Maxime Marotte & Luca Braidot Join Santa Cruz FSA XC Team

Jan 4, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  
Maxime Marotte, Luca Braidot and Martina Berta have joined the Santa Cruz FSA team for the 2021 season. Amid speculation that a new Santa Cruz team would be born in time for the Olympics, the Californian brand instead has injected some star power into a team that has largely been supporting up and coming Italian riders for the past two seasons.

Maxime Marotte


Frenchman Maxime Marotte joins the team after four seasons of racing for Cannondale Factory Racing. A regular on the World Cup podium, he's a strong medal threat at this year's Olympic event as he proved with his second place in Nove Mesto earlier this year. He's also the first non-Italian rider on this team since it has been sponsored by Santa Cruz, which may give some hints to its expanded ambitions for the years ahead.

bigquotesA new chapter has just begun and I am really happy to join the family of a brand that is a legend in the mtb world. We are a great team and we have the right cards to reach the goals we have set. There is already great harmony with new teammates, as if we had been teammates lifelong. Martina and Greta are not only young talents, but they innovate the team with their smile. Running alongside Luca will be exciting and I have no doubt that all together we will gonna take the lift to the top spotsMaxime Marotte

Luca Braidot


Luca Braidot, the Italian champion, is ranked sixth in the UCI rankings and finished third at the Tokyo test event in 2019. He also has two Elite World Cup podiums and finished fourth at the World Championships in Leogang this year. He makes his first-ever team move after racing for all of his career for the Centro Sportivo Carabinieri team on Olympia Bikes.

bigquotesI'm changing team for the first time in my career. I’m sure it is the right choice for my future. I will join one of the best organized teams in the world, proud to defend the colors of such a prestigious brand as Santa Cruz. I will find Andrea Tiberi by our side and a partner like Maxime. I am sure there will be a lot to learn from two athletes like them.Luca Braidot

Martina Berta


The final new recruit to the team is Martina Berta, a former junior World Champion who also won a U23 World Cup in 2019. She joins for her second elite season and will be looking to climb up the ranks as she finds her feet at the top level.

bigquotesI am thrilled to join the Santa Cruz FSA team and this great project. It will be an honor and a great opportunity to have teammates of such high value. I will have much to learn from them. I am excited by the idea of find an important figure as Andrea Tiberi who will remain at our side to help us and advise us. It’ll be a big advantage.Martina Berta

Greta Seiwald


The final face on the team is Greta Seiwald, the only member of the team carried over from 2020.

bigquotesI am very happy to still part of this beautiful family, even if this year it seems like it is a completely new team. Needless to say that Luca, Maxime and Martina are already giving me an absurd charge. I am super motivated and ready to face this new season.Greta Seiwald



74 Comments

  • 103 0
 These black and white photos on the front page always make my heart stop for a second...
  • 2 0
 Yeah, it becomes a bad habit.
  • 22 0
 Can't wait to see what they're riding! It is about time for a new Blur and Highball...
  • 2 0
 The Highball has another year of just a color change, IIRC.
  • 1 1
 High pivot blur???
  • 3 0
 New Superlight coming our way?! Personally, I'd love to see a short travel, single pivot, super light XC bike from SC.

Or will that be Santa Cruz's entry into the lightweight ebike realm following in the footsteps of the other single pivots?
  • 4 2
 True. The current ones are nice bikes, but the Blur isn't really light enough at be a WC XC bike.
  • 4 0
 @nattyd: I built my large Blur at 19.5 pounds. How light does it need to be?
  • 17 0
 Santa Cruz making moves in XC. I saw Keegan Swinson will also ride a SC instead of Pivot this year.
  • 2 0
 Really, where at?
  • 4 0
 @willdavidson9595: On his instagram:

www.instagram.com/p/CJhKx0ol8mv/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

"
keegels99
The next chapter ???????????? @santacruzbicycles @srammtb @rapha @maxxisbike @reservewheels
#mtb #newyear #2021 #letsgo"
  • 1 0
 @willdavidson9595: The Stans/Pivot team folded at the end of the year, so all their riders are looking for jobs. Or not.
  • 13 1
 As I don't know much these folks, (and I'm maybe not the only one here), so I will just say "Cool move Santa" and wish you guys Happy New Year!
  • 7 1
 "Martina and Greta are not only young talents, but they innovate the team with their smile."
Uhm, what?
  • 3 2
 Smiles sell bikes!!
  • 2 0
 @skelldify: ????????????
  • 3 1
 Fight like a brave, smile like a Flowtron. FSA, inspired by...boats. California-style back wheel loves moves to the fore. I don't know if I need a translator or an interpreter
  • 3 0
 I hope that's not the reason they signed Vero, i hope they invest on her video parts and riding project. But kind of suspect now with that kind of marketing jargon, those are coming from santa cruz head office.
  • 2 1
 @Zuman: Looks like that statement came from the Italians that manage the Santa Cruz-FSA team not Santa Cruz and might have been lost in translation. Santa Cruz wouldn't say anything as cringe as that.
  • 3 0
 @PAmtbiker
I was lucky enough to get one of the limited edition blurs and I built it up with a fox 34 step cast, and Enve M60’s. We weighted it post build and it was 23.05LBS, totally agree with you, very do-able.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, some of these commenters have no idea what they are talking about regarding SC weights. Right now Ive got my blur with sc34,150 dropper, older m60 rims on I9 hydra hubs, with pedals Rekons/forecaster tires and cushcores just over 24lbs. Mine is definitely not a super light build and I could easily get it to 23lbs and maybe even into 22lbs specing a 32sc, m50s or lighter rims with dt Swiss hubs, and lighter race not winter tires.
  • 2 0
 And mine is a size large for reference
  • 4 0
 I was lucky enough to get my size Med Blur this year as well. Built it more for trail riding and big distance days(34 Stepcast, 2.4 tires, Dropper post, 11 sp XT) still weighs under 24.2 lbs with pedals. Getting this frame under 23lbs(very competitive weight for World Cup racing) would be easily achievable. But I do agree, this sounds like the time to enter a newer version of the current Blur!
  • 1 0
 Yes I had mine build up with the Fox Stepcast 32 and had it in the 22 lb range for an XL. I had some crazy light wheels on it that were around 1250 grams though so that helped. youtu.be/MMKXC03GyZU
  • 1 0
 I think the Blur is plenty light and of course it is already raced at the world cup level for at least 2 seasons. The only real way to make it lighter would be to only have a full triangle on one side in the rear and just a strut on one side; look at an Intense, this is basically what they look like. I think the advantage of the system is that is has to be the stiffest rear end on a bike in that category. Bikes like the Epic and Lux and others don't have as much support in the rear. It's a tradeoff, stiffness/weight. The stiffness may pay back the rider with less wasted power and flex. SC also uses bigger pivots/bearings. For the non sponsored racer, this is great since it should creak less and last longer. I can see why a pro rider/mechanic wouldn't care since they will just replace it in a year. So I don't think some frame weight matters when you can put on the same super light wheels, pedals, tires, cranks, etc. where the weight matters a little more.
  • 5 0
 Hmm intresting. Blur XC and Highball will be racing XCO worldcups.
  • 10 0
 Maybe there will be a new Blur this year! Watch this space, I guess...
  • 2 0
 Did it for the last couple of years
  • 5 0
 @Lankycrank: hopefully the head angle will be around 67 like specialized and the XL size will be a little bigger.
  • 5 0
 @willdavidson9595: In my dreams it can also fit 2 full size water bottles inside the main triangle.
  • 3 0
 @hollowing2000 @Lankycrank New rig dropping soon.
  • 7 2
 This is cool, XC needs some flair from a brand like SC.
  • 6 4
 Quote from first part: Frenchman Maxime Marotte joins the team from Cannondale Factory Racing. Doesn‘t work with the headline, does it?
  • 11 0
 Maxime Marotte joins the team (= Santa Cruz FSA) from (= after leaving) Cannondale Factory Racing.
  • 18 0
 @TransforDerek: thx, didn‘t get that Smile my english is not good enough.
  • 6 0
 @Lasse2000: but so much better than my German!
  • 2 0
 Really looking forward to seeing how Maxime on a blur handles the world cup tracks. Been trying to get my hands on a large blur for a while now and impossible to get one.
  • 8 0
 All XC bikes in the WC circuit are pretty much equally capable and it is the riders that makes most of the difference.
  • 4 0
 He won't be on the current Blur.
  • 4 0
 So this probably means a new Blur is About to ne released
  • 1 0
 XCO waiver wire pickups Smile
iimonodakeosekaikara.blog.jp/archives/25873156.html

Who will join Cannondale?? Simon? Alan? Gerhard?
  • 2 0
 Simon for sure, it will be lovely to see him on a Scalpel!
  • 1 0
 @abence: Strong team!!!
  • 3 0
 Fred
  • 3 0
 Is Keegan not on the same factory team?
  • 3 0
 Keegan has been more of a US domestic pro it seems, heavier focus on stuff like the Epic Rides series and gravel races and whatnot. I think the only reason he or any US pro does world cups is for the Olympic selection. (Except for Kate obviously)
  • 7 5
 Santa Cruz must have a XC bike in the works. Nothing in their lineup is light enough for UCI XC racing.
  • 3 0
 The Blur is a 100 mm XC bike with a remote lockout that can easily be built below 24 lbs. Plus they still have the Highball, which is a XC hardtail.
  • 2 0
 They do.
  • 2 2
 @PAmtbiker: 24lbs is still pretty heavy. XC racers are using bikes that are easily in the sub-22lbs for FS and sub-20s for hardtails. The Highball frame is 1140grams vs Scott Scale 969grams. 171grams difference. It may not seem like a lot, but over a entire race the weight is substantial difference when the majority of the time is climbing.
  • 3 1
 @PAmtbiker: 24 lbs, in other words 2-3 lbs heavier than their competitors. An S-Works Epic can get near 22 lbs with a dropper.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: The Epic HT is now down around 775 g, so the Highball is giving up almost a pound. That means you could run a not-so-light dropper on the Epic with no weight disadvantage.
  • 2 0
 @nattyd: Whoa. 775 is superlight. Didn't know they had one that light.
  • 4 0
 Their frame is 2060 grams. Pretty darn close to Trek's new race bike.
  • 1 0
 @kclw: That is pretty light and competitive. I definitely would not have any problems riding SC bikes if I was getting paid and got free bikes from them. Lol. However, the Scott Spark 100mm frame is 1840 grams and the S-Works Epic frameset: 1869g. If I was racing XC, had to pay for my bike, and they are similarly priced, I'm going with the frame that is a half a pound lighter.
  • 1 1
 @tacklingdummy: If you were racing and had to pay for your frames you would want one that is going to survive season(s) of training and racing. Don't get me wrong, a super light frame is awesome, but they come at a cost. A cost that is usually crash durability. If you only have one race bike then you need to prioritize durability or lightest weight.
  • 3 0
 @kclw: I've owned and raced 3 Epics and crashed them sooooo many times. Never cracked one.
  • 1 1
 @nattyd: I have had two and never an issue either. Specialize does great work on their carbon fibre bikes. But the simple fact is these new super light XC frames have really thin tubes in places and are vulnerable. If you are racer the probability of your frame surviving a season should be as much of a selection factor (or more) as frame weight.

And let us face it if you are comparing an Epic frame to a Blur frame the weight difference is quite small. 100-200 grams of extra weight is only going to impact your race by 10 seconds at the absolute most.
  • 1 0
 As mentioned above, my Large Blur was around 19.5 pounds. Pics on MTBR
  • 1 0
 @zerort: Sounds sweet. Got a link?
  • 1 0
 @zerort: Crazy. How did you get it so low? That's 3 lbs less than the lightest factory build listed on their site, and it doesn't look that different.
  • 1 0
 @zerort: Ah, sure looks like you previous wrote in that post "Here's the finished build - 21 lbs with 2 cages and Garmin mount", and then you later edited to say "19.5 lbs with pedals". That must have been one heavy set of bottle cages?

At least you have good taste in cars. I also have a Mk7 GTI.
  • 1 0
 @nattyd: Different wheels. NOX -> Duke
  • 2 1
 Wow SC heavy hitters to star a team with. No wonder there was no money for Loris, should be a good tean to watch!
  • 1 0
 wow great team, we hope that this year we can play a good world championship
  • 2 0
 You can tell they are XC by the way they dress... like normal people...
  • 1 0
 Bravo Luca! Un saluto da Gorizia Smile
  • 1 0
 Any word on Emily Batty?
  • 3 1
 Maybe it's Maybelline.
  • 1 0
 Give them Nomads!
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