Racing Rumors 2.0: Gwin, the Athertons, & More

Dec 12, 2018 at 12:19
by Mike Levy  



We've already looked at a handful of juicy World Cup rumors, some with real meat to them and some obviously just hot air, but there's plenty more who's-going-where gossip left still to cover.

The big one last time around were Americans Aaron Gwin and Neko Mulally leaving YT and talking to Trek, Specialized, Canyon, and Intense, but it gets even foggier now with whispers of Gwin buying into the latter. Sticking with the downhillers, the Atherton clan is said to be talking to Merida (yet again) and Norco. At the opposite end of the career spectrum, young gun Reece Wilson has been linked to a ride with Trek, while Joe Smith and Phil Atwill could both be seeing a change of scenery for 2019 and beyond.





Rumor: Gwin and Intense
Status: possible

Back in October, I had Gwin and Neko leaving YT for one of four possible options: Trek (again) or Specialized (again), Canyon, or Intense. It would be quite the coup for the latter, especially given that Intense has had a roller coaster of a time over the last few years. On top of that, former CEO Andrew Herrick left Intense Cycles after four years and Jeff Steber (pictured below) returns to the role. Gwin ain't gonna be cheap - I've heard numbers ranging from $500K to $1.2M USD - and while the structure of the team would allow Intense to be just the frame sponsor, it'd still be a huge chunk of money for a brand that's rumoured to have recent money troubles.


Aaron Gwin has a new weapon under him this weekend. He ll want to give it a winning debut.
Jeff Steber was busy prepping another carbon prototype frame with graphics today.
Is Gwin's future with the American brand Intense? It'd make for one hell of a good story.


But what if Gwin injected some capital into Intense instead of the other way around? The American has always said that he enjoys the product development side of the sport and that there's more to this game than just racing bikes down hills. There could be a connection to a development team as well. The most successful US downhiller, who also happens to be a bit of a patriot, going into business with the most storied US downhill frame builder... I mean, it's a pretty good fit, isn't it?

A good fit doesn't make it true, though, and Gwin shot this theory down when I questioned him on it: ''I can't comment on next year's sponsors right now, but I can say for sure that I am not 'buying into' anything. All of my deals will be structured as usual where each company will pay a salary for the services provided. I can say that I'll be continuing ahead with the majority of my current sponsors.''

So it's a no-go on that front, but Aaron and Intense coming together in some way is a whisper that I keep hearing over and over again, and from people who've been right about more than one tasty team rumor in the past. My gut tells me there's something to this one, but my gut has seen better days so who knows.




Rumor: Athertons to Merida but riding Specialized DH frames
Status: unlikely

I know, all of that sounds confusing and maybe a bit unlikely, but it makes more sense than it sounds like at first. If it seems like the siblings have been around forever, it's because they have; Gee made his World Cup debut in 2004, and Rachel arrived (already winning) in 2006. While most of the women's field is probably hoping that Rachel is going to retire, I don't think she's ready to hang up her helmet quite yet, especially given that the Brit is still winning a lot of weekends. Tahnee Seagrave made it close in 2018, and with Valentina Höll soon knocking on the door to elites, Rachel could have more competition than ever.


The emotion was clear to see. Rachel Atherton takes another gold medal 10 years on from her first.
The return of the Athertons. Rachel last week Gee this week. He s far from 100 and is just looking to start rebuilding his speed once again.
It's hard to believe that Gee made his World Cup debut back in 2004 and Rachel in 2006. Where'd the time go?


At thirty-three-years-old, Gee was mostly having a season to forget (again), but a second at the final round in La Bresse, France, was a reminder that The Vulcan still has it. In fact, Gee rode himself back up to World Cup pace after dealing with injury after injury, and I'm sure he'd love nothing more than to return to the top.

It's just that it won't be with Trek as their contract is up and more than one source has said that the trio is shopping around, and also that Merida is in the running. Again.

Who the hell is Merida? Only one of the largest frame manufacturers in the world, selling somewhere around 2,000,000 annually. They gross enough to make them one of Taiwan's largest companies, and they happen to also own part of Specialized after dropping a cool $30,000,000 back in 2001. Merida isn't shy about paying athletes, either, with Jose Hermida, Gunn-Rita Dahle, the Bahrain–Merida Pro Cycling Team, and more than 30 World Cup wins behind them. But they don't have a downhill bike... Do you know where they could find one?

To be fair, the Merida rumor comes up every time the Athertons move teams, and it hasn't panned out yet. I reached out to Gill Harris, the Head of Communications for the Athertons, but she declined to comment, at least for now. It's more fun that way anyway.
Dan Atherton performs at Red Bull Hardline in Wales UK on September 24 2017 Boris Beyer Red Bull Content Pool AP-1TBA3V9RN2111 Usage for editorial use only Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information.
Dan might not be racing full-time, but he's still sending it and building incredible tracks.




Rumor: Athertons to Norco
Status: likely

Merida, Marin... Retirement? Plenty of theories have been thrown out about the Athertons this off-season, but we think that Norco could be the ones to snag them, or maybe even just Gee. There’s no doubt that the Athertons are still a lucrative prospect on the World Cup circuit, with Rachel continuing her march towards Anne Caroline Chausson’s records (along with an EWS rumor that won't die), and Gee looking like a resurgent force. Let’s not forget Dan, either, and especially his Hardline exploits.


Nervous moments on the hot seat for the two old team mates.
He might not look all that stoked here, but his La Bresse weekend included the top qualifying spot and a 2nd come race day. Gee still has it, of course.


Considering the recent announcement of Todd Schumlick's PerformX Training parting ways with the program, we know there are changes afoot within Norco's World Cup outfit. Why might that matter? Often where the Athertons go, their entourage come with them, which could explain the split with PerformX Training.

The Trek Session big-wheeler didn’t seem to suit the Athertons as well as it has others, with Rachel only starting to ride it this off-season and Gee not getting comfortable until the last couple of races of 2018. To be fair, Gee also had a rough season until he rode himself back up to speed by the final rounds. We didn't gel with the new Session, too, whereas the Aurum HSP1 is one of our Bike of the Year nominees and bang on World Cup trends with a high main pivot and 29'' wheels.

It’s also proven to be fast under Sam Blenkinsop, who had a resurgent season with his first World Cup podium since 2015 and a King of Crankworx crown to boot.
Sam Blenkinsop
With 2018 being one of his best seasons in recent years, Blenki is getting on well with the new Aurum.

We reached out to Norco and Gill Harris, the Head of Communications for the Athertons, with both denying that we'll be seeing Gee, Rachel, or Dan on an Aurum. I still feel like this one is a real possibility, despite the denials, but time will tell.




Rumor: Reece Wilson to Trek
Status: likely

With his Fort William heroics backed up by a Val di Sole top-ten, Reece Wilson was one of the breakout stars of 2018 season. And get this: He's only been riding mountain bikes for five years after making the switch from doing the moto thing. Remind you of a certain racer who's been more than just a little successful over the last few years? The Scotsman will no-doubt keep improving as his career continues, too, and he’s pretty nifty on a scooter if the big wheels don't work out.


Coming to the World Cup Don t forget to bring your proverbial balls . Reece Wilson saddles up and hucks towards the distant smoothness of the downside on the step-down nobody wanted to case.
Wilson took his debut podium this year and had a top-ten on the fearsome Val di Sole. Not too shabby for doing this mountain bike thing for just five years.


Wilson has been vocal about his deal with Commencal being far from ideal; he was apparently operating almost as a privateer with the 100% team, so he was probably open to offers all year long. He's also been spotted this off-season riding a Trek and hanging out with Kade Edwards and Charlie Hatton, two of Trek's young guns, and he's familiar the Trek Session, having ridden it for three years as part of the Unior Tools team. That said, Wilson recently checked in from Morgan Hill, where Specialized is based, so this may not be a done deal yet...




Rumor: Joe Smith to Propain; Phil Atwill to Cube
Status: likely

There were rumours swirling around about Phil Atwill moving on from Propain last year, but it's only now that he will almost certainly be biting the bullet and heading for a new team. It was a tough 2018 for Phil, with a lot of it spent recovering from an ACL injury. Even so, he was comfortably back in the top-twenty by the end of the season and will be pushing to regain his 2017 podium form next year.


Pre season testing
What can Joe Smith muster up when the clock starts to count for real He was second fastest in timed training and looked at home in the deep dust and loam it d be great to see him take the big result he s been knocking on the door of.
Atwill to Cube and Smith to Propain? Maybe.


So who will replace Phil at Propain? Ben Reid’s team has always had a big-name British rider on the roster (Atwill, Heath, Reid himself), so there’s probably little chance of that changing now. With the Athertons looking likely to be moving into Norco, we suspect that Joe Smith could be the one to fill those boots.


171 Comments

  • + 247
 The rumor has it Aaron will ride for a media giant called Pornhub and they will be renting his Villa for podcasts...
  • + 68
 PH Said they will chip off a 0.00000000003% piece of their revenues the sponsor Gwin this year. So it looks like his salary will be $3,412,082,663.19 for the 2019 season. LOL
  • + 29
 In a recent development, Aarons manager threatened all Pinkbike users with using his main sponsors database of users and their searches, as well as screen time if they will be writing bad things about Aaron and his team. BTW using the private mode does not protect you in any way. May God save you now.
  • + 24
 that deal is too lubed to be true
  • - 12
flag theedon (Dec 13, 2018 at 6:29) (Below Threshold)
 Randy is going to your Mom's house
  • + 5
 Be careful, I heard God sees everything...
  • + 8
 @ADGproductions: God watched everything. Once.
  • + 5
 @ADGproductions: yes but didn't Jesus died for all our sins or something
  • + 1
 @tomgibson: No that was Johnny, and he was the pool boy who dived in into Mrs. Johnson. The Intense Mob post race videos will sure be entertaining to say the least......it might be hard to watch.
*shows self out.
  • + 19
 PH should really come out with their own hub and sponsor Gwin.
  • + 0
 grips, tyre noodles, dropper post...
  • - 1
 @tomgibson: yeah, but just for the weekend. He's like an undead, temperamental sky wizard now.
  • + 6
 *Slams laptop closed* I was just watching a bike video dear.
  • + 1
 You should stop watching porn guys, it Damages your Brain Wink
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: you mean if I use private mode she can still get pregnant!?! Aaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!
  • - 14
flag dwmetalfab (Dec 13, 2018 at 16:18) (Below Threshold)
 This whole string is such a bummer to read. Gwin takes his faith seriously and this community should respect that. I would be bummed if I was him to read this. Pinkbike better be putting this part of the comment section in the below threshold section. Such gnarly disrespect for one of the fastest guys in the world.
  • + 6
 But what if Gwin injected some capital into PornHub instead of the other way around? The American has always said that he enjoys the product development side of the industry and that there's more to this game than just having fun down the road. There could be a connection to a development team as well. The most successful US DH entertainer, who also happens to be a bit of a patriot, going into business with the most storied US production company... I mean, it's a pretty good fit, isn't it? ????
  • - 11
flag BobbyHillbomb (Dec 13, 2018 at 17:21) (Below Threshold)
 @dwmetalfab: you're such a pussy
  • + 4
 @BobbyHillbomb: Minneapolis is great place. Visited a while back. Really pretty and the people were rad. If you're ever out in my neck of the woods hit me up, let's ride together.
  • + 6
 Haha you almost got it! It’s another media giant called WEEDMAPS, a lot pro skateboarders rides for them already and there’s a lot of media content online. Aaron never would associated himself with something filthy like Pornhub. He will show why his eyes is always red and why he is always so chill and why he attributes Cannabis to his successful career, he will bring the radical christian right republicans to the acceptance of the herb tha God put on this Earth for us and we will thanks Aaron Gwin for the legalization of marijuana in the United States of America forever.
  • + 1
 @dwmetalfab:

Oddly enough, I might be out there visiting friends next summer. If you're ever in Mpls again, hit me up. We have some fun singletrack in and around the metro area, plus a great cycling community. I might be a dick on the internet, but I'm actually pretty nice in person.
  • + 2
 You know Pornhub actually sponsors athletes, right? www.pornhub.com/win/xxxtreme-sports
  • + 47
 This just in... Aaron Gwin to leave YT ... YT spokesman said they hoped to have his new race bike in stock before the WC DH season
  • + 3
 In 2021...
  • + 43
 Since Gwin and Rude have been seen together quite often in years maybe just maybe Gwin ends his career back in Yeti and developes a crazy DH bike and boom yeti bikes will now be $15,000usd to own for the base model and $20,000 for top spec lol
  • + 8
 #bringbackthe303 even if I cant afford it I bet it would make a great centerfold.
  • + 3
 Rude also spent a lot of time in California last off season. Both are working with Todd Schumlick.
  • + 5
 @Boardlife69: I still ride a 303RDH. Love that bike.
  • + 6
 Lots of athletes in Southern California in the winter because there is no winter here.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: We can dream can't we?
  • + 1
 He's not going to yeti.
  • + 14
 This would be great for a couple reasons...
1) SB200. ‘Nuff said!
2) Yeti back in the DH game just feels right.
3) We get to watch Rude and Maes go head-to-head in TWO disciplines!
4) All of this just paved the way for Missy Giove’s return to radness.

And, Gwin can just Sharpie in an “e” and “i” on all their YT kit and save a few bucks.
  • + 23
 I really hope Gwin and intense do somthing. Both have a lot to offer each other. I'm also surprised there's no more rumors about jack leaving intense or loris leaving Santa Cruz
  • + 48
 The best part would be all the "Wow, that was Gwintense" comments.
  • + 3
 don‘t know about jack moir but the syndicate is staying the same for 2019 AFAIK.
  • + 10
 @striveCF15:
BTW, FYI, I don't like using acronyms but I figured it out
  • + 14
 @celedonio: FOYFC
  • + 6
 SMH. Gwin says "not buying into" BUT what if Intense is "offering a share" as part of the deal. IMHO thats the only way they can afford him, and the trickery of words used may confim this AFAIK. Intense Mob FTW!
  • + 6
 @Patrick9-32: but he could also be part of the Gwindicate?
  • + 1
 @Patrick9-32: Oh man how did I not see that one!? Well done.
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: my thoughts entirely. Like Rossi taking a stake in agv to avoid the taxman!
  • + 1
 Yay! I think Santa Cruz has the best team last/ this year if not ever! @striveCF15:
  • + 1
 Jack is staying on Intense Factory Racing for 2019.
  • + 0
 He’ll be with Intense for 2019. The ink is dry.
  • + 20
 Anyone else see Dean Lucas's Instagram? Pretty interesting comment from Ed Masters.

Also, good for you, Dean Lucas. Good for you.
  • + 16
 There was a comment from Ed Masters on THAT photo?

Didn't even notice any of the comments lol.
  • + 5
 Yeah didnt care to read comments on that photo.
  • + 14
 I'm interested in what about a Ratboy? Will he go to cannondale?
  • + 4
 He is not DH racer anymore so obviously no reason to include him.
  • + 11
 @Mondbiker: how do you know? Do you call ze dolphin at home?
  • + 8
 @pargolf8: HA! Do you have a Dorzalphin??
  • + 5
 @tbell1979: glad someone out there gets my one liners. Venturaaaa
  • + 6
 If the rat went somewhere like kona, who clearly is no pressure with their athletes, i bet we’d see him do a couple wc dh’s
  • + 5
 @pargolf8: Go to ze conferenze, go to eeeet!! hahah!
  • + 1
 Since they already have Randy, can they fit another big name rider?
  • + 0
 @pargolf8: I got it too, but the line is "Do you know him? Does he call you at home?" Whereas, tbell1979 got his line spot on.

I am Hans Skitzvelven, trainer of zee dollvin
  • + 1
 @kjjohnson: sorry to disappoint you kj
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: It is official: Randy rides for Scott now. www.instagram.com/p/BmBO3BEhMoN
  • + 1
 @kjjohnson: if you're gonna call people out for getting a quote wrong maybe don't follow it up with your own incorrect quote Smile

He says "I am trainer of dollvin" - there is no "zee"
  • + 3
 @tincancharlie: ok, I deserved that. Facepalm
  • + 11
 No offense, but because of Vali Höll, Rachel will just have more competition that is about 10 seconds slower to fight for second place...
  • + 1
 That was first year junior, speed can build really quickly...
  • + 9
 Hope the Syndicate remains the way it is now. I think that besides they're all incredibly good racers, they are also very good team mates.
  • + 2
 Absolute legends coaching and mentoring! The whole group seems to be a class act.
  • + 8
 I mean, what is the difference? Any modern bike climbs like a goat, yet blasts through descent, stable, but incredible playful, so it just depends on the color schema, which is custom for WC racers anyway.
  • + 4
 No way would Aaron go back to Trek or Spec - I'm sure they didn't even talk - As for Canyon - no there too. Troy is their top gun. That leaves Intense. They'll pay up a cool mill, because they see the attention and sales it bought to YT. The Athertons I believe will split. Rachel is gold for anyone. And Gee can put in consistency - again. I wouldn't be surprised at the Norco deal. As for the others, I wish them good luck wherever they go.
  • + 1
 What makes you think Gwin and Trek wouldn't talk?
  • - 2
 @Justmatthew: because Trek made quite a big deal of the ending of Gwins last time at Trek. Posting a angry press release online.
  • + 12
 @Startgas: Erm. You mean the press release written by Martin Whiteley who is currently Gwin's team manager?
  • + 1
 @Startgas: You should go back an read who wrote that.
  • + 1
 @Startgas: That was all with Whitely. Trek are pro's and if they think it would make sense to the business , they would get him back.
  • + 8
 Wherever he ends up, Gwin is worth it. The only reason I'd ever even consider YT is because he rode them. His name lends a lot to any brand.
  • + 2
 @evideo @FisherFreerider @Justmatthew I found the article about it. I probably thought that TWR and Trek was the same, didn't realise trek was just the main sponsor of the team.
  • + 6
 I doubt the Athertons will split. Their whole program is a business entity which employs all of them. It would be a big pain in the neck to dissolve it all. I think they are worth collectively more than they are individually. Yes, Rachel is by far the biggest name in women's downhill, but that's like saying you're the best professional boomerang trick shot artist in the world. You're first in a class of ten. So what? No one is buying bikes because of Rachel Atherton. Harsh but true. Gee on the other hand? If he starts winning again, or at least getting close, it would be a different story.
  • + 2
 @jaame: well said
  • + 4
 Charlie Harrison (currently with Intense) was in Madison, WI last week. Given it is December, I am fairly certain he didn't come for the brisk air and cheese curds. If one reads into it, that would impact both Trek and Intense.
  • + 1
 Or testing the DH tracks...tons of elevation in WI (grew up there) lol. But on a serious note do you work for Trek and saw him there?
  • + 3
 All I know is I saw Gwin's bikes for sale on the local craigslist about a month back, doesn't get much more suspect than that. If he was still riding for YT I'm sure he would confirm it already, looking forward to seeing where he goes.
  • + 5
 If Gwin did buy into Intense, it would be great if they went back to U.S made alloy top spec bikes again, I know for myself and a few others it would make them a few sales.
  • + 8
 Dean Lucas to Scott...
  • - 1
 Maybe athertons to scott only big brand now without a team
  • + 6
 I really hope Phill is moving over to CUBE for some big money cause that DH bike they have is a bunch of poo.
  • + 6
 GWINTENSE rumors today.
  • + 1
 ctrl + f 'gwintense'
knew there'd be at least one

well played
  • + 3
 "While most of the women's field is probably hoping that Rachel is going to retire...” What a bummer way to finally get 1st place!
  • + 5
 Gwinn on SB200.
  • + 1
 Dean Lucas just announced this was his last year with Intense. Charlie Harrison visited Madison in early December (i.e., Trek). Big announcements soon for Intense I am guessing......
  • + 0
 Gwin will follow the money, he always does. As for the athertons I think they are in a tricky place. The problem is that Rach is the only one who has delivered for the last 2 seasons. I dont think the family branding will work for much longer with only 1 of them delivering. Gee needs a decent 2019
  • + 7
 The family branding will remain even after they retire from WCDH. The top racers tend to go into marketing/development overdrive after their career so I dont see this formula changing.
  • + 2
 The atherton brand is tricky but not just racing if you include day in day out media and affys Hardline & dyfi BikePark.
  • + 10
 To be fair Gee was still delivering lots of top 20's with injuries and a second place at the end of the year. A team change could be just what he needs to get back to his winning form.
  • + 6
 Its not just about results, its about exposure. Often results lead to exposure, but that's not always the case. The Athertons by name are well know and having them ride your bikes is still a valuable thing. They still get a ton of coverage and that's what its all about. This applies to alot of riders. Look at a guy like Brendon Fairclough, he's never had elite results, but look through any WC photo epic from the Pinkbike or vital and there are ALWAYS pictures of him. Same goes for a guy like Gee.
  • + 9
 I don't think you meant it this way but to say Gwin is following the money out of pure greed is an overstatement. The guy is smart and tactical when it comes to his opportunities, whether it's because he has a good legal team or is highly intelligent (I think both to be honest). Being a top adventure sport athlete has a limited life span and he's made the most of it both winning races and making smart financial moves. I would hope the majority of the top riders out there have some kind of financial guidance but sadly I would say it's less than 20%. The second you become a household name you should start seeing what the sport can give back to you in the longterm, after you're off the bike. There's no reason given some of these huge opportunities these guys get that they should thrown out with yesterdays news when their racing career is over.
  • + 13
 The backhanded statement 'Gwin will follow the money' is absurd. What adult doesn't try and maximize their salary in their profession?
  • + 5
 @coyotecycleworks: Tomac is a valuable mentor in this regard.
  • + 5
 You would be an idiot not to follow the money in any job. Food, clothes, houses and education for your offspring don't just grow on trees. They have to be paid for with money. One should always try to maximise one's earnings potential, and one should always try to get a discount on anything wherever possible. Business is business.
  • + 2
 If the Atherton's are leaving Trek, it frees up quite a bit of capital for someone like Gwin to come on board. Doubt that Intense can afford him.
  • + 1
 Why not?
  • + 2
 @freeridejerk888: 35% off retail online 2 weeks after their bikes are released may be why.

Their DH bike (before paint) looks great but the Intense brand is lame, like the Chris Angel of bikes.
  • + 1
 What does that even mean lol. You can buy them at a fixed price now. They make more selling to you directly a LOT more @daugherd:
  • + 0
 @freeridejerk888: That may be so now but they had a reputation of a bike being released then a few months later it was online for deep discounts. Pricing aside their brand image is still ridiculous.
  • + 1
 You must have not ever ridden one. I think that's your problem. Or possible your bank account is too low @daugherd:
  • + 1
 @freeridejerk888:

1. I do't like VPP
2. How they ride has nothing to do with them being the puka shelled necklace of the bike world.
3. There is no way my bank account is too low for an Intense, you can typically find them online for 2 Xbox controllers and a slightly used vape pen.
  • + 1
 Gwin on Intense, bringing back manufacturing to the US, to make it a true american brand, and Athertons on Merida developing a new DH bike would be awesome!
  • + 6
 Yeahhhhhhh..........and the Athertons in Raleigh bikes ! That would show world the brits mean business Smile
  • + 4
 @Matt115lamb: We need a resurgent Muddy Fox for the Athertons to ride!
  • + 1
 @danprisk: now ya talking ! My 1st mtb was a flo green muddyfox , solid forks but a good quality bike , loved it !
  • + 1
 If Phil goes to Cube, will he rip it round with Greg and Zakarias, and therefore come to Åre in the summer? My knees are trembling...
  • + 1
 That pic of Gee made me wonder if he's giving a thumbs up or telling the photog to get the F outta there... his face makes me think the latter.
  • + 2
 Sorry to be pedantic but Ben Reid isn’t British. He’s from Northern Ireland.

He is bloody fast though.
  • + 5
 Sorry to be pedantic but Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain.
  • + 6
 Oh no! Check your passport! The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain refers to England, Wales and Scotland. Britain refers to England and Wales, I believe.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Fair do's
  • + 1
 ...Gee Atherton is posting on his today’s insta story ...“very interesting day“....“testing new bike“...and a pic of the Mercedes AMG formula one test lab...
  • + 1
 Pretty sure Intense can afford Gwin now that their bikes are being sold at discount sporting goods department stores here in Canada.
  • + 2
 Thanks for spoiling one of the Bike of the Year competitors @pinkbikeaudience
  • + 2
 I hope Norco keeps Blenki. He killed it last season. Atwill to Cube...does that mean Matt J. Walker is off Cube?
  • + 2
 gwin to @GuerrillaGravity you heard it here first.

pedalhead taking on the world cup circuit this year
  • + 1
 My guess is that Gwin still uses YT bikes but different set of sponsors and team to finance him.
  • + 2
 Will miss Phil in ProPain.
  • - 2
 Gwin will rip on that Intense! He needs a manufacturer like that, at the forefront oh technology and trends. Almost 2 full racing seasons between Intense producing a 29er DH bike and YT finally getting one to Gwin. If YT got that shit done faster rather than worrying about Rampage, Gwin might not be considering going anywhere.
  • + 12
 OK the other hand, now that Gwin has put the Tues on the map as a race bike, YT may not want to pay his salary anymore
  • + 3
 Not everyone loves 29, Gwin might be one of those who don´t.
  • + 5
 Quite the list of speculations there
  • + 1
 @patrick-marsh: pretty much what i heard, they got out what they wanted from that 3 year deal. yt mob will continue but with a much smaller budget/paycheck.
  • + 1
 Yet he was in the process of developing one with YT @Mondbiker:
  • + 2
 Rampage is YT's Bread and Butter
  • + 5
 @Mondbiker: Gwin has said in multiple interviews that he loves 29ers
  • + 0
 @Mondbiker: he's been saying for years he prefers them. This year, he was more vocal. He said he didn't want to just adapt the 27.5 for 29, but that appears to be what YT did.
  • + 2
 @Mondbiker: Gwin does, said so a thousand times in interviews.
  • + 2
 team rumours twitter alive?
  • - 1
 @dwmetalfab: Deer in the headlights.... uhhhhhhhh, What do I say now?

BTW your OP was spot on. I was thinking the same thing. Thank you for saying it.
  • + 1
 What about Gwin working with KTM?
  • + 1
 I swear it had triples upfront
  • + 2
 Love a bit of gossip
  • + 0
 what does sex in the woods and Gwin have in common? it's fxxxing "In-Tents"..

P'
  • + 1
 Gee really looks like Johnny Quid from RockNRolla
  • + 1
 ..that's what I was thinking was watching the movie Smile
  • - 1
 @mikelevy Merida doesn't own any part of Specialized. They used to, but Specialized bought every part back, already since a few years it's 100% Specialized again.
  • + 3
 Any references for this?
  • - 1
 @jamesbriancrilly: They announced it a few years ago on a retailer event.
  • + 5
 Not true Merida still owns 49% of Specialized. Nothing has changed since they put in 30 million in 2001. That is public record since Merida is a public company in Taiwan
  • + 0
 Someone clear this up! I've heard both stories a few times.
  • + 0
 When I think about it, I remember hearing that Merida still manufactures bikes for spec, but does not own much of the company now.
  • - 2
 Gwin will obviously go for whoever produces the biggest pay check so he can keep on top with the upkeep of the likes of his McMansion and McLaren!
  • + 5
 Dont hate the player?
  • - 1
 I hope Gwin doesn't ride that uglyass Intense..
  • - 2
 Phil Atwill to Cube, one of the other will have to do compromises. lol
  • + 4
 Riders like Phil Atwill can offer a brand a lot more than race results. People love watching his video segments, Slice of British Pie etc. For me he kind of falls into that Ratboy/50.01 lump where yeah he might do some races but it’s his riding we all wanna see, no matter the format.

Cube doesn’t really seem to have an athlete like that, so they could be a good fit. Kinda like Cannondale picking up Sam and supposedly Ratboy. They’d just be trying to change their image.
  • + 1
 @BamaBiscuits: I'd Remy Metailler in that category
  • + 1
 I'd put Remy Metailler in that category
  • - 3
 Yes merida make a dh bike, its very nice also. And they make amazing looking enduro bikes too
  • + 2
 Never seen there downhill bike. Got a link to it?
  • + 1
 @franxxy: thanks
  • + 1
 @Reignrob: was called the one eighty 6500
  • + 1
 @christillott: thanks i will look it up Smile
  • + 1
 @christillott: wasn't that just an aggressive enduro bike 180mm travel as opposed to 200mm+ for most DH?
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