Peille may only have a population of around 2,000 people but as far as producing World-class mountain bikers goes, it punches way above its weight. The small village perched on a rock between Monaco and Menton is the birthplace of Nico Vouilloz, Yoann Barelli, Nicolas Fillipi, and, most importantly for this article, Canyon Collective team director Fabien Barel.
The area is also a popular testing area for downhill teams and in fact Jamie Edmondson and Vali Holl of the RockShox Trek team were there last week testing on the Blausasc track
. The latest rider we've seen set up camp there is Luca Shaw. Shaw posted a video earlier in the week of himself riding into the village along the D53 cliff road along with the caption, "Anyone know this village?". According to PB's Matt Wragg, who lives in the area, Shaw has been there since at least last Monday.We already speculated this off-season
that Luca Shaw may be leaving the Syndicate for a new team, a move that was confirmed yesterday
. While we initially suspected he would ride for Specialized, our sources have been connecting Luca and Canyon for a few weeks and we think this European vacation could be further proof of his next team. Not only was Fabien Barel born in Peille, he now lives in neighbouring Blausasc where the Canyon Collective race team is run from. The theory is strengthened by a Troy Brosnan comment on Shaw's post that describes Peille as Shaw's "home village."Are there other possibilities?
While Canyon remains our strongest suspicion, when we reached out to Luca to ask why he was in Peille, he replied with a picture of Loris Vergier and said, "riding with this guy". In the photo above (taken from Luca's stories) you can also see he is wearing a Bontrager helmet, so it's entirely possible he's reuniting with his former teammate at Trek. A final consideration is that Mat Gallean, manager for RockShox Trek team also lives next to the Blausasc DH track and we know that team was testing in the area. Plus Luca used to be a TLD/SRAM athlete so it's a setup he knows well.
However, given that Luca is now openly posting about his motocross day with Loris
and the RockShox Trek team is more of a development setup than a factory team, our suspicions still line up with Canyon. Canyon declined to comment.