The 26-year-old from Norway will join Greg Callaghan and Gusti Wildhaber on the starting grid for the coming season. Nico Lau and Daniel Schemmel leave the CUBE Action Team.
Irishman Greg Callaghan's Enduro World Series victory in Madeira and his third place in the EWS overall series ranking underscored yet another successful season in 2017 for the six-year-old CUBE Action Team. From 1 January 2018, Norwegian-born Zakarias Johansen will join the CUBE enduro squad to ride for the German bike manufacturer alongside Greg Callaghan and Gusti Wildhaber.
"It's a dream come true and a huge honour to be working with some of the best names in the bike industry. I'm hoping it will take my career and, of course, my riding skills to the next level," says Zakarias. "The new bike is a deadly weapon – the CUBE engineers have done a great job on it. You immediately get a sense of their experience and they've implemented the feedback from the Action Team perfectly. I would even say that it's the best bike I have ever ridden. My first ever run on the new racing machine definitely sticks in my memory: I didn't know anything about the bike itself and was stoked to see how the geometry matched my style. You should have seen the massive grin on my face when I got back to the tech zone afterwards. It's perfect for me!"
Back in December, Zakarias visited the CUBE headquarters in Waldershof to finalise plans for the upcoming season with the CUBE Action Team and to get a feel for the brand itself. "I jumped at the chance to visit CUBE and see behind the scenes. I already knew that CUBE was the biggest bike manufacturer in Europe, but actually seeing the place for myself was really impressive. They have around 500 people working there now, and it was cool to see how passionate everyone is about what they do. Many of them use every free minute to go biking themselves and test out new products. It was like being welcomed into a huge family and I am super happy to be a part of it."
Zakarias and his two teammates will spend January and February at training camps preparing for the 2018 season and all three are looking forward to the first stop of the Enduro World Series in Chile on 24 March. This year's EWS will also call at Colombia, Italy, France, Spain, Canada and Austria. "Zakarias is a fantastic addition to the team and a valuable training partner for Greg and Gusti. We are confident he has the skills and strength to compete against the top names in the World Series. It is our team's job to guide him there," says Claus Wachsmann, team manager for the CUBE Action Team.
Daniel Schemmel and Nico Lau will not be donning the Action Team jerseys as of this coming season. Nico is retiring from racing and will stay with CUBE as a brand ambassador. We wish them both the best of luck.www.cube.eu