means the sport has no value. I think mostly it has value to women. If it bores men, they don't have to watch--the outcome probably wasn't going to affect their bike purchases anyway. As you said, we might not have a problem, here, or a need for a solution beyond the management of expectations.
  • 2 0
 @SmashySmashy: I think women’s XCO is at least as competitive as men’s and is usually the best racing in cycling, male or female. Cyclocross isn’t far behind either. The more gravity biased the the event, the less this is the case though.
  • 2 0
 @ryetoast: I'm saying that women's MTB is unlikely to become as compelling as it could be if certain quarters continue to protect their sacred cows and prevent the necessary discussions from taking place. For sure it will never achieve what it could if they insist that women's sport must follow the same path and protocols as men's, especially because they do so guided by ideological reasons, and not by the benefits to women.
I'm very well versed in the statistics behind the gaps, and I'm fully aware it is no one's 'fault'. It simply 'is'. I would however argue that it allows for a certain lapse in commitment or skill without the significant punishment in the result-sheet you would expect in the men's field. A recent example being the DH World Champs, but of course there are others.
Women's sport undoubtedly has value. The benefits are innumerable; Improved health, a sense of community, increased confidence- the list goes on. But is it best packaged as competition (or at least to the same extent as men's MTB is), where it will eternally be perceived as a lower-standard, subsidized facsimile of men's racing? There are generally 2 constructive approaches in any challenge to another party- beat them at their own game (which also requires accepting their problems) and take your fair share of the spoils. Which is the chosen path for now, despite the obvious disadvantages. Or take control and do something novel, potentially defining your own spoils in the process.
@jclnv: I'll preface this with an observation- not a dismissal: That's just one person's opinion. But you raise an interesting theory, which ties in nicely (as an illustrative thought experiment, not a prediction) with what I'm attempting to outline above- should we expect the proportion of women to decline in an MTB discipline as the upper-body strength requirements and gradients increase? And what could/ should be done to encourage more women into these disciplines? Do we need to do anything? Should we promote women's XCO and leave it to fate to 'fix itself' as the number of women in XCO increases and some naturally branch out into other areas? Or should we commit resources upfront to encourage women to participate in gravity areas? What do you think of the French model, where junior riders must compete in both DH and XCO? (I have only a basic knowledge of this system- not 100% on whether it's just those 2 or whether others are also mandated.) Doesn't that just double the cost of entry, and how might that be addressed?
  • 2 0
 @SmashySmashy: I think it’s purely risk related. Women are simply, on average, less tolerant of risk than men causing them to gravitate (no pun intended) to the less gravity oriented events. However, you can’t prevent natural ability for bike handling from developing and from that larger pool of riders you get the Jolanda Neff’s and Evil Richard’s who IMO are probably the most skilled female bike riders in any discipline.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: With all due respect, I think that's more of a symptom than a cause. And it 's much more nuanced than you suggest. For example, if women were really less risk tolerant than men on average, they wouldn't undergo voluntary, highly-invasive cosmetic procedures at such significantly higher rates than men.
  • 2 0
 @SmashySmashy: Now that is a very interesting observation which I think takes us to the core of evolutionary biology. Why do some women spend a significant proportion of their day applying make up? Even when in long term relationships. Women IMO are very competitive about appearance and will take great risks and effort for that, but risk for risks sake? Not so much.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: I'm not one for biological determinism, but I am one for biological realities. And when certain behaviours are present in significantly different proportions between groups those differences, and their consequences over generations should be a factor in any discussion about those groups relative merits. All too often these days though that conversation starts and ends with power dynamics and oppressor-oppresed narratives, as though they are the only things that matter.
Men and women are different in that as groups they share a almost all of their behaviours, but there are certain behaviours you expect to find often in one group, and rarely in the other. So it's unreasonable to expect an activity or process, tailor built to suit the needs of one group over decades, centuries or sometimes eons of trial and error, to be ideal for the other to prosper in. And the idea that changing it to suit the later arrival is somehow 'good' is laughable; It's simply regression towards the mean.
Sorry if that seems like a rant at you. It's not. You're just the first to openly get on the same page, and allow me the opportunity
  • 1 0
 @SmashySmashy: What kind of women's racing isn't 'packaged as a competition?' I really don't know what you mean... it's a race. Women's XC and road racing are well attended, women's DH less so, but I'm sure if women's DH wasn't 'packaged as a competition,' a small amount of women would just race with the men, as they did (and do) for decades in motorcycle and auto racing and marathons and everything else. I think it benefits WOMEN to have a women's competition, as I said - surely there are more women racing and/or finding inspiration from female racers now than there would be if women's categories were removed. If men view the women's race as 'lesser,' that's their problem.
  • 1 1
 @ryetoast:
I think you misunderstood me. When I referred to women's MTB, or women's sport in general I meant mass participation, not racing. We agree women's sport benefits women. I have trained alongside women (including world Champions and Olympians), competed with them, coached them and been coached by them. I am the first person to acknowledge their work ethic and contributions to competition and sport in general. But you fail to recognize that competition might not be the best mechanism to encourage more women into sport, at least not for now. Taken as a group they value other things and they're far less likely to be interested in intense competition then men- hence fewer elite competitors. That won't change overnight, or by governmental decree, and in fact I'd expect it to take several generations- assuming it can even be done at all. I certainly question why male-bashing is actively encouraged by society, while simultaneously women are encouraged to behave more like men. They're completely at odds with one another.
Women's sport should benefit women. So that implies that women's sport should cater and appeal to as many women as possible in order to be considered a success. Is competition likely to inspire women to participate to the same extent it does men? The multitude of evidence I've seen throughout the years would suggest not. That doesn't mean women's competition is redundant, and should cease, but that instead resources should be diverted to other methods to improve participation. That, in effect is how innovation and the investment of capital should work. But there are those who will simply not accept that what works for men will not necessarily work for women. Those 'well attended' events you mentioned may have substantial crowds, but how do they fare when compared to the men's events? For an insight, just look at the WNBA. They've operated at a loss every year for almost 25 years. They can't even give away tickets, despite the fact the players would cream 99% of the average public. Women's soccer hasn't fared much better. Is that sexism, or is that due to people seeing 'more value' spending some of their valuable finite waking hours watching the very best at what they do and not just the best with XX chromosomes. Women's sports desperately needs some introspection, because it's MO to date will see it fall by the wayside in face of competition from a superior product. It needs a USP to encourage people to willingly art with their hard-earned cash and to give up their valuable time to support it. There are sports which the women's field is very competitive, and the rewards reflect that fact. They should be examined for lessons that can be applied elsewhere. Either that, or give up the pretense women's sport can ever be as successful financially in thier own right as their male counterparts, and manage expectations accordingly.
I take issue with your assertion that "If men view the women's race as 'lesser,' that's their problem" Why would you presume only men have this problem, or that they're in the majority of people that do? In my experience women are far more likely to be dismissive of women competing in sport than men. Most men will have some experience with competitive sport. It's historically been a rite of passage, "measure of a man" etc. and it's one way they've attained status throughout the ages. So it's more likely they respect the effort and skill involved (when it's genuinely warranted), because they can relate to the achievement and the reward. But it's a relatively new concept for women. The vast majority don't inherently relate to the reward- they lack a deep historical (and evolutionary) prerogative. One lady I know could not understand why a group of women, elite athletes for whom their sport was their profession were (direct quote) "beaten like dogs by a group of schoolboys, who were barely old enough to have got their first zit, let alone kissed a girl", as the World Cup winning US women's team were by a local u15 team in 2017, before their successful title defense. She genuinely wondered out loud why they were paid handsomely, lauded as the best in the world for what a group of recently-minted teenagers from a random municipal team could do better for free. And progressives are often the worst culprits- they treat any such loss is an insult to all womanhood, instead of searching for the truth. How does that benefit women?
  • 58 0
 Not looking good is it when a regular top ten racer can’t get a ride!
  • 4 0
 I'm holding out hope that her "Wherever I land next" is just her holding her cards close to her chest until its official where she is going, i.e. not indicative that she is without a factory team sponsorship next year.
  • 1 0
 It's crazy!
  • 23 0
 Best of luck to Katy, met her at some national events, such a nice person, so really hopes a there is a team looking for a star rider out there.
  • 22 2
 Huge mistake from Trek I think. Katy's such a good ambassador for the sport/company she rides for. She's not only a great competitor but also a really good laugh on the screen during the races, testing, blogging etc. I hope she gets the ride she deserves and wish her a the best for the future.
  • 20 5
 What a gut punch it is for someone as talented and as hard working as Katy Winton, to be dumped off the team at the end of the season because Trek blew their budget on their mens DH team. Would Trek ever dump male riders off their DH/XC teams to keep quality female riders in their Enduro team? Probably not.
  • 14 0
 That's a shame, concussions aside, she is always a contender and seems like someone who is fierce competitor and off the bike a lot of fun. I'm sure she'll land a ride.

Trek carries so much talent that doesn't directly contribute to race results, you'd think there'd be room for talent that does. I assume there are a lot more riders out there buying bikes like the Slash and Remedy then there are riders buying Sessions, so you think they would focus on bulding out the ranks of their enduro team. Loris and Valï are winners, and would help the brands credibility, but Katy Winton has been extremely successful as well and her inclusion with the Gowaan Girls has to help introduce the brand to a wider array of female riders. Ever since they formed TFR and finished their contract the Athertons they haven't had a female DH rider. Now they've cut a popular one from the Enduro team. They still have some stellar female talent in XC, CX and road disciplines, and Hattie Harnden is going to be one to watch in enduro, but I hope they intend to add some more female talent to the EWS and DH. It was just a couple months ago that Katy was talking about how supportive Trek was and how helpful they are to a rider.
I wonder if they failed to budget for Reece's bonus payout.

Good Luck Katy!
  • 13 1
 BOOOO!! Another reason why 2020 sucks.... Good luck Katie, I hope where ever you land is a great place!
  • 8 0
 Katy is a bad ass. Hopefully she destroys all trek racers next year. I'm sure there are team managers out there trying to figure out a way to make room for one more on their team.
  • 7 0
 "Parting ways" is an unnecessary euphemism, much like "passed away"; the latter is never used in a reporting context, for instance.

It's OK, and even appropriate, to use the term "leaves" in these instances.

Or, in this instance, "Katy Winton's contract was not renewed by Trek for the 2021 season," would also seem fitting.
  • 7 0
 This is terrible! A consistent top 5 rider with great social content, hopefully their is a sensible team manager out their who can see she would be great value! Good luck Katy, hopefully you get a ride on a rad bike!
  • 6 0
 Best of luck, Katy! Quality always shines through... I'm confident you'll be snapped up again asap. Failing that, should we start the Glentress Riders team again? ;-)
  • 4 0
 I take this as great news !!!
I have been a fan of Katy’s since 2016. She is an awesome rider, fierce competitor and a great ambassador not just to the sport but women’s racing. Plus she’s Scottish... what’s nay to love?

I feel like this is nothing but a great opportunity for her to make a fresh start with a new team and elevate her to the top of the podium !! Again..... where she belongs! ( Ibis are you listening?)

Best of luck to her and congratulations to whichever sponsor is lucky enough to get her.
  • 7 0
 Yes. Trek getting making some room well below the NHL salary cap.
  • 3 0
 Not surprising some brands are cutting riders, who needs marketing from racing when they can't even make enough bikes to cover demand. 2021 is practically pre-sold. I'm sure there are other some other reasons too but it's almost always about money.
  • 6 4
 Isn't going to be much of a season next year.
  • 6 2
 @richard01: Because... ?
  • 3 0
 I wonder how much money the manufacturers saved with the races being called off? There wasn't anywhere near the budgeted travel / team expenses for the racing season, while also selling out of almost every bike in stock. Sure the contracts were locked in for the year but that was already accounted for.
  • 3 0
 and no win bonuses to be paid out.
  • 3 0
 Bit of a bummer for Katy, but not really a surprise she leaving Trek, if anyone been following her instagram, some great posts/photos of her time with the team, some great memories were made I am sure.

What is a surprise is a hint that she might not have full team backing for next year! But I am sure Katy will have something sorted and she be on the top step next year.
  • 3 1
 bummer. super likeable , great racer. but, 5 years. they had the incomparable, and undefeated Tracy Moseley for 3 years and tried to develop Katy into the next big gun. didnt quite happen. I'm sure the head injuries played a part, but, they need a winner, male or female in EWS...so, not surprised they go shopping.
Irony and motivation say, Katy becomes that WINNA in 2021 in her year as a privateer and ends up at Specialized ( needing an EWS winner just as badly ) thus jacking up her results all over...
  • 4 0
 Santa Cruz sign her up, you need to beef up that enduro team!!! she is talented, a great ambassador, and her personality is of the charts.
  • 2 0
 I don't follow MTB racing at all but I keep seeing these articles about athletes leaving their teams. Is this a yearly thing or are there a greater number of athletes leaving/switching their sponsors this year?
  • 5 1
 Same every year at this time of year.
  • 3 1
 There's not much happening in Northern Hemisphere mountain biking at the moment; the annual team shuffle lets PB (and its competitors) still publish content.
  • 1 0
 Its the time of year for contracts to end. Everyone has a different contract length. Some can be a year and sometimes its for several years. I do feel for everyone who naturally had a contract end this year. With so few races your pretty much falling back on 2019 results and whatever shit you could scrape together on your IG.
  • 1 0
 This seems like it was a one sided decision. I'll assume it wasn't her side.
  • 1 0
 @maximesl: That sucks, right before Xmas...
  • 1 0
 @RowdyAirTime: There's a UCI rule that states that teams are not allowed to recruit a rider from another team prior to the off-season transfer period of August 1st to December 31st. If negotiation starts in August, most of them are signed in November/December.
  • 4 0
 Trek making budget cuts for that stacked DH mens/womans team. Trust me when I say stacked.
  • 3 0
 Covid = no races
No races = no racers
No racers = no contracts

Going to be a tough year for anyone in traveling athletics.
  • 1 0
 Hoping for the best for Katy. She brings so much positivity to the sport and is killer on the bike. Her messaging on the importance of self-care and taking brain injuries seriously after her major concussion in 2019 was powerful. A smart team looking for a badass female to fill out their roster needs to pick her up.
  • 6 2
 She is such a nice rider, and also my EWS crush ;D
  • 2 1
 Dang, solid top 10 EWS racer, could be on the podium at any race...but not good enough for Trek? Maybe she doesn't like the 29er that Trek forces all their racers to compete on
  • 5 1
 Feels like use ‘em up and spit ‘em out society!!
  • 1 1
 The embargo on team lineup is a stupid contract clause, this has happened every end of season, companies are gambling their images for nothing. I assume Katy already have an agreement with another team, but her contract stipulates nit revealing till next year. And not very helpful to other free agents looking for a team. It's all about team managers holding all the cards for contract negotiations.
  • 2 0
 Sponsorship is a harsh world...sure Katy will come out on top
  • 2 0
 Loris just cleaning out the program!
  • 1 0
 Bike company "we sold all our bikes and our sponsored athletes have done Jack, = sack all sponsored athletes"??
  • 1 0
 DH & XC teams suck most the money, great character but it’s business we all move on one way or the other
  • 7 6
 Making room for Vali Höll, perhaps?
  • 1 0
 Yup. Going to be one heck of a DH team.
  • 1 0
 Brutal. Frown Loved having Katy on the Trek team.
  • 1 0
 What a scoop. Dig a little more like journalists.
  • 1 0
 But what about danny fart?
  • 1 2
 atherton bikes should sign her to spearhead enduro team ????
  • 1 1
 Ha ha ha!!!!! At some point they will have to actually sell some bikes unless it’s just a big vanity project
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