We've seen almost more off-season action this year with team changes than we saw during the actual 2020 non-race racing season, and the rumor mill has been buzzing pretty consistently since December. Now that the UCI has released its downhill team lists, we can take a look at all the team moves and try to anticipate what the 2021 World Cup race season might bring.
Simon Maurer, Sandra Rubesam
The German duo enters its second year with returning riders Simon Maurer and Sandra Rübesam. Simon rode a V10 last year, while Sandra represented Nukeproof. Neither rider has announced a bike change.
Banshee Racing Brigade
Adam Rojcek, Robin Novotny
Adam Rojcek returns to the Banshee Racing Brigade for another year, joined by Czech rider Robin Novotnk. This will be Robin’s first time competing on the world stage after spending the last several years racing European Cup events.
Canyon Collective FMD
Tahnee Seagrave, Kaos Seagrave, Dennis Luffman, Phoebe Gale
The Seagraves’ branch of the Canyon Collective will include Scottish Junior Phoebe Gale alongside the three returning riders. After proving herself in British enduro and downhill events, it looks like Phoebe will have the chance to test herself against the best young riders in the world. We can also expect Tahnee to fight back to the top of the game after recovering from her tib-fib break and ankle dislocation last February.
Commencal / 100%
Greg Williamson, Thomas Estaque, Hugo Frixtalon
No need to change what works. The Commencal / 100% team will remain the same as in 2020. Greg Williamson earned himself a few top 10 results in 2019 and 2020, while the two Frenchmen have been flirting with the top 20, so we imagine they will all come into 2021 hungry to work their ways up.
Chris Cumming, Ronan Dunne
Chris Cumming and Ronan Dunne are two young Irish up-and-comers, with some solid junior national and European results under their belts. Both riders will be embarking on their first Elite season aboard Nukeproof bikes specced with Fox suspension, Funn MTB components, Pacenti wheels, and, of course, Continental tires.
GT Factory Racing
Wyn Masters, Johannes Von Klebelsberg, Martin Maes, Noga Korem, Ethan Craik
GT’s 2021 lineup is identical to last year, with a dedicated downhill crew plus the enduro crossovers. The team is versatile, with Wyn to show us all how to have fun, the Denim Destroyer giving us a high-speed fashion show, Ethan as a strong up-and-comer who already has two Junior World Cup podiums to his name, and Noga and Martin, who have winning potential in both enduro and downhill.
Intense Factory Racing
Aaron Gwin, Neko Mulally, Seth Sherlock
Intense Factory Racing remains unchanged going into 2021, with Aaron Gwin and Neko Mulally representing the US and Canadian Seth Sherlock rounding out the North American triad.
Kona Factory Team
Connor Fearon, Miranda Miller, Noah Hofmann
The Kona Factory Team has shifted a bit the addition of Noah Hofmann, a stylish 17-year-old from Austria who could be one of the next Junior breakout riders. Connor Fearon remains on the roster, which is no surprise after a successful decade with Kona. Miranda Miller is listed despite focusing on enduro since joining Kona, so we could see some multi-discipline racing from her.
MS Mondraker Team
Laurie Greenland, Brook MacDonald, Eleonora Farina, Laly Thibault, Yuki Kushima, Toby Meek
The new additions to the MS Mondraker roster this year are Yuki Kushima and Toby Meek. Both have had some level of support from Mondraker in the past, but were not listed on the World Cup roster. Yuki has raced many World Cups in the past, but seems to be stepping things up a bit this year. Similarly, Junior Toby Meek has ridden for Mondraker in some capacity while racing Crankworx and New Zealand national events, but 2021 may give the 16-year-old his chance to race at a higher level. Laurie Greenland is, of course, another one to watch.
Norco Factory Team DH
Sam Blenkinsop, Henry Fitzgerald, Lucas Cruz, Elliot Jamieson
The Norco Factory Team DH will have no changes for 2021. The team, like many, took a step back from international racing in 2020, so we look forward to seeing these riders at World Cups again in 2021, with young Lucas Cruz transitioning into the Elite field after a successful Junior career. New Zealander Sam Blenkinsop will still be leading the otherwise all-Canadian team.
Propain Factory Racing
George Brannigan, Henry Kerr, Luke Meier-Smith, Remy Meier-Smith
Luke Williamson has moved on to the new 555 Gravity Racing, leaving a spot open on the Propain team for Luke Meier-Smith’s little brother, Remy. Luke joined the team last season after a successful stint in the Juniors, and it’s likely we’ll see Remy follow in Luke’s footsteps. We know that George Brannigan has some serious riding abilities but has had trouble with injuries, so we hope that 2021 is an injury-free year to help him get back in the groove.
Scott Downhill Factory
Marine Cabirou, Brendan Fairclough, Dean Lucas, Florent Payet, Louis Gaillet
Scott Downhill Factory brought these five riders together into a successful team in 2019, and the team hasn’t changed since then. Marine Cabirou is pretty used to World Cup podiums by now, with each of the others racking up plenty of achievements as well.
Loic Bruni, Finn Iles, Christopher Grice
Specialized Gravity will also bring back the same group of riders as 2020. Loic has been an incredibly consistent rider, while Finn has shown us he’s on-pace but could benefit from a bit more consistency. Chris Grice gave an impressive first year racing Juniors last year, so the young American could show be a regular on the podium in 2021.
Oliver Davis, Finn Hawkesby-Browne, Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, Benjamin Zwar Kvist, Oliver Zwar
The Union formed last year as the Lusty Hyperperformance Team, bringing together a collection of promising riders that had previously been privateers. The riders didn’t quite have the chance to show us their potential in 2020, so we look forward to seeing what they can do this season. The team remains largely unchanged, aside from the addition of Australian young talent Ollie Davis.