PRESS RELEASE: GHOST Bikes
The 2018 season was without a doubt the most successful season in GHOST Factory Racing Team’s history. Seven victories in seven World Cup races, one XCE World Cup victory, numerous National Champion titles, one European Champion title and medals at the World Championships are only a small part of last year’s achievements. That’s why we put a strong emphasis on continuity going forward. We are welcoming only one new addition for the next two years to the équipe from Waldsassen and will embark on our way to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo with a new tire sponsor.
In 2011, GHOST Factory Racing Team started competing internationally as a ladies-only factory team. Over the course of the years, the team was able to win many medals and victories, but a year like 2018 was definitely extraordinary. The team, which was restructured and rejuvenated the previous year, succeeded in establishing itself as the best-known female mountain bike team. The success speaks for itself and justifies the decision:
The team started working on technical riding skills in the fall, with the help and support of Kurt Exenberger. The former Austrian National Coach is one of the best-known coaches when it comes to skills training and continued training and education. For more than 20 years, the Tyrolean has taught professional classes where he shares his knowledge with amateur and most importantly professional athletes. Numerous pros on the World Cup scene have learned their techniques and skills from him. GHOST’s ladies have been out on the mountain with the expert every now and then. But going forward, this cooperation will intensify in order to be ready for the challenges of modern XCO sport: “I am very much looking forward to working with the GHOST girls more frequently. In general, it is great to work with highly motivated athletes. We have already been able to achieve a lot in our first few sessions. When you see so much progress after such a short time, it is even more fun and benefits all of us”, says Kurt Exenberger.
The team around Barbara Benko (Hungary), Anne Terpstra (Netherlands), Sina Frei (Switzerland) and Lisa Pasteiner (Austria) will be complemented by Marika Tovo from Montebello Vicentino in Italy. In 2018, her first year in the U23 category, the new addition already delivered a solid performance by finishing third in Nove Mesto, third at the World Championships and second at the European Championships.
GHOST Factory Racing Team
• Anne Terpstra (NED)
• Barbara Benko (HUN)
• Lisa Pasteiner (AUT)
• Marika Tovo (ITA)
• Sina Frei (SUI)
For all these victories, the Italian Champion found herself on the podium with her new team mate Sina Frei. It was a long road to talk Marika into the switch from basketball to mountain biking, and even after that was accomplished, it was not easy at first: “I had no clue how to ride a mountain bike.” And that’s how she had to admit defeat after just a few meters in the mud and rain during her very first race. But thanks to her grit and passion for the sport, she persevered and, in just a few short years, she advanced to the very top of the Italian young talents: “I am very happy to be a member of the GHOST Factory Racing Team. I already had the opportunity to get to know the other girls and support staff at the technical skill training camp in the fall. I feel great here within the team. In December, we all met again at a training and test camp and I am very impressed and enthusiastic about the level of professionality with which everybody in the team works. I am really looking forward to the season and can’t wait to get started/” The Italian will try to build upon her achievements from last season and to establish herself in the U23 field.
Another change for the team occurred with the switch to MAXXIS tires: “We have already experienced the performance level of our new tire partner in December. Since the tire is a mountain bike’s sole contact point with the ground, its role is very important. The portfolio of MAXXIS is perfect and the cooperation with the special department that exclusively takes care of professional sports, allows us to get even more out of the products. Being already part of the GHOST portfolio, a closer cooperation with MAXXIS makes perfect sense to us”, says Thomas Wickles about the new partnership.
As is tradition, the team will kick off the new season with the Cyprus Sunshine Cup in February on Cyprus. Until then, enjoy a look behind the scenes of the latest photo shooting.